When non-Christians ask how to make God hear their prayers, they think that the answer is a step-by-step procedure. Something like: step one – Go to a quiet place; step two – close your eyes; step three – pray with all sincerity. However, the issue of whether God shall hear your prayers or not isn’t an issue of “how” you pray, but rather, it’s whether the person who is praying is in Christ or not. Just because you knelt while praying does not mean that your prayers reach the ears of God. There is something else that you should know. From that, you will know if God hears your prayers or not.
What stops God from hearing our prayers?
First, we need to understand sin. Sin is evil and cannot dwell with God. In the Old Testament, no one could freely come before the holy of holies in the Temple because it was the hotspot of God’s presence. If anyone who had sin (also not a priest who had gone through a ritual) entered, that person would immediately die; not because God struck the person down but because a person with sin cannot dwell with the holiness of God. It is similar to when God told Moses to stop coming near Him because He is so holy that it could kill anyone who is not 100% holy like God. The point is that sin cannot dwell with God, which is why we also cannot be with God.
And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
God is holy, and we are not. We are separated from God but also enemies of God because we are sinners. God hates the wicked and has made that clear in the Bible. So it is not like God is a deaf God Who cannot hear prayers. That is not the case. The Bible teaches us that God’s arms are not too short to save, nor His ears too dull to hear. It is just that we are eternally separated from Him because of sin.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear
God is a just, holy, and righteous God. That is why not only are we separated from Him, but we are also recipients of His wrath. No amount of good works can save a person from God’s wrath nor make him or her closer to God because as long as even one sin is found in a person, he or she is doomed to eternal damnation. The thing is, the Bible also tells us that all of us have sinned. Therefore, we are all bound to hell, and our prayers also do not reach God at all, no matter what we do.
The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Another thing to note as to why God does not hear our prayers is that our prayers may be done not out of faith. When we pray, we pray out of trust toward God. 1 John 5:14 shows us that when we pray, we have confidence knowing that God answers prayers that are within His will. Praying in faith means trusting God, His power, and also His infinite wisdom. So just because we prayed something and God didn’t answer, that does not mean God didn’t hear your prayers. It only means He knows better. Praying out of faith is not about getting all that we want but about trusting God, Who knows better and is capable of everything. In James 1:17, we learn that God only gives good gifts to His children.
Also, praying amiss could be another reason why God does not hear our prayers. When we pray and commune with God, we do it on His terms, not ours. In Matthew 6:5-14, Jesus gave us an example of how we ought to pray using the Lord’s prayer. He also taught us not to heap up empty phrases when we pray, and that praying should not be done to make ourselves look good in public. The Bible has described to us what prayer should be. In simpler words, prayer is us communicating and communing with respect and reverence for God before His presence. It is done out of one’s relationship with God.
How can I make God hear my prayers?
Now that we know that it is our sin that stops God from hearing our prayers and keeps us separated from Him, then what? That is where the Gospel comes in. Christ came to live the sinless life we should have lived, died the death we should have died, and rose from the grave after three days. He proved that He is indeed the Son of God and showed that He had conquered death itself. Christ offers eternal life and freedom from sin to anyone who repents and believes in Who He is and what He has done on the cross. It is about repenting and believing, not good works. That is why it is all done through God’s grace, and we can never boast about anything.
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
[1 Thessalonians 4:14]
[1 Corinthians 15:1-58]
If before, we were regarded as enemies of God because of our sins, if a person is in Christ, he or she receives adoption as God’s children, and they can call Him “Father.” That is a big transition right there—from being an alienated enemy to being a son or daughter of God. No one could call Yahweh or God “Father” in the Old Testament. But in Christ, He has given us the privilege to call God our “Father” with respect and reverence.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
God’s wrath has been satisfied because of what Christ has done on the cross. Christ restored peace between those who are in Christ and God. Believers also get to have access to God’s throne of grace, by which they can ask God for grace and mercy. Christ also broke the dividing wall of hostility between God and man. That is why the Bible tells us that Christ tore the veil. No amount of good works or specific ritual procedures similar to those in the Old Testament shall enable someone to come before the presence of God because, for those in Christ, the presence of God dwells in them. We are called the Temple of God because the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The answer to the question “How can I pray so that God hears me?” is not to advise “how” but rather to evaluate if you are in Christ. Of course, there is a proper way to pray. But, the foundation of it all is whether you are in Christ or not. If you are in sin, God does not hear your prayers. But if you are in Christ, God does not only hear your prayers, but you can come to Him as your heavenly Father. In Christ, we not only can pray to God but we can also thank Him, praise Him, adore Him, and worship Him.
Heavenly Father, I thank You because You are a gracious and merciful God. We did not deserve the gift of salvation in Christ, yet You still sent Your Son Jesus to die for us on the cross so that we may find forgiveness of our sins and eternal life in Him. Christ restored my relationship with You, and I can come before You freely, for You are my heavenly Father in Christ. Thank You because You are always with me, whether in good or bad times. I can always pour out my heart to You in prayers because Your presence dwells in me. You never leave me nor forsake me. Give me the grace to always fight for my prayer time with You and always remind me what a privilege it is to be able to pray to You, knowing that it is all Your grace upon me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
That is also one of the reasons why we always end our prayers with “In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.” We don’t pray out of our righteousness, knowing that would bring us closer to God, because it never would. Instead, we pray in the name of Jesus because only through Him and in Him can we have access to God.