Many Christians have varied responses and views regarding prayer, perhaps the simplest of all Christian disciplines. While some persevere because they know that God answers their prayers, others have given up or at least do not give that much effort to praying anymore because they think God's not listening.
But He actually is listening with ears wide open.
'Call unto Me'
The Bible tells us that God, who is from eternity, searches the world to look for people whose hearts are committed to Him. While His eyes roam the earth, I believe that His ears are also open to hear the cries of His people.
In Jeremiah 33:1-3, we are told that while the prophet Jeremiah was in a tight spot, the Lord God spoke to him and gave him a wonderful invitation,
"Moreover the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying: Thus says the Lord, the Maker of the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it; the Lord is His name: Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:1-3)
God wants us to do the same today. Whatever situation we are in, whether it's a tight spot, a challenging season, or perhaps a restful getaway, God encourages, even commands, us to call to Him and pray to Him.
The question is, will He hear us when we pray?
There are some of us who have been discouraged from praying. Some of them probably tried praying, but didn't receive what they prayed for. Some of them keep praying, but at times what happens is the opposite of what they pray for. Because of this, these brothers and sisters lose heart and the desire to pray.
God, however, is not deaf. When we pray, our prayers do not fall on deaf ears. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 59:1,
"Listen! The Lord's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is His ear too deaf to hear you call."
True enough, when we pray and God doesn't seem to respond, that might actually be His response. We ask for something but don't receive it because we "ask amiss, that [we] may spend it on [our] pleasures" (see James 4:3). Or perhaps what we ask might not be for ourselves, but it still isn't according to the will of God.
When we do ask of what pleases God, though, we are assured that we will receive it. Let's all learn to keep praying – and asking God for what He desires to give to us.
"This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. So if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15)