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A simple step that changed my prayer life

Our prayer book

The book of Psalms is a powerful guide to prayer — teaching how to worship, confess, lament, thank, and ask.

But recently as I read the Psalms I saw an aspect of prayer I had never noticed.

The psalmists often ask God to hear their prayer —

  • “Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud” (Psa 27:7).
  • “Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy” (Psa 28:2).
  • “Hear, O Lord!” (Psa 30:10).
  • “Hear my prayer, O Lord” (Psa 39:12).
  • “O God, hear my prayer”  (Psa 54:2).
  • “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer” (Psa 61:1).
  • “Hear my voice, O God” (Psa 64:1).
  • “O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer” (Psa 84:8).
  • “Hear my prayer O Lord; let my cry come to you” (Psa 102:1).
  • “Hear my voice according to your steadfast love” (Psa 119:149).
  • “O Lord, hear my voice” (Psa 130:2).
  • “Hear my prayer, O Lord” (Psa 143:1).

Why do they pray this?

Do they doubt God hears them?

No.  Because they also say that God DOES hear them —

  • “In the morning you hear my voice” (Psa 5:3).
  • “O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted”  (Psa 10:17).
  • “O you who hear prayer …” (Psa 65:2).
  • “I cry aloud to God … and He will hear me” (Psa 77:1).

And in one verse David says both that God WILL hear — and he asks God TO hear —

I call upon you, for you WILL answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; HEAR my words.

So the fact that David asks God TO hear him does not mean he doubts God WILL hear him.

So why pray this?

One reason is — because it’s fitting.

After all, God is infinitely superior to us — and not only are we infinitely lower than Him — we have knowingly rebelled against Him and deserve only judgment from Him.

So given all that — it just feels right to pray — “Father, please hear me.”

This is not something we are always supposed to pray.  It’s not in every psalm, and Jesus does not use it in the Lord’s Prayer.

But it can be a helpful part of prayer — and it has powerfully impacted my heart.

Here’s what I have experienced —

I became more aware that I was praying to GOD.

Asking Him to hear me has helped me see that I am talking to a real, personal being — God Himself.

I see more clearly that I am His tiny created creature — and that He is Sovereign Creator.

This has made me more engaged, more focused, and more involved in prayer.

I was reminded that God doesn’t HAVE TO hear me.

It’s right for me to ask God to hear — because He doesn’t have to.

In fact, because of my sin, it would be entirely just for Him not to hear.

So asking Him to hear has humbled my prayer.

I felt amazed that God DOES hear me.

It’s not because I’m worthy or good enough.  I’m not.

It’s because Jesus paid for my sins and clothed me with His perfect righteousness.

So when I begin by asking God to hear me — I have felt both amazed that He hears — and assured that He hears.

That has made prayer more confident and joyful.

I became more fervent in prayer.

This has helped me feel the wonder of talking to the God of the Universe.

My prayer life has been more meaningful — less routine — more satisfying.

Try this yourself

Give it a try.  At the beginning of your prayer time — ask God to hear you.

Think of who God is — and who you are.

Ponder that He doesn’t HAVE TO hear you.

Thank Him that because of Jesus — He DOES hear you.

Marvel that the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE is listening — personally — to YOU.

How does this impact you?

I’ve listed what I experienced — I’d love to learn from you.

So leave a reply below — thanks.

What else you can do

Do you know someone struggling with prayer?  If you think this would encourage them, email it to them using the “share” button below.  Or share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ using the buttons below.

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Category: Help with Prayer, Stories from My Life


6 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” -Romans 8:32

    If we are truly trusting that God would give us all things, (joy, grace, love, peace) it would make a tremendous difference in our prayer life. By knowing and trusting that in all things God has ordained in our lives are for good, even the trials, that we will never have to fear the outcome of the events in our lives. I think most of us struggle with prayer because we think our sinful nature that is not yet fully conquered prevents us from coming to God.

    But God has already done the hardest thing that prevents us from coming to Him, by offering up His Son for us sinners, then He will surely gives us, His elect, all the things we need to make it to the end.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for sharing that, Paul. You are so right that our prayer-lives would be transformed by the truth of Rom 8:32.

      And of course, one of the “all things” He gives us along with Christ is that He lovingly and attentively listens to every word that’s directed to Him in Jesus’ name.

      What a glorious God!

  2. Francie Byron says:

    Hi Steve,
    I loved this! I really appreciated your thought and heart process here. Thank you for continuing to walk with our Lord in ways that not only transform you, but also in ways that encourage others.

    I am doing a one morning teaching on the Psalms in relation to our feelings and, if it is ok with you, I thought I would print out your thoughts here and give them to the ladies as a supplemental handout for them to read later. If that is ok, besides your name is there any other copyright info I should put at the bottom?

    So great to see some of your walk and be blessed by it. Tell Jan I say hello.
    Blessings, Francie

    • Steve Fuller says:

      It is such a joy to hear from you, Francie. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your encouraging thoughts.

      I’d be honored to have you use this post with your Bible Study — all you need to do is mention the blog name — Thanks.

      And Jan says hello back 🙂

      Much love to you and Jon.

  3. Deborah Chestnut says:

    Thank you for this wonderful website. I need to pray more. I like the info about prayer and fasting. Please pray for me that my prayer life will greatly improve.

    One tip I want to share from a great evangelist (Joyce Meyer) is this: KEEP A PIECE OF PAPER NEARBY SO WHEN YOU COME UP WITH A “TO DO LIST,” JOT IT DOWN AND KEEP ON PRAYING! This is a way to keep your mind focused on your prayer.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Deborah,

      I am so glad you found this website, and that it has encouraged your prayer life.

      And thanks for sharing the tip from Joyce Meyer.

      In Christ,

      Steve Fuller

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