Sometimes we wonder. We pray, we beg, we pour our hearts to God, but nothing happens. We face sleepless nights, but it seems that God is oblivious to our suffering. So how do we know that He has even heard our prayers?
The answer to that question is actually simple. He always hears our prayers, all of them. Every single time.
And you know what? He always answers our prayers, all of them. Yes, He does.
The moment the prayer is taking shape in our minds, He is already responding: “yes”, “no” or “not yet”. Then why does it feel that sometimes God doesn’t listen or doesn’t respond at all?
Actually, there are two issues that impact our perception of God’s response:
1. We don’t hear it, or
2. We don’t want to hear it
Whether we aren’t able to hear or we are pretending not to hear because we didn’t like the response we’re getting, we fail to acknowledge that God might actually have denied our request. Or maybe He has a better time to grant it, so we have to wait.
We fail to acknowledge that, if the answer is indeed “no”, or even “not yet”, we have to trust God, He knows best.
But the major problem is that our faith might weaken, because we don’t understand what is happening, or we think that God isn’t listening, or that He doesn’t care.
Maybe we are so desperate to get a positive response to our request that we forget to let God do His will.
And when it comes to God’s will, we might not understand it, but we have to trust it. Even if the answer is “no”.
But how can we improve our perception, so we can understand God’s responses better and pray according to His will?
There is only one way: by praying. Yes, that’s right. By establishing a life of prayer, we become more sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and we will be able to distinguish more and more what is the will of God, and pray accordingly.
Then we will find out that, with practice, prayer becomes a dialogue, instead of a monologue. Not that God wasn’t talking before, but the fact is that we weren’t listening, truly listening.
That doesn’t mean that we will be happy with every response we get. Sometimes it is hard to accept the response. Even Jesus knew that it wouldn’t be easy to do God’s will, but no matter how difficult it would be, He was willing to do it:
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
Jesus, in spite of being the son of God, prayed constantly. Let us take that lesson to our own life, and try to acquire the habit of prayer, keeping in mind that it is a two way communication.
And let’s rest assured that God is listening and He is responding. And He is even there to help us deal with the response.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Question for you: Have you ever prayed but felt that God was silent?