May 10, 2022

Does God Hear Me The First Time I Pray?


Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me. John 11:41-42

How many times do you need to pray the same prayer asking God to do the same thing, before He hears you?

Jesus knew that this would be a question we’d all struggle with.  He told a story about a widow who had been wronged and needed justice.  She lived in a town where there was an uncaring judge who refused to listen to her case (Luke 18).

Day after day, she returned with the same request.  Finally, the judge relented, saying, “Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!” (Luke 18:4-5).

This story encourages us to persevere in prayer, but the uncaring judge isn’t a stand-in for God.  The New Testament says clearly that prayer is based on the relationship of a child with the father.  The Bible tells us that we are adopted by our heavenly Father and become His children through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:4-7).

Jesus taught his disciples to “always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1 NIV).

There are times when we need to prevail in prayer, asking God to do what is in agreement with His character and with His will revealed in Scripture.  We continue to ask, with thanksgiving, not because He hasn’t heard us but because it causes us to keep our focus on God.  He hears us the very first time we call, but we expectantly continue to petition Him because His timing is usually different than ours!


Resource reading: 1 John 5:13-21