Yesterday I stated that the fact that Jesus prayed ought to be encouragement enough for all of us to communicate in the same way with the Almighty. After all, if the Savior of the world understood the significance of taking the time to pray, shouldn’t we follow His example?
Of course I think we should, but I also get the fact that this is not a cut and dried issue for all. Many people wonder if God really does hear their prayers. I’ve been told countless time by folks that they just don’t seem to get answers to their requests to God. That in itself is subject for its own conversation, but for today let us boil it down to this: When I pray, is anyone listening?
Here’s the short answer: Yes! I have been blessed to have many prayers answered (and remember, No is an answer). I have been privileged to have many share with me how God had answered them. This is all well and good for the purpose of this blog, but like yesterday, why not go directly to the top!
Jesus, just before He brought Lazarus back to life, stopped to pray to His Father. John’s gospel records it like this:
Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” (John 11:41b-42)
Jesus knew that God the Father always heard Him as He prayed. Alright, you might be thinking; but Jesus was the Son of God. Wouldn’t He have an inside line to talk with His Dad? Of course He did! But don’t miss the bigger point here; God the Father was/is listening.
Still not sure that the line is open to you? Check out what these everyday folks found out about who is listening to their prayers. Zechariah, who was to be the Father of John the Baptist, was visited by the angel Gabriel who personally let the old guy know that his prayers had been heard;
But the angel said to him: Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. (Luke 1:13)
Want more evidence that the prayer line is receiving calls? Cornelius, a centurion in the Roman army who became a follower of Jesus, had an angelic encounter in response to his prayers:
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. (Acts 10:4)
Pretty cool, I think! Here we are told that God Himself has heard this man’s prayers (to say nothing of the fact that He also is aware of the other things Cornelius has been doing).
These examples are wonderful, but what if you haven’t had an angel deliver an answer to you directly. I’d say you, like me, are in the vast majority. God, in His wisdom, uses the angelic messengers when He sees best, so take them as the encouragement they are meant to be, not the norm of how God responds. But whether or not Gabriel comes knocking, please know that God does hear your prayers.