"Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." (John 11:41-42)
Those are the words Jesus prayed right before He raised Lazarus from the dead. A Bible study I was working on earlier today made a comment about Jesus' confidence in God hearing His prayers. I hadn't noticed that before, but now I can't stop thinking about it.
Yes, Jesus was God. But when He walked on this earth, He was human and He was subject to the same limitations as we are. Jesus seems very sure that God heard His prayers from these verses. He didn't question whether that was the case. He operated as if it was always true.
That makes me wonder about my own life. About my own prayer life.
Do I pray with confidence that God hears my prayers? Or do I often feel like I'm just talking to myself when I pray?
The honest truth is that I don't always pray with a confidence that God hears my prayers. Life sometimes makes it seem like there's no possible way God could actually have heard my prayers. But, there are also moments when I do have confidence God hears my prayers.
But when I look at Scriptures like this, it's something I want to have all the time. I want to pray with confidence that God hears my prayers. I want to pray with confidence that God will answer.
So, how do we get there? What do we do to begin to be able to pray with confidence that God is hearing and will answer?
It comes down to making it something you believe in your heart, rather than just knowing in your head. Sometimes that means you have to start acting like you believe it before you actually believe it.
You declare that you know God hears your prayers every time you pray. And over time you just might actually find yourself actually believing it.
I can't tell you how long it might take you. I don't know how long it will take me. It might be a life long process. It might go in seasons of believing it and seasons of struggling to believe it.
But, the one thing I know to be true is that God wants us to grow in our relationship with Him. And He wants us to know that He is listening when we pray. We can be confident of that. And not just know it in our heads, but believe it in our hearts.