Let’s ask ourselves, what good is prayer? Does God really hear us when we pray? If so, why would he choose to listen, anyway?
First, let’s look at Jeremiah 33:3. The prophet was in confinement when he wrote this passage: “Call to me and I will answer you. I will show you mighty things which you do not know.”
In Mark 10:46, a blind beggar was sitting by the road. He called to Jesus, even when people tried to tell him to hush. The blind beggar received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
It’s not our surroundings or our circumstances that determine whether God answers our prayers or not. It’s what’s in our heart. James 4:3 says we have not because we ask not.
What obstacles keep us from praying to God?
Obstacle #1: Success.
As humans we feel the need for self-sufficiency and independence. However, God needs us to be dependent on him. If our success causes us to withdraw from God, he may take our success away.
Obstacle #2: Worries.
When we have troubles, sometimes we can’t focus on anything else. We kneel before God, and the devil brings the late house payment to our mind, or we are reminded of an upcoming evaluation at work.
Obstacle #3: Frustration.
God does not always work on our timetable. When we have lifted concerns to him in prayer, and we don’t feel he’s heard us, we no longer see the point in wasting our time.
We mustn’t let these obstacles defeat us. Jeremiah 29:12 offers this promise: “You will pray to me, and I will answer you.” Look at Paul. He had great plans for the Lord, yet in the midst of all he wanted to do, he had a serious falling out with his closest companion. That caused him to take off a different direction with another of the believers. Then, door after door slammed in his face.
Nothing seemed to work out for Paul. None of his prayers were being answered.
Later, he had a vision of a man from Macedonia pleading with him to help, and the message of Jesus Christ began to spread throughout Europe for the first time.
God saying no to Paul's first idea was to allow him to do something better at a later time.
God listens to our prayers because he loves us and wants to bless us. When we choose to pray, the devil loses, and everyone else gains.
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Rewind Wednesday: Originally Published on April 26, 2013 in Prayer