Does God always hear our prayers in Heaven?

Sometimes we think God is disconnected from life on Earth. We don't seem to get an immediate or any kind response to our prayers and get discouraged. We wonder if God hears our prayers or if there's any point in praying.

The Bible has instances of people who did not seem to get a response from their prayers. King Saul didn't hear from God at one time(1 Sam. 14:37). King David asks God how long until his prayers are answered when in great distress(Psa. 13). Another occasion has David crying out for help(Psa. 28:2) and asks God to answer him(Psa. 4:1).

Despite all this, the Bible assures us God does hear our prayers. God always knows our whereabouts(Psa. 139:7-12) and hears us from Heaven(Psa. 20:6; 72:12; 2 Chr. 7:12-15). He does not ignore or belittle the suffering or the needy but listens(Psa. 22:23-24). God is our strength and our shield(Psa. 28:7).

Jesus uses the parable of a widow to make a point about persistence(Luke 18:1-8). A widow keeps demanding justice against her adversary from a judge who does not fear God or respect men. At first the judge refuses. After the widow keeps persisting, he acquiesces. The point is not to give up.

Why aren't our prayers always answered?

They are answered, just not always the way we expect. Sometimes the answer is no while other times the answer is delayed. The question we should be asking is what hinders our prayer life.

One problem is if we are arrogant. God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud(Jam. 4:6). Not immediately answering prayer could be God's way of humbling people.

Another factor is making sure your heart is in the right place. We need to repent of sin(Isa. 59:2; Psa. 66:18) as sin interferes with our relationship with God. We also need to make sure we have the right motive(Jam. 4:3) and don't reject God's advice(Pro. 1:24-28) as that can also interfere with prayer.

Another issue is timing. We would like to have our prayers answered instantly, but God's timing is not the same as ours. We won't always understand the timing of God's answers.

Prayers of the righteous are more effective(Jam. 5:16) as God is more attentive to the righteous(Psa. 34:15-17). We don't have to use fancy words or a long speech as God knows what's in our hearts(Psa. 139:4; Matt. 6:8). We cannot please God without faith(Heb. 11:6), so we should pray with thanksgiving(Phil. 4:6) and for the glory of God(John 14:13-14).

Prayers are answered

The Bible has several miracles as God can do all things(Luke 1:37). Abraham had faith and had his son Isaac even though he and his wife were over 90 years old(Gen. 17:15-19; 21:1-7). Hannah had Samuel even though she was barren(1 Sam. 1:20). John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth(Luke 1:57), who was also barren(Luke 1:7). God answers David when David fled Absalom(Psa. 3:3-5).

We have direct access to God after the veil in the temple was torn after Jesus' crucifixion(Matt. 27:51). We don't need to pray to angels or anyone else but God. Under the new covenant we have direct access, unlike the old covenant.

We can be assured in God's Word. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart(Psa. 37:3-4). God will never forsake us(Psa. 16:10; Heb. 13:4-5).

Last updated 5/10/2011