“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, THEN WILL I HEAR from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Does God hear our prayers?
Perhaps one of the greatest losses to mankind on the day that Adam sinned was our ability to communicate with God. Imagine being able to converse directly with the Creator of this awesome universe we live in. You could ask Him a question or tell Him how you feel and He would know the answer or know just what to say to make you feel better. Communication is not a strong point in our society today and I would suggest that communication with God is even worse.
For communication to take place, one party has to say something, the other has to listen. Let’s consider what we say to God and whether or not He listens. The familiar scripture 2 Chronicles 7:14 shown above says that after God’s people 1) humble themselves, 2) pray, 3) seek him, and 4) stop sinning, then God will hear them. God told Daniel in Daniel 10:12 that from the time he (Daniel) began to humble himself and seek understanding, his prayer was heard.
Is there a prayer that God does not hear? Well, there is probably not a time when God does not know we are praying, but his acknowledgment of our prayer may depend on other factors. Consider Isaiah 59:1-2 1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
If we have sin in our lives, if we do not humble ourselves before him, and if we don’t seek him in prayer, it appears that God has no scriptural obligation to hear us.
A few more references:
Psalms 145:18-19 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Proverbs 15:29 29 The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
Another promise of scripture that guarantees that God WILL hear us is found in 1 John 5:14-15. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us– whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of him.
It sounds funny, but if we ask God for something that is already in his will, He will hear it, and grant it. But, after all, will any Christian have happiness and joy in their lives if they are not in the will of God? What better prayer can there be? So, how do we know what his will is? Romans 12:1-2 says that if we present ourselves a living sacrifice to God, holy and pleasing to Him, and we don’t do things like the world does, and we are transformed by the renewing of our mind (seeking him), then we can know the good, pleasing, and even perfect will of God for our lives.
We must each examine ourselves to see if we are properly positioned for God to hear us. A discussion for another time may be, “Do we know God’s voice when and if He responds?”