Hey there, LYWB.com readers! We’re excited to share a post from our “big sis,” the True Woman blog—and I’m a big Stacey Salsbery fan. If you met this adorable farm momma, you’d want to pack up and move to her Indiana homestead and sit at her kitchen counter to feast on one of her homemade cinnamon rolls. Stacey loves to study her Bible, and she’s passionate about sharing God’s Truth with girls just like you! So in case you’ve ever wondered if God is actually listening when you pray, today’s post is comin’ at ya to strengthen your faith in our always-there Father! — Samantha, LYWB.com blog content manager
There are multiple examples of God hearing and answering prayers in the Bible.
- The angel of the Lord said to Zechariah, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard” (Luke 1:13).
- The Lord said to Hezekiah, “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you” (2 Kings 20:5).
- The Lord heard the cries of the Israelites when they were suffering in Egypt (Deut. 26:7).
The psalms are also full of hope and assurance that God hears our prayers:
The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. (6:9)
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. (18:6)
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (34:4)
Yet I’ve doubted God’s attention to detail when it comes to my prayers. Did God really hear me? Maybe I need to say my request again. Maybe I didn’t say it the right way. Or perhaps I haven’t said my request enough. Maybe I need to do something different in order for God to actually hear me. (As though I can somehow trick God into listening.)
In reality, God hearing our prayers has nothing to do with what we do and everything to do with what Christ has already done. We can approach the throne of grace with boldness, knowing God hears our prayers, because we have been reconciled with God by faith in Jesus Christ (Heb. 4:16).
God Is Listening When We Pray
Psalm 55:16–17 says,
But I call to God, and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
Not a single prayer slips by God, because there’s no time of day He isn’t listening.
God heard you ten years ago, and He heard you last week, and He hears you right now, and He’s already listening for you tomorrow. In fact, He’s listening so well, He already knows what you’re going to say.
It’s still hard to believe that God hears our prayers. If there’s one thing I could go back and instill in my teenage heart or my young married heart or my new mama heart, it’d be this: God hears your prayers.
God hears you praying when you walk outside in the dark and when you walk down the school hallways. God hears you when you aren’t sure what to say and every time you feel left out. God hears every whispered prayer you say about your body—the ones that reach your lips—and the ones that don’t. He knows how deeply you long to be loved.
God knows the deepest cries of your heart. He hears you praying about boys and marriage and future dreams, and He wants you to trust Him. God has a good and wonderful plan in mind for you. You’re not being passed up; you’re being protected. You’re not being ignored; God has your best interest at heart.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him (Ps. 37:7).
God’s timing is not our timing, and God’s ways are not our ways. God’s ways are better. His ways are for our good and His glory. His ways are free of sin and selfish gain. So when you pray dear girl, remember, God is listening, and you can trust Him for the right answer.
Waiting Doesn’t Mean God Didn’t Hear You
When we tend to lose heart is when we have to wait. God may not answer us right away, but waiting doesn’t mean God is ignoring us. Sometimes waiting just means it isn’t time. The right pieces still need to fall into place.
Other times, God may have us wait to draw us closer to Him. We most need a relationship with Him, not the fulfillment of a dream.
God might also have us wait because we just aren’t ready. What if the very thing we’re asking God to do would hinder our relationship with Him? What parent would want to say yes to that? If we pray and circumstances don’t change, it’s not because God didn’t hear us—it’s because God has something better.
We can’t see the big picture, but God can. Knowing that God is good and sovereign and always faithful means we can trust Him for the right answer, even if God’s answer to is no and even if I don’t understand. If what I’m asking God to do isn’t His will, then praise the Lord that we have a God willing to say no.
Because God loves us, sometimes He is going to say no. Yet we have a hard time with this idea. Why would God tell me no when this is what I want more than anything else? So we assume instead that God must not have heard us, because otherwise He would have granted our request.
But what if instead we chose to believe that God did hear us? What if by faith we laid our requests before God with full confidence that He is listening? Then we could have peace, no matter what happens, because we know our lives are in the hands of a faithful God.
It’s Life-Changing to Believe and Not Doubt
Too often I think we pray without really expecting God to answer. This is why we still take matters into our own hands even when we do pray. We just aren’t sure if God will actually intercede on our behalf.
The problem is that we’re looking for God to do things our way. We’re looking for an answer, instead of looking for Him. Then, when God does things different than we expect, we miss His faithful intervention and wonder why God ignores our prayers.
However, the Bible says it’s not God who has the hearing problem—it’s us. In Mark 8:18, Jesus asks the disciples, “Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear?” This is why Jesus warns over and over, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear” (Mark 4:23).
While we’re waiting for God to say yes to us, God’s waiting for us to say yes to Him. While we’re begging God for Him to show up, God’s patiently waiting for us to realize He’s already here.
Proverbs 15:29 says God “hears the prayers of the righteous.” By grace through faith in Jesus Christ, that’s us, friends. God hasn’t saved us so He can ignore us—God’s saved us so we can enjoy Him. There is nothing more satisfying than being in the presence of God.
God Hears the Prayers of His People
In Luke 18 Jesus tells the disciples a parable about a widow who prayed and didn’t give up, in hopes that they would pray and never give up—in hopes that we might pray and never give up. God hears the prayers of His people.
God hears the tired mama prayers and the I-don’t-know-what-to-do prayers. He hears the prayers of the dissatisfied wife and the wife who just wants to help. He hears the groans of the suffering and the ache of the one who doesn’t even know what to pray. He hears the lonely and the lost and those longing for love.
He hears the I’m-completely-exhausted morning prayers, and He’s already anticipating the middle of the afternoon I-don’t-think-I’m-going-to-make-it prayers. And the middle of the night prayers? Those are special to Him as well.
So keep praying, child of God, because He hears you. God’s listening right now, and He’ll still be listening tomorrow.