When I started “waking up” out of my postpartum depression, I turned to the Psalms.
I had been struggling with the concept of prayer and feeling like God wasn’t listening to my desperate pleas. Upon diving into the Psalms, I discovered that King David had quite the opposite view:
- “The Lord will answer when I call to him.” 4:3
- “I bring my requests to [God] and wait expectantly.” 5:3
- “The Lord will answer my prayer.” 6:9
I should have been encouraged, but I wasn’t at first. Of COURSE God would answer David’s prayers. Wasn’t he known as a man after God’s own heart? Surely he had some sort of golden ticket when it came to prayer.
But these sorts of statements are littered throughout the Psalms… even when David hadn’t acted quite like the golden child. Even after he had committed adultery and subsequently, murder, in an attempt to cover up his actions. Even then, he still knew God not only heard his prayers, but He would answer them:
“Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry. I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.” Psalm 86:6-7
God answered David’s prayers time and time again. He gave battle strategies, rescued David in times of danger, forgave him and comforted him when he was at his worst. God blessed David.
David wasn’t the only one who saw his prayers answered. Here are just a few more examples:
- In the heat of battle, Joshua sought God for help. “…in front of all the people of Israel” he prayed a bold prayer for the sun and moon to stand still. God answered this request and the nation of Israel was victorious. Joshua 10:12-14
- King Hezekiah was threatened by the king of Assyria. In short, Israel was being taunted and God was being mocked by this outsider who believed quite highly in himself. King Hezekiah responded by desperately praying for God to intervene. God’s response? “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Because you prayed…” God Himself protected and defended the city! Isaiah 37:21-37
- Elijah put his reputation on the line when he asked God to do what Baal could not: create a fire for a sacrifice out of thin air. Even though the alter had been drenched in water, “immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood the stones, and the dust. it even licked up all the water in the trench!” 1 Kings 18:38
- Daniel pleaded on behalf of his people while they were in exile in Babylon. In response, God sent an angel with a message: “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” Daniel 9:23
There are so many more examples in the Bible of God hearing and answering prayers. What I love about these particular moments is the glaring fact that all of these things happened as a result of the prayer itself. There cannot be an answer if we do not make the request in the first place.
God hears our prayers. Don’t give up praying even when it feels like He isn’t listening. Keep praying even when it doesn’t make sense.
- What battles could be won…
- What lives could be changed…
- What mountains could fall…
- What miracles could happen…
…because you prayed?
“I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.” Psalm 17:6