“God, Are You Listening?”
Persevering when prayers seem unanswered
Sometimes it feels like God isn’t answering our prayers.
It is exciting when we ask God for something and he immediately grants our request. But what about when we keep praying for a particular person or need, and nothing seems to happen? We can feel discouraged or start to doubt God. We might start to wonder, “Is God not listening? Or does he not care?”
God is a loving Father who wants what is best for us.
When parents care about their child, they don’t say yes to every request he makes. This is not because they are not listening or don’t care, but because they love him and want what is best for him. In the same way, God loves us and knows what is best for us. He wants to help us grow into the saint that he is calling us to be.
As a loving Father, sometimes God says “no.”
We might ask the Lord for a particular job, for example, and not get hired. It could be that he knows that this is not actually what we need, and he has something better planned for us. Looking back on the things we have asked God for over the years, we can probably recognize many situations where we are now grateful that God told us no!
Sometimes God says, “not yet.”
Prayer often takes time. We might be praying for years for a friend to believe in God, for example, and feel like nothing is happening. But we keep at it, and one day, the friend suddenly comes to faith! Prayer has been compared to an axe cutting away at a tree: the tree will come down, but not in one stroke. One might cut at the tree hundreds of times with seemingly no results, but then all of a sudden the tree comes crashing down!
Prayer brings us closer to God, even in hardships.
Being a follower of Jesus does not mean that we won’t experience grief, pain, or hardships. After all, the Lord experienced all of these things, and we shouldn’t expect any less. (John 15:20) In our daily prayer time, we experience Jesus walking with us, and he helps us carry our burdens. In prayer, we receive strength to keep trusting in God during difficult times.
Persevere in prayer!
Jesus gave the example of a man who keeps knocking at his neighbor’s door, not giving up until the neighbor opens the door and helps. (Luke 11:5-10) That’s how we should be in prayer. Keep knocking, and don’t give up! But remember that prayer isn’t just about asking God for things. Give him thanks for your blessings, praise him for his goodness, and enjoy being with him!