How many of us can relate to this? I can’t even count the number of times my husband and I were on completely different planets in our conversation! And I think we all know that it’s not just our spouse that we can be this way with. Sometimes it’s our coworker, our boss, family, and friends. We all have times where someone misunderstood us or was just not listening to what we were saying. We have all had that one person who takes what we say and runs with it in a totally different direction. One thing we can be certain of is that God never does that. He sees our heart and understands, even when we can’t express ourselves.
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
Pslam 139:1-4 ESV
Just as God has known all about us before we wore born, he also knows everything about what we think, want, need, and say. This is the case even when we don’t know ourselves what we are thinking, feeling, or trying to say. Those times when life and emotions are so overwhelming that words and coherent thought don’t even enter our heads, God still knows. The Holy Spirit actually intercedes for us in these times, overcoming our faulty human-ness.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 ESV
The Holy Spirit takes what is in our soul and puts it before God. When we are praying, the Holy Spirit searches and determines the innermost thoughts and feelings, things that are too deep for us to even understand about ourselves, and brings those to God.
Because of the Holy Spirit working in and through our prayers, we can know that we will never express ourselves in such a way that God will misunderstand. I use to think that if I wasn’t very specific, God would misunderstand and answer the wrong way. For example, if I prayed “God, please help me find time for my family,” he might decide to have me lose my job. Not exactly what I was going for but it would be my fault because God didn’t understand what I truly was asking for. I just wanted help in making time in my schedule. This is not how it works. God knows what we truly mean. He is more powerful than words. He knows what is in our hearts before we even know it.
What about those days when we feel like God doesn’t hear us? If we are believers, we can be sure that God hears and listens, because he tells us in the Bible that he does so.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
1 Peter 3:2 ESV
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:14-15 ESV
We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.
John 9:31 ESV
For those that believe in Jesus, your prayers are heard. They aren’t just heard, God listens and understands. Despite the mistakes in wording, or the lack of words, God knows what we truly mean. He cares and he answers. It may or may not be what we want in an answer, but the answer will always be the right one.
Do you ever feel like God doesn’t hear your prayer? Write down one of the verses above in order to remind yourself that he does.
Do you ever not know what to say when you are praying? It’s ok. The Holy Spirit does. Just take time and sit in God’s presence.
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