In a world filled with noise, it can feel like no one is really listening. We cry out, but does anyone hear? According to the Bible, there is a God who hears our every prayer and petition. He inclines His ear to us, and is moved with compassion by our troubles.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The God of the Bible declares Himself to be a God who hears our prayers. Throughout Scripture, He invites His people to call on Him in times of need, assuring them He is ready to listen and respond.
In this article, we will unpack the meaning of the phrase ‘The God Who Hears’ by looking at Bible verses about God hearing prayer. We will explore how God’s listening ear demonstrates His personal care for His people and examine the connection between God’s hearing and His action on our behalf.
The God Who Hears: What Scripture Says
Old Testament Examples of God Hearing
Throughout the Old Testament, we see numerous examples of God hearing and responding when His people cry out to Him. In Genesis, God hears the affliction of the Israelites in Egypt and comes to deliver them (Exodus 3:7).
He hears Hannah’s earnest prayer and blesses her with a child (1 Samuel 1:10-11). When the Israelites repent and plead for mercy, God hears their prayer and restores them (1 Kings 8:30-53). The Psalms especially emphasize that God hears us when we call upon Him: “O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy” (Psalm 102:1).
He is a God who is near and who inclines His ear to His children.
God Hears Because He Cares Personally
A key reason Scripture gives for why God hears us is because He cares intimately for each of His children. As David says, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). God is not a distant, indifferent deity.
He attends personally to each of our cries because, as John exclaims, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). His care for His own leads Him to prick up His ears when we are in distress. As Peter encourages, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Our Heavenly Father hears us because He loves us deeply as His own.
Ask and You Will Receive
Jesus makes the astounding promise that if we ask anything in His name, God will hear and grant our request (John 14:13-14). Does this mean God is like a genie, granting our every fancy? Of course not. But it does mean that when we ask according to God’s will, in faith, He delights to give us what we need.
As James reminds us, at times we do not have because we fail to ask God (James 4:2). But 1 John 5:14-15 assures believers: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence (Hebrews 4:16), asking persistently in the name of Christ, and trusting our Father who hears to provide accordingly.
How God’s Hearing Leads to Action
Examples of God Responding to Cries
Throughout the Bible, there are countless examples of God hearing the cries of His people and responding with action. When the Israelites were suffering as slaves in Egypt, God heard their groaning and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 2:23-25).
As a result, He sent Moses to deliver them from Pharaoh’s hand. Another example is when righteous King Hezekiah prayed to God for deliverance when the Assyrian army surrounded Jerusalem. God heard his prayer and sent an angel to strike down 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, saving Judah from defeat (2 Kings 19:14-35).
These examples demonstrate that God does not just hear words – He is moved to intervene on behalf of His people.
God’s Deliverance as Proof He Hears
Throughout history, God has delivered His people from impossible circumstances as proof that He hears their cries. For instance, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship false gods, but they emerged unharmed after God sent an angel to protect them (Daniel 3:19-27).
Similarly, Daniel was protected from hungry lions after being thrown into their den for praying to God (Daniel 6:16-23). In the New Testament, Peter was freed from prison by an angel after the church prayed persistently for him (Acts 12:1-11).
God did not just hear their prayers – He demonstrated His power and sovereignty by miraculously delivering His faithful followers. These remarkable acts of deliverance remind us that our God is real, personal, and able to intervene on our behalf.
Prayer Changes Things Because God Hears
Prayer is powerful and effective because we have a God who hears us. There are many examples in Scripture of God changing circumstances in response to prayer. When King Hezekiah became ill and was told he would die, he prayed and wept before God.
In response, God heard his prayer and granted him fifteen more years of life (2 Kings 20:1-6). Centuries later, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after his sisters Mary and Martha cried out to Him in prayer, demonstrating that He heard them (John 11:1-45).
Even today, prayer changes things because God still hears His children. For instance, mission organizations like Voice of the Martyrs report countless examples of persecuted Christians being strengthened, rescued, or miraculously provided for in response to prayer.
Our mighty and loving God invites us to cast our cares upon Him through prayer, for He promises to hear us and act on our behalf.
Hindrances to God Hearing Our Prayers
Sin as a Barrier Between God and Man
Sin creates separation between us and God (Isaiah 59:2). When we cling to sin and refuse to repent, we put up a barrier blocking our prayers from reaching God’s ears. As sinners, we are hostile toward God (Romans 8:7). We must confess our sins before God will hear our prayers (Psalm 66:18).
The good news is that when we repent and turn to Christ, He forgives us and restores our relationship with God (1 John 1:9).
Right Motives Essential for God to Hear
God searches our hearts and knows our motives (1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 17:10). He will not answer selfish requests that only satisfy our fleshly desires. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
For God to hear our prayers, we must align our will with His and pray according to His purpose and glory.
Asking Amiss and God’s Silence
Sometimes God is silent when we pray. A common reason for this is asking amiss or asking for something outside of God’s will (James 4:3). God promises to hear and answer believing prayer according to His perfect will (1 John 5:14-15). His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
If God is silent, we must trust His sovereignty and keep seeking His kingdom (Matthew 6:33). “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Drawing Near to the God Who Hears
Approaching His Throne with Confidence
God invites us to approach His throne boldly and with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). Through Christ, we have direct access to the Father. We do not need to go through priests or other intermediaries. The veil that separated the Holy of Holies has been torn.
We can now enter God’s presence freely and openly, not based on our own merits but because of Christ’s finished work on the cross.
God welcomes us to bring our requests and petitions to Him in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). We can cast all our anxiety on Him, knowing that He cares for us. What an amazing privilege! The God who created the universe listens attentively to the prayers of His children.
He invites us to come to Him with our worries, fears, doubts, struggles – everything that concerns us.
God Knows Us and Hears Before We Ask
Our all-knowing Father hears us even before we utter a word (Matthew 6:8). He knows our thoughts from afar and is familiar with all our ways (Psalm 139:2-4). We do not need to use eloquent words or lengthy prayers to move God’s heart.
He cares about the attitudes of our hearts more than the length of our prayers.
God also knows exactly what we need even before we ask (Matthew 6:32-33). He knows the number of hairs on our heads and considers us much more valuable than birds and flowers (Luke 12:7, 27-28). We can trust Him to provide what is best for us in His perfect timing.
God Invites Us to Seek Him Diligently
Although God knows our needs ahead of time, He still invites us to keep asking, seeking and knocking (Luke 11:9-10). Persistent prayer demonstrates our dependence on Him. Through continual communion with God, we grow in our relationship with Him.
God promises that when we diligently seek Him, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). As we pour out our hearts to God daily in prayer, we will experience His presence and power more and more. Drawing near to the God who hears transforms our lives!
The God of the Bible is a personal God who inclines His ear to His people. He invites us to come boldly to His throne of grace, assured that He hears and is ready to act on our behalf. As we draw near to Him, opening our hearts in prayer, we can have confidence that God hears.
He cares, He understands, and He responds with compassion and lovingkindness. May we never hesitate to cry out to the God who promises to hear our every petition.