Does God Ever Stop Listening to Prayers?

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Following the most recent argument with your spouse or children, or an episode of grief and depression, maybe just a painful day at work, you come home and fall to your knees. As you cry, you pray within your mind asking God to help ease the pain, to give you direction, even hope. While praying, your emotions swell, the tears continue, and then you say His name aloud, “Jesus.” Though after you speak there is only silence. Doubt creeps in and you wonder, would God ever stop listening to my prayers?

Who hasn’t asked this question before? We have all had our share of experiences involving conflict, whether internal or external. Every believer has sought out God for guidance and assistance at one time or another. That’s what we are called to do, and help is something that God wants to provide (Hebrews 4:16). Sometimes though, when we pray, nothing changes. Our circumstances do not change, and we do not immediately feel better.

While doubt can occur with problems big or small, the long and seemingly unending seasons of hardship often make us question our faith the most. We may utter remarks demonstrative of a failing belief system.

God, why does this keep happening to me?

Lord, why won’t you help me?

God must not love me.

Can you relate to these sentences? If so, you are not alone. What we have to keep in mind is that these remarks are indicative of our feelings. Feelings are not facts, but are instead emotions that we have in the moment. While emotions are useful, they do not always point to what is true. For example, doubt can lead to forgetting an important fact — God hears our prayers. God always hears our prayers. We know this because of God’s love for His children.

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  • Love scrabble pieces on a Bible, Loving God with all of your heart

    The Wonder of God’s Love

    You and I are not unique in our doubting of God’s presence, care, and provision. Sometimes circumstances can lead us to forget the character of God, and focus instead on the more apparent problems. Doubt, however uncomfortable, is a natural feeling to those of the faith. Consider those before us who also struggled — people like David who asked heart-wrenching questions of God.

    “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1)

    Though our questions may be worded differently, the intensity is the same. Though our circumstances may differ from David’s, the doubt we experience is universal. David provides a great example of a man experiencing sorrows and questioning God. Yet, he is also indicative of someone who has come to learn something valuable in His relationship. David recognized that God’s love for people was profound, unusual, and truly divine.

    “When I observe your heavens,

    the work of your fingers,

    the moon and the stars,

    which you set in place,

    what is a human being that you remember him,

    a son of man that you look after him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

    What we can learn from David is that though we experience the emotion of doubt, we have to remind ourselves of fact. Emotions come and go, but truth is everlasting, and the truth of our God is one that does not change with time (Hebrews 13:8). In David’s own words, we see the truth. God cared for him. God cares for us. He cares for us before, during, and after we pray to Him. In reality, though we have the ability to pray to our Lord, He is already aware and concerned with our wellbeing.

    If this is true, and indeed this is truth, why would God ever stop listening to our prayers?

    Don’t just take my word, or even the word of David. Scripture is filled with examples of God’s love, His protection, His care. Every instance is a reminder that God hears our prayers.

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  • <strong>7 Verses about God Hearing Our Prayers</strong>

    7 Verses about God Hearing Our Prayers

    “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

    “Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7)

    “Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; you understand my thoughts from far away...Before a word is on my tongue, you know all about it, Lord.” (Psalm 139:1-2,4)

    “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

    Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

    “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7-8)

    "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him." (1 John 5:14-15)

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  • <strong>Pray and Be Heard</strong>

    Pray and Be Heard

    A number of people in Scripture talk about praying boldly and expectantly while conversing with God. With these examples we are given numerous reminders to practice, not just the act of making requests, but thanking God for who He is, what He does, did, and will do. Jesus also tells us to come to the throne with the reassurance and confidence that God indeed will provide.

    “Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask forbelieve that you have received it and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

    With all of these affirmations of who God is and the power of prayer, we again must address this issue of doubt. Is doubt natural? Yes, but just as doubt is natural, there is a natural solution to assuage this emotion. When doubt creeps into our hearts, we have to find ways to remind ourselves of God’s truth. Finding that reminder in the Word is a powerful way to witness God’s love. Sometimes in Scripture, we get that reminder from God Himself speaking.

    At any time we can also find ways to be reminded by the lives and testimonies of those around us — the people who have also experienced the moments and seasons of doubt. With knowledge of Scripture, and the experience to back it, we can encourage one another. Doubt finds its strength in ignorance. But as members of Christ, we can find strength together and in the knowledge of what God has done for us (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

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    headshot of author Aaron BrownAaron Brown is a freelance writer, dance teacher, and visual artist. He currently contributes articles to GodUpdates, GodTube, iBelieve, and Crosswalk. Aaron also supports clients through the freelance platform Upwork.