“Hey Dad, can I have the keys to the car? I have a date with Stacey at Seven O’clock.”
“No,” replied David’s dad without hesitation.
“What? Didn’t you hear me? I have a date with Stacey. I can’t stand her up,” insisted David.
“I heard you. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the car. I already have plans. I’ve told you a million times, ‘Never make plans to use my car without asking me first.’”
“That’s not fair. I’ve got a life too. You don’t listen to me at all,” David yelled back, then stormed off in a huff.
Does God hear us when we pray? If He does, then why doesn’t He answer? Why don’t we get what we ask for? …Because God is not unlike David’s dad. He heard his request simple enough. But he said ‘No’.
Just like David was upset when his dad didn’t answer his request for the car, we as Christians get upset at God when we don’t get an answer to our prayers. It can make us doubt that He even hears our prayers. “Why bother praying if God isn’t listening?” we might ask. “Does God really exist? …Am I really a Christian? …Am I praying wrong?” All kinds of questions surface in our minds when we feel like we don’t get answers to our prayers.
But one thing we can be sure of is – God does hear our prayers, at least if we are his children. “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” (I Peter 3:12, kjv)
I would guess that David’s dad wouldn’t even listen to a stranger who came up to him on the street and asked him to borrow his car. The only reason he would even consider giving his car to David for the evening is because David is his son.
God is the heavenly Father of all the righteous in the earth. That’s not referring to all the perfect people in the world who never say or do anything wrong. We are made righteous by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. When we acknowledge Christ’s death in our place, we are considered righteous. We will not be judged for our sin because Jesus took our punishment. We are only righteous because of forgiveness. When we are forgiven of our sins that separate us from God, then we become part of the family of God. That is the point that God begins to hear our prayers.
“Okay, so I did all that. I asked Jesus to forgive my sins. How come God still isn’t hearing my prayers?”
He is hearing your prayers. But He may have said ‘No’, like David’s dad. Or maybe He said ‘Wait, when it’s my timing.’
“But it’s not like I asked for something selfish like David did. I don’t want a new car, or even a new bicycle.”
Well, God loves His children just like any good dad. And a lot of what any child asks his parents isn’t a bad request. But just like every dad has his reason, God always has His reasons. We don’t understand it. Our Father in heaven is beyond our comprehension. We don’t understand why He answers prayers for one job and the other person ends up on welfare. We don’t understand why He heals one person, and the other dies. Life isn’t that easy, and unfortunately for us, we just don’t get everything that we ask from God – even though He hears us.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” - I John 5:14, kjv
Let’s keep it simple. If it’s God’s will, he’ll hear our prayers and answer them the way we want Him to. He’ll hear the prayers of the righteous no matter what, but if we don’t get what we ask for, let’s try not to pout. I know it’s not always easy.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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