Our God Is the Great Listener
Does God answer prayer? We all want to know.
Maybe you’ve heard stories of miracles, and envy such experiences. Maybe you’ve been hoping for one, exhausted because nothing has happened.
When we open the Bible, what answers do we find to our question?
First, we find that the God we read about in the Bible is a listening God (Genesis 30:17; Judges 13:9; 1 Kings 8:28). He hears. He’s not deaf or disinterested in us, as we often think.
In fact, God is the only Listener in your life who has authority over every one of your concerns and circumstances.
When you pray, whether you recognize it or not, you’re exercising faith in a listening God. You’re also believing that the Great Listener can do something about your requests. God has also told us that he’s in charge, and able to answer your prayers (Psalm 103:19; Jeremiah 32:27).
We have confidence to pray because God has told us he’s listening. We have motivation to pray because God has told us he’s active.
God’s love doesn’t stop with hearing us. He wants to help—to answer, and he’s the only one who can address each situation in our lives with perfect wisdom.
The most basic observation we can make about prayer from the Bible is that God tells us to do it (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Ephesians 6:18). This truth actually helps us to answer our question. God commands us to pray because he wants to listen. God is good—why would he tell us to pray if he didn’t intend to answer us?
God’s mandate to pray, repeated all over the Bible, is his eager invitation for you to see him exercise his power and to know him through his recognizable intervention in your life.
God has revealed himself as a listener who loves to answer prayer.
You may wonder if this is an exclusive offer for only some people. Maybe you’re asking, but will God answer my prayers?
The answer to that question depends on your relationship with God. Is he your Father? Have you come to him through believing in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins? This is the only way that he has prescribed we can come to him (Acts 4:12).
If you’re his child through faith in Jesus, then he delights to hear and help you (1 John 3:1).
However, if you’re not in a good relationship with God through Jesus, God says that his ears are closed to you (Proverbs 28:9), because our sinfulness makes it impossible for us to draw near to his perfect goodness without consequences.
But God’s Son willingly laid down his life so that we might approach him with confidence, despite our sinfulness—he didn’t want us to remain distant from him (Hebrews 10:19-22). The second you come to God through the way he has provided (faith in Jesus), he’s ready to receive you (John 6:37; Romans 10:13).
One of the perks of that relationship is the privilege of constant communication through prayer. Just think about how amazing this is! Surely we couldn’t approach God and set an expectation for him to listen to us as if we’re in charge (Psalm 8:4).
But in the Bible, we discover that God created us with the intention of communicating with us. Despite our rebellion against him, he has made a way to re-open that communication. For anyone who trusts in him, he delights to listen to them.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 John 5:14 ESV).