Most of us have prayed and asked God for help with some burden or problem, but it seemed there was no answer. Have you ever wondered if God really hears your prayers? Does an unanswered prayer mean that God doesn’t listen to us?
God’s word assures us that He does hear the prayers of those who obey Him. Solomon wrote, “The Lord is far from the wicked: but He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). James said, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Peter quoted from the Psalms, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers” (1 Peter 3:12).
Why then does God often not give us those requests for which we ask? Did you know that God did not give Jesus the answer for which He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane? (Matt. 26:39). Nor did Paul get his thorn in his flesh removed, even though he asked three times for God to do that (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Thus, even though God hears our petitions, He has not promised to say “yes” to all for which we ask.
May we never doubt God nor doubt that He hears the prayers of the righteous. But let us remember the responsibility we have to hear and obey His Word. Let us also always pray as Jesus did, “nevertheless not as I will, but as You (Father) will” (Matt 26:39).
John K. Wills
Owingsville church of Christ