But Will He Listen?
"Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: ‘Here am I.’ " (Isaiah 58:9)
"Prayer wouldn’t work for me." Such comments are usually made, not because people wonder whether God is there, or even whether He answers prayer, but because they doubt whether their prayers would be answered. Such fears are groundless; for prayer is God’s gift to everyone. But here are some reasons why people don’t pray:
"I’m not a Christian." But the Bible says God loves to hear everyone’s prayers, Christian or not! "O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come" (Psalm 65:2).
"It’s a long time since I prayed." It was probably a long time since the robber who was crucified with Jesus had prayed; but he was still heard, for Jesus assured him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).
"I don’t feel good enough." That’s the whole point! None of us is! The psalmist said, "If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared" (Psalm 130:3-4).
"I’m not sure if God is there." Well, the Bible says, try him out and see! "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).
"I feel so flat." But prayer doesn’t depend on our feelings, but on God’s faithfulness. Jeremiah, who often felt depressed, said, "I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lamentations 3:19-23).
"I’ve drifted away from God." But Jesus says, "Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together" (Revelation 3:20, CEV).
Whatever reason you might have had for not praying, forget it right now! Will your Father listen to you? Of course He will!
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer. (Psalm 17:6)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont