Does God Listen When We Pray?

Philip Yancey says that “Is God listening” is a common question for a Christian to ask.[1] And it certainly does seem like at times the ceiling is closed to us, doesn’t it? It’s pretty easy to get discouraged and decide that prayer isn’t really worth it.

But in his book On Earth as It Is in Heaven, Warren Wiersbe describes what is really happening behind the scenes when we pray. He explains how all three members of the Trinity get involved.

First, “The Father hears us and knows our needs even before we ask:”[2]

  • “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).

Second, “The Son intercedes for us and knows exactly how we feel in every situation:”[3]

  • “Christ Jesus… is at the right hand of god and is also interceding for us” (Romans 8:34)
  • “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14–16). 

Third, “The Holy Spirit intercedes for us and directs our requests according to the will of God:”[4]

  • “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26–27). 

So, does God listen when we pray? 1 John 5:14 answers that question quite clearly: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14). Christian, pray confidently, knowing that all of heaven is listening out for you.

  1. Philip Yancey, Prayer (Zondervan, Kindle Edition), p. 16
  2. Warren W. Wiersbe, On Earth as It Is in Heaven (Baker Publishing Group, Kindle Edition), p. 13, emphasis added.
  3. Ibid., emphasis added.
  4. Ibid., emphasis added.

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