God hears our prayers and desires for us to be in a right relationship with him. Unfortunately, we often seek God as the last resort after our own failed attempts at getting what we need or want. We may go to him even though we have no real faith, no desire to change, and no heart for a relationship with him. We may have sinful behavior or motives sitting between us, but we still send our prayers to God. We want to be clear that this type of prayer does not work as praying is much more than sending requests to a cosmic wishing well.
God loves us and wants to be in direct relationship with each of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and loves us more than we love ourselves. He has died for our sins so we can be forgiven and desires that we come to him with faith, trust and confidence in him. He tells us to pray according to his will and not our own. When we pray according to his will, and seek things that glorify him, then he answers our prayers. We should do this knowing and trusting the character and promises of God. And when we do that, we may not get answers that align with our requests, but we receive a peace that goes beyond what we can find on our own.
Part of trusting God means we also understand that his answer may be “no” or “not now”. He answers our prayers with a perfect and eternal perspective. That may mean he has something better in mind or his timing is different than ours. When we trust God, we recognize that his wisdom exceeds ours and his response is the best possible answer. That is true even when the answer is completely different than what we desire and we can’t understand how it is good for us. In the end, God makes all things beautiful in time. He loves us too much to give us all that we seek when we have no idea what the future holds or what is truly best for us.
Whether God answers prayer is a big question and we would love to discuss it with you.