One of my biggest problems in marriage is that I don’t listen very well. And not listening reveals I don’t care enough about what my wife is saying in that moment—and that’s totally on me. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hear her speak. I might hear all the words she is saying but, if I’m not listening, it’s going through one ear and out the other. There is a huge difference between listening and merely hearing.
God doesn’t simply hear our prayers. As God’s children, he also listens to our prayers. He cares about what we have to say. And unlike me, we can know for certain that God is listening to every last request, every last supplication, every last word.
Just like with hearing us, the Bible shows he listens to us in many passages.
- “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will”(John 9:31 NIV).
- “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” ( Jeremiah 29:12-13 NIV ).
- “I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me’ (Psalm 66:17-20 NIV)!”
As God’s child, I can know he is listening to me. His ears aren’t merely open; they are focused on what I am saying. That is so comforting; to know the God of the universe— the Creator and Sustainer of all things—is listening to my prayer. God listens to my prayer no matter how mumbled, how repetitive, or how messed up it is. He does not get fed up with listening, even when the prayer is saturated with sin. He doesn’t ignore, even when we ask for things we know we shouldn’t. He doesn’t roll his eyes, even when we say one thing in our prayer and do another in practice.
Bask in that for a moment.
As God’s blood-bought children, he is for us. And he thoroughly enjoys listening to our petitions. God’s “listening ears” are on 24/7. Go to him.