Does God answer your prayers? Is He really there–does He exist–and does He hear you when you talk to Him? Or are you just fooling yourself thinking Someone is listening? The short answer to this question is, yes, He is definitely there, and He proves it–over and over again–through consistently answered prayer in the lives of those who call on Him. But we must remember our relationship with God is a two-way street; we can’t keep talking at Him expecting Him to answer, when we make no effort to hear what He says.
“Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Those of us who trust in Jesus look to Him frequently during the day–but there are times we can find ourselves feeling as if we are simply talking to ourselves. Maybe it is that we have prayed too many rote prayers or have fallen into the trap of thinking He is our personal genie, but whatever the reason–we’ve begun wondering if God really hears us at all. Yet the truth is that He’s here; He exists. And, He hears what we say. The problem, more often than not, however, is that we are the ones who do not hear Him.
A relationship with God is a two-way street. Not only must He hear us; we must hear Him too. Imagine having a relationship with someone who keeps talking, but never seems to stop long enough to listen to what you have to say–there will be no genuine communication between you. In order for there to be a vibrant, growing relationship between any two persons, not only must both speak–both must also make the effort to listen to what the other is saying.
In our relationship with God, He speaks to us through the Bible. If we make no effort to open it and read a portion every day, we cannot expect to have ongoing communication with Him. And then when we attempt to pray, we are like the person who keeps talking but doesn’t listen to what the other person has to say. But how can we fix this? How can we actually get into the habit of listening to God?
The way to get into the habit of listening to God is to just do it. Whenever you remember that you haven’t read the Bible yet, open it and read a chapter. Don’t procrastinate; don’t avoid it–just do it! Years ago, I would spend time with God in the morning, but these days it ends up being after I pray right before I go to sleep. Why? Because my life is so busy now that I’m usually running almost since I get out of bed in the morning. It isn’t the time that matters–you can do it on your lunch break if that’s what works for you–it is the fact that you give the Holy Spirit a chance to speak into your life and tell you what God says. This is an aspect of what Jesus meant when He told us to remain in Him. He is the Word of God–John 1 clearly identifies Him as that–and it is only by reading what He says that we hear God’s side of the conversation.
Then, once we start reading and obeying the Word, our own side of the conversation will make more sense. Instead of talking randomly AT Someone we really don’t know, we’ll be able to respond to what He has said. We’ll actually know Him better, which is the basis of any relationship. And we will be more tuned into His responses to our prayers.
So, does God hear you when you talk to Him? DO you even talk to Him? Open up and read a Bible in an easier to understand version (if you’re not used to it) or google it–maybe start from John, or one of the letters of Peter or John or Paul–and then–see if your prayers don’t make more sense. And, see if you don’t feel more certain not only that He’s there, but also that He certainly hears and answers you when you talk to Him!
Dear Lord God,
Help me call on You, and thank You that You answer! But help me listen to what You say too!! Amen.