“Why doesn’t God hear me pray?” It’s an age-old question. David asked it when he was hiding from Saul who was trying to kill him. Jesus even asked, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” while hanging on the cross.
In the eighth chapter of I First Kings, we are told of the dedication of the temple. David wanted to build a temple for God, but God assigned the task to his son Solomon. Under Solomon’s direction, the craftsman toiled for thirteen years to build the temple.
Cedar and fir trees and stones were imported. Carpenters and craftsmen in brass, silver, and gold were hired to erect the beautiful building and construct its interior. The religious articles were moved, and the day came for the ark to be brought to the new temple.
With much fanfare, the ark containing the stone tablets of the ten commandments was moved to the temple. The building filled with smoke as God took up residence. All the congregation stood, and Solomon dropped to his knees and raised his arms toward heaven.
He began by praising God and his greatness. That’s an excellent way to start any prayer. Then Solomon got to the central theme of the prayer; “God, hear my people pray.” To paraphrase his prayer:
God, when my people go to battle; please, hear their prayers and bring us victory.
God, when the rain doesn’t fall on the land; please, hear our prayers and open the heavens.
God, when pestilence and famine come upon us; please, hear our prayers and deliver us from the torment.
God, when we sin; please, hear our prayers for forgiveness and forgive us.
Upon completion of his prayer, he stood and blessed the congregation. He said:
May the LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us. I Kings 8:57 NASB
It is important to note that not only did Solomon ask God to hear them pray about their problems, but he asked God to listen to their prayers of repentance. Solomon was blessed with great wisdom and understood that a right relationship with God was more important than his problems.
Due to your present circumstances, you may be seeking God for help. Maybe, you’re praying for a loved one with dementia or, you could be praying for yourself—or both.
Like Solomon’s example, it is good to begin prayer with praise. Tell God how good He is. He knows it but likes to hear us say it. Next, I suggest we approach God with a repentant heart. Look at the words of James, the brother of Jesus.
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:8-10 NASB
James teaches that God will come to us if we seek Him; however, He encourages us to be humble and sorrowful when we approach Him. Paul tells us in the book of Romans that everyone has sinned against God, but He is fair and will forgive us. Once we have removed the sin that separates us, then we may make our request known.
During the roughest times of our lives, we draw closest to God. Let this be the time of your life when you drop your anchor the deepest. Praise him! Seek Him! Pray to Him! John Wesley said, “Prayer is where the action is.”
© Copyright 2018 Ron Milburn