Does God Hear Our Prayers?

Praying to God for healing is a difficult thing for me. It is a wrestling match between my will and the will of God. It is a deep yearning to lay down my desires for God’s desires. Yet my emotions tell me I want people I love to be whole, to not suffer. It hit me again this week when I found out a coworker who retired last year has terminal cancer and a year to live.

This struggle of wills reminds me of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:1-6. After he became ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz said to him, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover (verse 1, NIV).” These are words we do not want to hear from the doctor: “Your cancer is terminal.” They are words I have heard about a loved one: “He will not make it through the night.”

Hezekiah turned away from Isaiah in his bed and faced the wall. He prayed to God, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes (verse 3).” I can feel Hezekiah’s grief as he wept bitterly. I have found myself reciting a similar prayer when devoted followers of Christ I know have died; when friends contract terminal cancer. “Lord, these are people who have followed you; righteous people dedicated to serving you. Why?” In prayer I plead as Hezekiah did, “Lord, these people have walked faithfully with you; they are devoted to you.”

God heard Hezekiah’s plea, his prayer. In verse 4-5 he tells the prophet Isaiah to go back and tell him, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and he hears our prayers. Yet it is a matter of God’s will, his plan, whether he heals. God added 15 years to Hezekiah’s life, but not just because of Hezekiah’s will or his righteous acts. “And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

God chose to heal Hezekiah for his purposes; for his sake and for the sake of his servant David. God chose to continue to use Hezekiah. It seems I always want what I want and I don’t understand why God does what he does. But that is the element of faith in him. Part of the process of opening up to God in prayer is to also open up our heart to God; to share with him the deep desires of our heart and to know he hears our prayers. The answer to our prayers, our pleas, is to rest in God’s will for our life and the lives of those we dearly love in this world.

© 2019 CGThelen

22 thoughts on “Does God Hear Our Prayers?

  1. This is a beautiful post . I am not focused on my problems but on God for only there can true help come . he said he would give us strength to over come the adversities we may face . I know I would face problems but God will be there at all times .
    This made me remember Jesus , he faced death but he never gave up even to his last breath and God’s plan for us is that we may be like Christ . so I’m sure he has given us that same strength .
    So many thoughts are just coming in as am typing this .
    There’s a portion of the bible that says , that same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in us and quickens our mortal bodies. So that means we have the power to overcome the trials and tribulations . but how can we truly exercise this power . its by constantly walking in the lord and be fervent in the spirit not walking in the ways of the world. I pray we all have the strength to overcome all our problems and God will guide us through it

    1. Your comment reminds me of Revelation 21:7: “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” If we endure the trials of this world and remain faithful to God, we become overcomers. Indeed, we need to tap into the power of the Spirit to help us overcome the world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. I struggle with prayer on two separate though interconnected fronts. I struggle with the surrender to his ways, and I struggle with the temptation to NOT pray at all so as to avoid investing my heart in ANYTHING and then getting disappointed. Both, I think, are ungodly. Thanks for your post!

  3. My eGroup is currently reading “It Wasn’t Supposed to be this Way” by Lysa TerKeurst. She shares her thoughts and the Scripture about this topic and makes it so easy to understand. So many things in our lives don’t go as planned and we say we trust God, but do we? I like how Holy Spirit is convicting me and helping me look further into scripture on this subject of healing and wholeness. You may enjoy it too as a lot of what you said she shares too and explores more deeply.

    I always enjoy your thoughts and transparency in your posts. I know I want to trust God for healing and then sometimes am like, “But it’s been soooooo long.” Then I hope I’m not like the paralytic spending 38 years by the pool waiting for someone to stir the water when all I needed to do was look up and trust!

    1. That sounds like a great book on this topic. I will add that to the top of my reading list. I appreciate your feedback on my posts. Life can be so challenging at times, but it is in those moments that our faith becomes real. In the midst of some very trying times I have experienced God’s love in some very powerful ways. Trials have enriched my faith. God has taught me that sharing those experiences, being transparent, is important to helping others grow in their faith. I pray God will fill you with his peace; that he will deepen your faith; that he will continue to reveal his truth to you. Blessings.

  4. I think part of the reason God answered Hezekiah’s prayers is first because he was righteous and obeyed God but also because he had a relationship with God, which I believe is what prayer is all about. The question is will we have a relationship with God when we pray for healing and we hear back “No”? This is a big test and I have heard some “nos” before. But they didn’t turn me away from God (although I was tempted). God is much more to me than a “no.” God is the love of my life.

    1. Yes, relationship with God is so important. When we get a “no” it is a test of our faith. God is so much bigger, so much wiser than I am. There have been times in my life when I have been glad God said no. My faith has grown as he patiently teaches me what’s best for me.

  5. I think that, for many, our (human) concept of death is different from God’s. I don’t pretend to know God’s concept of death, but I do think, in His eyes, it is not the horrible, tragic event we make it out to be. God knows the other side, and He knows His will. He is the God of life and death.
    Suffering comes in many forms: some is physical, some is emotional or mental; some is short-term and some is long-term. Suffering is how we learn and humble ourselves and draw closer to God.

  6. It is often said that God works in mysterious ways. I guess, in some ways, it is mysterious to us. We don’t always know why He does what He does or doesn’t do what He doesn’t do. It is a matter of faith for us to trust in Him and know that whatever He decides will be the best thing for us. This isn’t always easy but He always comes through. That has been the experience in my life.

    1. Yes, sometimes things make more sense later. It just seems I am slow to pick up on what God is trying to do. I guess that is the journey of faith — learning to trust God’s will even when it does not make sense to me. What a good and patient God we serve!

    2. I have come to understand that God does not work in mysterious ways . his works are plain we just don’t have all the knowledge of it . we might be confused about certain things that is happening in our life and think it is God that is making us go through that pains . but I don’t think there’s pain with God or death . you can’t give what you don’t have . but we shouldn’t be focused on our problems but on him. Sometimes its not easy but its a conscious work . he always comes through for us

      1. It is difficult to focus on God, to realize we don’t have complete knowledge. Having faith in God means we trust him and his ways. In this life we have pain and suffering — even Jesus experienced it in the flesh, but God promises us eternal life and no more pain: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” -Revelation 21:4. Thanks for the comment.

  7. What you have written so well is a struggle for most (if not all) Christians, if they will be honest about it. We pray to the God who saves us and has made so many wonderful promises, yet our family, friends and co-workers still face these painful struggles. I know it has been, and sometimes still is, a hurdle for me to get over.
    Allow me to share with you what my mentor did with me as I laid out my heart ache over the issue you have mentioned. He reminded that God does indeed want us to open up and pour out our requests to Him and the face of adversity should not discourage us. What he said next is what has truly helped me: Prayer is ultimately the means God has given us to get to know Him more intimately. Thus, my prayers and petitions are really to help me find God’s purpose in any given situation. Of course we want the people we care about to be whole, but unfortunately this broken world prevents that. For me it boils down to this: I pray that God allow me to know more of His heart in order that I may bring Him praise ad glory through the struggles we all face.
    Blessings and thanks for this wonderful entry,
    Pastor Chuck

    1. Thank you for this thoughtful comment and sharing your insight. It has taken me years to finally see that prayer, as you said, helps us find “God’s purpose in any given situation.” A commentary I read on this passage pointed out that Hezekiah turned to face the wall when he prayed to have an intimate moment with God; to lay his heart before God. He wasn’t pleading to God as a show to others. Thanks so much for your words. May we all desire a heart after God and be strengthened by the Spirit to accept His will. Blessings to you this day.

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