Do you sometimes feel that when you pray your words are falling on deaf ears? Does it seem like God is so far away that your faith is beginning to wear thin? I have felt that same way at times and let me tell you girlfriend, you are completely normal. It’s easy to question if God is listening when you aren’t seeing answers. Here is some encouragement for you when you find yourself wondering, “is God really listening?”
I was taking to a friend recently who is going through a tough time. She has been struggling with some difficulties for a while.
She has been praying over her situation also for a long time and has not seen any breakthrough. In fact, as each week goes by, her problems seem to get worse.
I was listening intently, waiting for her to tell me some good news, but there was no evidence of that.
And then she said the words I’ve often voiced myself in hard times. She said, “Karen, I just don’t think God is listening to me”.
She even went as far as to tell me that she really thought God had forgotten her and that she had lost hope.
My heart went out to her as it does for you, whatever you may be facing in this moment.
I don’t know what you are going through or how broken your spirit may be, but please let these words bring comfort to your heart.
Does God Really Hear Our Prayers?
Growing up in church, I have read countless stories in the Bible about how God spoke with people.
I mean, they literally heard His voice! They didn’t have cell phones or texting capabilities…they TALKED.
I’ve often wondered why biblical characters could hear God, but when I talk to Him, all I get are crickets.
How could a loving God not see me in my pain. How could He not hear my prayer? Or when I cried out to Him in the middle of the night?
In moments of desperation I have even asked Him if He was still there.
It’s easy to feel this way when we do not see any change in our troubling situations. If you have had these same thoughts as I have, know this- you are not alone.
And, you are not any less of a Christian for asking God if He is listening. He already knows your thoughts, doubts, and fears.
In the midnight hours when you feel alone and unheard, He is there! And He hears.
And, you might even be listening for Him. Your heart may be turned to Him and ready when He speaks.
And still He remains silent.
While I understand your frustration, I can assure you of this: your Heavenly Father knows exactly where you are and He absolutely hears your prayers.
Every tear you’ve shed He holds near.
What we must understand in the quiet and in the waiting, when we don’t think He is listening, is that first and foremost He is a God of love.
He will never abandon us and leave us in our pain to figure this life out on our own.
Even when we don’t see Him moving to meet our need, He is working everything out for our good.
Knowing that God loves us immensely allows us to submit to His will even when we don’t know what is ahead. One of my favorite passages in the Bible is from Job 10:12 which says, “You gave me life and faithful love, and Your care has guarded my life.”
If you look at this verse by itself it seems that Job had a very peaceful, happy life.
But just a few verses earlier, Job is wondering if God is going to return him to dust with all that he is going through.
Somehow, someway, Job mustered up the courage to acknowledge that God was watching over Him despite His circumstances.
Another thing we need to remember when we don’t feel God is hearing our prayers is that He is a faithful God.
We’ve heard it said before that God is never early and He is never late.
His timing is not our timing.
Because He knows us and is well acquainted with our need, He is seeing to it that the outcome will draw us closer to Him.
What To Do When You Think God Isn’t Listening
You may be thinking, “okay that’s great but what am I supposed to do while I am waiting for God to do something about my situation?”
I believe that there are five things that God wants us to do in the wait.
Practicing these things everyday helps us to keep our focus on God and not on ourselves or our need.
Understand that His silence does not mean He is ignoring you
I love the saying, “God answers us in three ways – Yes, No, and Not Now!” Sometimes it isn’t always clear because we don’t always hear His answer just like that.
Sometimes we don’t hear anything at all. So naturally, as humans we don’t think God is listening to our prayers.
But, He is and He is working in our lives even when we can’t see it, feel it, or hear it.
Isaiah 55: 8-9 tells us that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways, they are higher and greater than ours.
When we expect to have an answer from God immediately and we don’t, we can trust that not only does He hear, He is working out a greater plan. One that we may not see or know right away.
Worship brings us to a place of reverence before God. Our worship places Him as Lord over our lives and gives Him the reigns to move on our behalf.
If you are in a place where you feel far from God and worship may not come easy, open up a Bible to the book of Psalm, make up a tune and start singing Scripture.
Praise Him for being on the throne. Praise Him for the eternal life we will have with Him.
Surrender Your Burdens to Him
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 to cast all of our cares on the Lord because He cares for us. But so often we want to carry it all.
We’ve convinced ourselves that we are capable of being in charge and so we hold onto our burdens.
We strap them on our shoulders like an old worn out backpack.
We wake up with them, we sleep with them (unless our minds are filled with so much worry that we can’t sleep), and we talk about them.
All the while, Jesus is telling us to leave our worries at His feet. Friend, we were not promised an easy life on earth.
And I don’t know what you are facing right now. But know this ~ you were never meant to carry your burdens alone.
Today, wherever you are, surrender all of your cares to God. He longs to carry them for you!
Thank Him For Bringing You Closer to Him
When we are at a place where we are completely dependent on God, our faith will be strengthened as a result.
Our trials have a way of bringing us closer to God.
It may not seem like it when you are in the thick of it, but each situation we go through is another step toward oneness with God.
Let me be clear. God does not bring troubles our way. Because we live in a fallen world where there is sin and pain, it is inevitable even as Christians that we will have struggles.
We may never know why God allows us to go through difficult times this side of eternity.
And He very well may choose to use what we go through to draw us closer to Him. Thank Him for loving us so much that despite our circumstances He is still leading us to Him.
Acknowledge That He Is God And We Are Not
Can I be honest and tell you that this is probably the hardest thing for me to remember. Now, I know that I am not God.
But I sure do think that I have it all figured out at times. But, He sees the beginning from the end and knows what we need, when we need it.
What a relief that is!! We don’t have to have it all figured out. Even when God chooses to remain silent and we question if He is really listening.
Let me assure you today friend ~ He is! Because He is God and we are not, He will answer us in His time.
I hope that you have found some encouragement today. If you would like prayer, I would be honored to pray for you. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org