God Always Listens to Our Prayers
“Mhmm, yeah sure buddy, sounds good,” says the loving yet distracted-by-his-phone dad in response to his 6-year-old son’s request. In that moment, the son could have basically asked for anything, and would have received the same tepid response. It’s not that the father didn’t hear the son – he just didn’t actually listen and intentionally respond. I’ve fallen into this trap more times than I care to admit, and we’ve all been on the receiving end of someone technically hearing us but not truly listening.
Sometimes prayer feels like a futile, one-sided conversation whereby we shout into the sky and God ignores us. “Where are you? Are you listening? Do you care? Why won’t you answer me?” These are all very common and understandable questions as we wrestle with the reality of being in a relationship with God. However, amid these doubts, we are called to trust and believe what God has revealed about himself through sacred Scripture and Church teaching, and to move forward with joyful peace even as we wrestle with the mystery of seemingly unanswered prayer. Let’s look at what a few Scripture passages teach us regarding prayer.
God will never forget you.
“Can a mother forget her infant … Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (Is 49:15)
God hears us.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me … The righteous cry out, the Lord hears.” (Ps 34: 5, 18)
God loves persistence.
“Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.” (Lk 18:7-8)
God values humility.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” (Ps 51: 19)
Jesus loves you.
“I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10)
Whenever you wonder if God is listening, go read his book. He’s not a distracted, disinterested, bored deity annoyed by our prayers, but a loving Father who loves eternally, blesses constantly, and calls us ceaselessly. Seek and you will find, and when you find each other, he won’t be scrolling through Instagram.
Pete Burak is the director of i.d.9:16, the young adult outreach of Renewal Ministries. He has a master’s degree in theology and is a frequent speaker on evangelization and discipleship.