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Why does God listen to our prayers?

October 20, 2014 No Comment

by Don Schiemann

Rev. Don Schiemann

Rev. Don Schiemann

Come, my soul, with ev’ry care,
Jesus loves to answer prayer;
He Himself has bid thee pray,
Therefore will not turn away (LSB 779:1).

Every triennium Lutheran Church–Canada adopts a theme. The theme serves as a focus and an emphasis for our work together as a church body. The theme for the 2014-17 triennium is “Come to Him Who Answers Prayer,” based on Psalm 65:2. Accompanying the theme, Rev. Kurt Reinhardt offered a wonderful essay at the 2014 synodical convention on the topic of prayer. Appropriately, the essay was titled “As Dear Children Ask Their Dear Father.”

The theme is an invitation to come before our Heavenly Father, to ask Him to work providentially and graciously in our lives, in the lives of God’s people and in the lives of others for whom we pray. We are motivated to pray by God’s Word and promises which work in our lives and move us to “fear, love and trust in God above all things.”  Acknowledging Him as our God, in love we come to Him trusting that He will hear and answer our prayers according to His will for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acknowledging Him as our God, in love we come to Him trusting that He will hear and answer our prayers according to His will for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Thou art coming to a King,
Large petitions with thee bring;
For His grace and pow’r are such
None can ever ask too much. (v.2)

Many a preacher has lamented on the state of the prayer life of his people. And, if he were honest, that lament would often apply to his own prayer life as well. It’s not so much that people don’t pray; it’s that much prayer never really recognizes the breadth and the depth of God’s invitation to pray. He does not invite you and me to pray simply so that we can do well on an exam or get through a traffic jam so we can arrive at work on time. He is concerned with all of life and so He invites us also to bring “large petitions.”

I confess that I don’t think I ever realized how large these petitions could be until I found myself in a situation which was beyond any ability I had to deal with. It’s been almost ten years since my son was killed. I well remember how completely and utterly helpless I felt. Through the tears and the pain, I could only cry out “God, help me!”. I had no idea what that help would look like, when it would come or how it would come. I simply and desperately responded to the invitation in God’s Word: “Come to Him who answers prayer.”  Almost a decade later, I can say that in the largest and smallest of ways God has answered my prayer.

With my burden I begin:
Lord, remove this load of sin;
Let Thy blood, for sinners spilt,
Set my conscience free from guilt. (v.3)

Why? Why would the holy God, the creator of this vast universe, stoop to hear our prayers? Why would He care? Why would He bother? It is simply that, for the sake of His Son, He loves you and me. His own Son was obedient to His heavenly Father and laid down His life at Calvary’s cross to atone for our sin. God raised His Son from the dead and has conquered death on our behalf. He sent His Spirit into our hearts to bring us to repentance and faith and through Christ, our heavenly Father embraces us with all of the love, mercy and grace that we long for. You and I are now His dear children and He is our dear Father.

Why? Why would the holy God, the creator of this vast universe, stoop to hear our prayers? It is simply that, for the sake of His Son, He loves you and me.

Through Christ we have access to the very heart of God! He loves to hear and answer our prayers, often in ways that are far beyond all that we could ask or imagine. In whatever situation you may find yourself, no matter how desperate the situation may be, in faith, come to Him, your Heavenly Father, who loves you with an everlasting love. He hears and answers prayer!

———————

Rev. Don Schiemann is President of the Alberta-British Columbia District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

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