Everything changed when I became a father. I didn’t merely care for my wife and myself anymore. There was a third person in the mix—and a tiny one at that. Day by day, our little girl grew taller, weighed more, and talked clearer. She went from cooing to talking. She went from unintelligible mumbling to saying complete sentences with no confusion about what was said.
When Jovi was born, I knew she needed my utmost attention. That was my number one job outside of loving my wife: give my attention to this precious little girl that God gave us. Now that she is communicating well, she needs my attention all the more. But not only does she need my attention, she wants my attention. As a sinner, I fail many times in giving her that attention, but I know I need to clearly show Jovi that her daddy is listening, attentive, and enjoying talking with her. Whether that means I play with her, talk with her, or listen to her when she is upset. Regardless, she knows I hear her, am listening to her, and am eager to talk to her.
God hears our prayers. I know that’s one of the more elementary concepts of our faith, but it’s still true. Just like needing the gospel everyday, we need to remember that God hears us each day, because we so easily forget.
Scripture has an abundance of verses indicating God’s ear to our prayer:
- “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer” (1 Peter 3:12).
- “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).
- “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).
- “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” (Psalm 18:6)
- “But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him” (Psalm 4:3).
Believer, do you know God hears your prayer? Better yet, do you believe he does? Oftentimes, we know things to be true but fail to believe them in the moment. I know my wife loves me because she said her vows at our wedding, but when we’re arguing I tend to forget. And that has nothing to do with her and everything to do with my heart.
The same is true with God. We know he hears us because the Bible is crystal clear in that regard. But when life gets rough, when the swim of life is upstream, when the waves crash in on us, do we believe it? Or do we resort back to trying to carry ourselves?
I imagine Christians sometimes accuse God of not hearing them—or at the very least question if he does. Either way we’re in the wrong. When this happens, we have to ask ourselves this probing question: Am I in my Bible consistently? “We may struggle to hear his voice,” Jared C. Wilson wrote, “but very often that is because the dust is so thick on our copies of his Word.”
The wider your Bible is open, the clearer your communication with him will be. If your Bible habitually collects dust, you won’t hear a peep from the Lord. That’s not because he’s not hearing you or speaking to you; it’s because you’ve stopped listening. It’s as if my wife went to another country for a year and wrote letters to me everyday. I would go to the mailbox to retrieve them but never open the envelope. Yet I grumbled, whined, and threw a fit because I believed she wasn’t communicating with me. The problem wasn’t her, but me. I didn’t take the time to open the envelope and read.
Likewise, when we keep our Bibles shut, it will become increasingly difficult to hear from God and believe he hears us. When we ask, “Is God even hearing me?” the problem is not with God’s communication, but with us because we too easily neglect the book in which he speaks to us. This isn’t always the case, however. Many Christians who are consistently in the Word still feel this way on occasion.
God hears you. He is there. He is “all ears.” You just need to do two things. One, you need to pray. Cry out to him; go to him often—for anything. Sometimes we think he doesn’t hear because . . . we’re not praying. Second, open your Bible and let him speak. You may have said your prayer but you won’t hear from him if your Bible is closed.
This is an excerpt taken from my new book Taking No for an Answer: How to Respond When God Says No to our Prayers.