People often have questions and concerns about prayer. Depending on where we are in life or what our circumstances are, we may be feeling a way towards God. The question of how one can be sure that God is hearing one's prayer is common. I mean, sometimes we pray and it seems like nothing happens, right? Sometimes praying may seem strange since you cannot see God, so it is not the same as talking to someone in person or even on the phone where you can receive a direct response.
What about when we feel alone, thinking God is silent? It is said that "the teacher is always the quietest during a test.". If God is silent, we can definitely feel it and it can create many different emotions in us. The silence of God can be interpreted in many different ways, and the silence of God is also when the questions begin. My connection to God has been strengthened by God's silence at times, because I have learned that there is a lesson in each silent moment. Silence from God is not necessarily negative, but it might be a signal for us to listen to him. It could mean it is time to take action with the wisdom and knowledge God has already given us. Perhaps God has already spoken to us, but it wasn't what we wanted to hear. As a result, God may remain silent until we accept the answer. When was the last time someone had to accept the answer from you? Perhaps you gave advice to a friend or family member, but it wasn't what they wanted to hear. Eventually, they keep asking you about it and you just don't say anything about it, right? It's the same with God sometimes, because we are hard headed and just don't want to listen to Him.
So with all the above being taken into consideration, how can we be sure that God actually hears our prayers FOREVER? Now, I know forever seems like an impossible word, but does God not promises to be with us forever? Even when it seems like He is not present, he definitely is. He is everywhere we are. So yes, forever is possible, because all things are possible with God. So here is how we can make sure.
Keep in my mind that these things that I list are in no particular order and also in all the scriptures that will be used will be from the English Standard Version of the bible (ESV).
Have Faith -I know this may seem simple. Having faith "duh" right? It's not as simple as it sounds though. Faith is really important to God. After, all we cannot even please God without having faith.
"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."-Hebrews 11:6
So as we can see from Hebrews 11:6, we first must believe that God exists and we must believe that he rewards those who seek him. So when talking about prayer, we have to believe that he hears our prayers. Believe in God and also believe that he hears your prayer. Because faith and doubt cancel each other out. Doubt can block us from being able to hear God's voice or being able to see how He is working in our lives.
Ask and Seek-
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you-Matthew 7:7
In Matthew 7:7, we are told that if we ask it will be given to us, if we seek, we shall find, and if we knock the doors will be open. So then why do we wonder so much if our prayers are being answered? Again, it goes back to things not happening how we wanted right? We asked, but what we received was different or we asked, but we feel like we didn't receive an answer. We sought, but we didn't find what we expected to find and we knocked, but it seems like the door didn't open. That brings me to two more scriptures. It's important to put scriptures in context and not just focus on one scripture. Doing it this way helps you gain a better understanding of God's word and what is meant.
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart".-Psalms 37:4
"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
I decided to group these two scriptures together because I feel that you cannot have one without the other. When it comes to these two scriptures, when one is used without the other, confusion sets in. We all know that God is not the author of confusion. We often hear God will give us the desires of our hearts and in my personal opinion this is why we even get to the point of wondering if our prayers are being heard. We are praying for the desires of our hearts and it hurts when those desires seem to remain desires. What happens is that we forget about the second scripture which basically state we should ask according to HIS will. Yes, God will give us the desires of our hearts ACCORDING to HIS will.
We have to remember that God has a plan for us hence
"For I know the plans that I have for you says the Lords plans to prospers us, not to harm us, plans to give us a hope a future".-Jeremiah 29:11
We also know that "God is the author and finisher of our faith."-Hebrews 12:2 So, if we know those things, then we know that God is the architect of our lives. So what we need to do is get into agreement with God with the plans that He has for our lives and yes, he will also implement some things that we want to, but it will be better that what initially thought of.
Let's take a look at Hebrews 12:1-2, this will bring me to the next thing that we need to do in order to ensure that God hears our prayers forever.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."-Hebrews 12:1-2
Live a good and humble life- In Hebrew 12:1- we are instructed to lay aside every weight and sin that clings so closely to us. Now of course, we all fall short, but we should do our best to live a good life. If we commit a sin or wrong doing we should repent and we should work on being better. We should repent daily. Again this is not saying go be perfect because no of us our, but we should live a good life and treat people good because after all we are made in Jesus's imagine and we are reflection of God. God can use us to bring people to him. God uses us in ways that some of us do not even realize yet. All of us have things in our lives that weigh us down or may impede our relationship with God, but God wants us to have the ability to continue to race and be able to keep going regardless of things that make us feel heavy. The closer we are to God, the more we can hear him and know for sure when he is speaking to us and and answer our prayers.
Write the vision and make it plain- Last, but not least, we should write the vision and make it plain.
And the Lord answered me:
“Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay."- Habakkuk 2:2-3
Another way that we can enter into an agreement with God is by writing out the vision and making it plain. It is also another way to keep track of the things that we pray for and the answers that God provides. Writing your prayers or the things that you are believing God for in a notebook or even on your memo pad on your phone is a great way to see how God has answered your prayers. I personally am I witness to this. I have seen things in my notebooks that I have written and months or sometimes years later I see that God answered that prayer. It may not have been when or how I expected, but it was answered. It reminds me of how much God cares for us, but it also reminds me of how important developing a personal relationship with God is. Our relationship with God should not be one-sided, where only we ask for and expect things. We should seek God and find out what we can do for him, too. We should let him know just how much we love him, too.
I pray that this blog post was a blessing to you. I will admit that this post was longer than I expected, but I wrote as God guided me. You're welcome to subscribe to my blog or even share your tips on how others can know when God is hearing their prayers. If you've wondered yourself if God has heard your prayers, feel free to share your experience. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any prayer requests, questions, or blog suggestions.