If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. -John 15:7 (ESV)
We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. -John 9:31 (NLT)
Do you ever wonder if God is hearing your prayers? What’s often said is that God hears all our prayers, and will give us a yes, no, or maybe. But is it good theology?
Now, it would be hard to invent a neater trick than this to save face for the petitioner whose requests have been rejected for non-obedience. Thus when a prayer is not answered he has but to smile brightly and explain, “God said No.” It is all so very comfortable. His wobbly faith is saved from confusion and his conscience is permitted to lie undisturbed. But I wonder if it is honest. -A.W. Tozer, Man: The Dwelling Place of God
It’s our motives and our alignment with or apart from Christ that first determine whether He hears us, and, second, whether He will answer our prayers. What we pray will not change God’s will or plans, so when we pray in His will, and we are also living and walking in His will for us, we can expect an answer.
A Cru article summarizes how we can pray with confidence:
- Abide: Live in faith and obedience, surrendering and confessing all to Him.
- Ask: When you truly abide in Christ and Him in you, what you ask will align with His will.
- Believe: This is where true faith buoys you, built in seeing God’s delivered promises in His Word, fellowship with other believers, and acting on strong, inspired impressions and convictions.
- Receive: By faith, you claim the answer to your request, because of all of the above, you know you are abiding in God’s will.
Never stop praying, but be sure to always submit your petitions to His will, and to surrender all in your life–your motivations, your plans, your dreams–to Him, and He will hear and answer!