What Does God Want to Hear From Us?
God wants to hear everything and anything from us!
Prayer. What joy we experience when we take the time to focus on our great God. Whether we think we pray enough or not, we know we can never spend too much time talking to our heavenly Father.
We know God’s Word calls for us to pray, and we sense God’s wooing to focus on Him, but the challenge comes when any number of obstacles bombard us. We can question whether we’re praying in the right way. We can wonder if God hears us. We hear someone else pray beautifully, and we believe we aren’t eloquent. We hesitate to pray when others are listening.
When I was a little girl, somehow I understood that God was only interested in hearing about the “big things.” I didn’t really understand what was in the category of “big things,” but the idea definitely gave me the idea God’s interest in me and my life was limited and picky. TWEET THAT!!!!!
The doubts and confusion like I experienced can swirl around in our minds and hearts and block our confidence in seeking God. And then when our prayers aren’t answered the way we asked, we conclude God doesn’t love us. We can even claim biblical “promises” about prayer but the answers still seem a part of some big mystery we don’t understand.
Truly, there are many blocks and much to learn. The most wonderful thing is God invites us to seek Him while He continues to teach us. There is hope.
Let’s look at a variety of Bible passages to see different aspects of prayer.
Acts 1:15-24. The remaining eleven apostles believe they should pick another apostle to join them. it is curious and instructive that the Apostles first narrowed the possibilities down to two candidates for one to replace Judas. Then they asked God for guidance to choose one of them. These verses show one way prayer includes our own involvement.
Jesus had personally picked each of the disciples in the beginning, so it made sense to them even in the early days of the church, that they should pray to ask Him to choose the next man for leadership.
I Timothy 4:3-5. Although we can apply this passage to what we call “saying grace” at a meal, it refers to everything in our lives. In verse 3, Paul says it refers to marriage. Overall, whatever God has allowed is good and can be received as a good gift as it is dedicated in prayer.
James 1:5: Although God wants to give us wisdom about everything, in the context of this particular passage, James says these persecuted Christians should ask for wisdom in how to respond to the intense trials and temptations they are facing.
I Peter 4:7: Of course, we can and should pray whether we’re joyful or sad. But in this context, Peter is warning his Christian friends they will be facing a difficult time which requires special seriousness. Peter could be using “the end of all things” to refer to each person as they face death. Or it could refer to some catastrophic event including persecution. Neither Peter nor his readers could have known their “world” of Jerusalem would soon be coming to an end, because its destruction by Nero wasn’t far off (70 A.D.).
Matthew 7:7-11 These verses don’t specifically indicate what our prayers should refer to, so therefore we can safely say they are urging us to pray about everything. Everything and anything can be brought to the Father’s attention. Of course, God already knows about it all. God’s purpose is to comfort and strengthen our confidence to know God cares and wants to respond to us.
When I was a child, I thought God was only interested in hearing my prayers for the “big things.” Now I know our loving heavenly Father wants us to bring every single concern we have and every part of our lives to Him because they are all of interest to Him. He only intends to answer and provide whatever is best for us. We may not consider His answer to be for our good at the time, but if we trust Him, we can receive His answer with thanksgiving.
How about you? Have you struggled with thinking God is limited in His desire to hear from you? Or maybe you have always felt like He wanted to hear about everything from you. Please share. I’d love to hear your perspective.
(This is an adapted excerpt from my women’s Bible study on prayer, Whispers of My Heart. Check it out at:https://www.amazon.com/Whispers-Heart-Daughters-Bible-Study/dp/194443092X/