Some people feel that prayer is just a waste of time, that no one is listening. Others have tried to pray but feel that they got no answer. One atheist conjured up an idea of what he imagined God to be and then prayed: “Just give me a little whisper.” But he said that God maintained “stately silence.”
Yet, the Bible assures us that there is a personal God and that he does hear prayers. The Bible records this statement to a people long ago: “He [God] will surely show you favor at the sound of your cry for help; he will answer you as soon as he hears it.” (Isaiah 30:19) Another Bible verse says: “The prayer of the upright is a pleasure to Him.”
Jesus prayed to his Father, “and he was favorably heard.”
The Bible also recounts examples of those whose prayers were heard. One verse says that Jesus offered up “petitions . . . to the One who was able to save him” and that “he was favorably heard.” (Hebrews 5:7) Other examples can be found at Daniel 9:21 and 2 Chronicles 7:1.
Why, then, do some people feel that their prayers are not answered? To be heard, we must pray only to the God of the Bible, Jehovah, * not to any other god or to ancestors. God also requires that we “ask according to his will”
Many people believe that prayer is not just a religious exercise but that God does listen to prayers and answers them. Isaac, from Kenya, says: “I prayed for help to understand the Bible. Soon afterward, someone approached me and offered the help I needed.” In the Philippines, Hilda wanted to quit smoking. After repeated failures, her husband suggested, “Why not pray to God for help?” She applied the advice and says: “I was amazed at how He helped me. It was as if I began to lose my desire to smoke. I was able to stop.”
Might God be interested in helping you with your personal concerns that are in harmony with his will?