Does God Hear My Prayers?
By: Angie Merrill
Many times throughout my life, I have wondered if God really hears my prayers. As a Christ follower for almost 20 years, I would like to think my faith is strong in the Lord and His promises. But I confess I still have very human moments of doubt or disbelief that the God of the universe would care about me—especially when there are nearly eight billion other people living in the world. I’ll present my requests to the Lord with thanksgiving, as we are instructed to do in Philippians 4:6, but then my thoughts go to extreme poverty, war, illness, conflict, abuse, and senseless tragedy…and suddenly my problems seem puny and unworthy of God’s attention. Not only that, but if I’m being really transparent, I still struggle with the notion that I haven’t done enough or been good enough to warrant God answering my prayers. Can anyone relate?
The reality is that, my thoughts are fickle and unreliable. I know this full well. So, while my doubts and uncertainties may feel very real and true, I have to make a decision to redirect my focus on the truth—and the truth is found in God’s Word, the Bible. The compassion, care, character, and promises of God are so evident in the Scriptures. So, when we’re in doubt that He really hears our prayers, here are three truths we can count on:
1. God is Big Enough to Take Care of Everyone’s Needs. Sometimes we erroneously place our human limitations on God. Even though we may find it challenging to juggle work, school, relationship dynamics, or other issues, God isn’t challenged by His manifold responsibilities. He is the God who created the heavens and the earth in six days! He is sovereign, which means He is the ultimate source of power and authority. Everything is in His more-than-capable hands.
Psalm 104:27-28 declares, “All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.” Psalm 145:8-9;15-16 also gives us the assurance that, “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made…The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” When in doubt, remember that God is big enough to provide for every living thing on this planet—including you.
2. God Really Does Care About You. Sitting in the depths of despair after two miscarriages years ago, I cried out to the Lord and pondered whether or not He had forgotten about me and my family. Then He reminded me in Isaiah 43:19, “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” This means that in the midst of hardship and sorrow, the Lord is carving out a path of life and blessing! Recently, as my dad fought for his life in the hospital and we encountered one frustrating roadblock or hurdle after another regarding his care, I turned to Isaiah 63:9 and was astonished to read the following: “In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” This tells me that God is distressed when we are distressed and sends help! Look at what Psalm 56:8 (NLT) reveals, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
And if you need extra proof, look no further than Psalm 55:22, which instructs us to, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” This truth is echoed in 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT), which says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
3. God Cares about the Big Things, and the Little Things. The truth is, God has been so faithful in my life to answer both teeny tiny prayers and big prayers. When we acknowledge and embrace Him as “Abba Father,” (Romans 8:15) we can approach God with any worry or request we may have. Psalm 77:11 encourages us to remember the deeds of the Lord and His miracles. Writing down in a journal whenever God answers my prayers, gives me tangible documentation to look back on that God is good, and He hears my prayers.
Jesus promised in Matthew 6:25-27 that God will take care of us, just as he takes care of the birds of the air—and yet we are so much more valuable to Him than they are! Therefore, the Lord said, we shouldn’t worry about anything. Instead, pray! Start by giving God proper praise and thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4). Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness so that you can go approach the Lord with a pure heart (Psalm 66:18). Then present your requests to Him, and His peace will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus, just as He promised in Philippians 4:7. God hears your prayers, so come to Him freely, humbly, lovingly, and boldly.
Angie Merrill is a wife, a mom of three, and a writer who loves Jesus. She has been on staff at Shepherd Church for the last 15 years with the honor of assisting Pastor Dudley Rutherford with writing projects.