And this is the confidence that we have before him: that whenever we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. – 1 John:5:14
Does God hear me when I pray? That is a question that many others and I constantly have asked as we walk through our spiritual quest with God. Sometimes it seems very easy to pray to God and incredible blessings follow. Yet other times praying can be difficult and it almost seems like we are just searching for things to say.
Why is this? The difficulty that comes with prayer usually depends on your spiritual oneness with God. As a child of God, we all have a personal relationship with our Father. We must seek out God and his advice. We need to be excited and look forward to our one-on-one time. Is this not the way all of our other relationships work? When I was younger, I always wanted to spend more time with my friends. It was always a treat to spend the night at my friend’s house. Looking back on that, it was just the extra time we gave to each other that made it special. It was every minute we could squeeze out to enjoy each other’s company.
This is what God wants from us. He wants us to stay up one more minute and give it to Him. He wants us to pray just a little longer before we have to say goodbye. He wants to hug us and hold on before “getting in the car” to leave. Shouldn’t we seek that as well? All too often it is a one way street in our relationship with God. We call upon His name but we seek our own desires and we don’t look to Him. We don’t truly seek His advice and we struggle when we don’t get what “we deserve.”
The fact of the matter is God seeks a true relationship with us; a relationship that we can talk, love, care, serve, and look out for each other in. We must realize that we are nothing and weak and God has given us way more than we deserve. The blessings God continuously showers upon us can be overlooked everyday if we are not thankful for what we have. Did I thank God that I made it to work this morning, or home? He truly is with us always.
When Christ took our sins on the stake and died for all mankind, the veil was torn. Christ gave us a direct path to God and through the name of Christ we now can call upon God and discuss everything with Him. Do we take that for granted? Prayer is a powerful tool for spiritual growth, but it must be done with a correct attitude in order to receive that growth. So the questions are: is prayer important to God and how do I know I am praying correctly?
7Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you: 8For every one who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew:7:7-8).
God seeks to give us what we desire but we must ask in the correct way. We must humbly come before God knowing what we have is God’s and what we seek is God’s. He knows what we need, and He seeks to give us that if our focus is on Him. But He does say we must ask. In Matthew 6:33 it says, “But above all pursue His Kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” What this means is when we are pursuing God’s way of life He blesses us, He gives to us, and He provides for us. Prayer is an incredible way to pursue God and connect to God. It helps us to align our thinking with His. It helps us to realize that without Him we have nothing. Look how much we ask of God, how must we desire from Him. That alone should show why it is so important. We have so much to be thankful for and the only way to tell God our feelings is to talk to Him. It is an incredible tool for us to have direct communication with our awesome God.
As we read earlier, if we are seeking His will, God does hear us when we pray. Therefore to pray correctly we must constantly be seeking God’s will. God will not give to us if our priorities are not His. Maybe a better way to say this is God will not hear us if He is not our priority. If the only time we come to God is when we are desperately in need, then why would He answer? Isn’t this just a version of a fair weather friend? When they need something, they are always your best friend, but all other times you are just another person of the billions in the world. All too often, we only go to God to tell Him what we need. We only go to God when we need to get out of a trial. It never is just to talk about your day or how life is going. God has to be our priority every day and we must show Him we are continuously seeking His will. It is then that we humbly get down on our knees and know with confidence that God is hearing us when we pray. Because it is at this time we are one with our Father, a true relationship between Father and child.
14The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. 17The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. 18The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever (Psalms:145:14-21, NIV).
I urge you to examine your prayer life and see what kind of a friend you are to God. Call out to Him in truth and love, seeking His will. Let us develop into the children of God who in confidence pray to Him knowing God is our best friend. God always hears us, but when we are one with Him doing His will and our focus is off ourselves, God desires to bless us.
Other relevant readings:
Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving tell your requests to God.”
Colossians:4:2: “Be devoted to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.”
James 4:3: “You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.”
Matthew 21:22: “And whatever you ask in prayer, if you believe, you will receive.”