Daily Archives: 05/12/2017

How can God hear all the prayers of all Christians?

HOW CAN GOD HEAR ALL THE PRAYERS OF ALL CHRISTIANS?

by Shawn Brasseaux

Friend, have you ever wondered how God can hear the prayers of millions of Christians all around the world? Are these words not all thoroughly jumbled by the time they get up to Heaven? All the speculation aside, does the Bible provide any light on this subject? Let us see!

At its most basic level, prayer is an “inner-man” issue. Long before words are uttered using physical lips and literal tongues, a heart attitude (thoughts) forms those words. Thus, technically speaking, before any audible voice (vocalization) occurs, God reads the human thoughts underlying the prayer. Scripture says that God “knows” and “tries” the hearts of men. The idea here is an intimate evaluation or examination. Above all, He is looking for faith, any soul that trusts His Word: “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Notice how God scrutinizes the heart of every person:

  • 1 Kings 8:39: “Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men; )”
  • 1 Chronicles 28:9: “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.”
  • 2 Chronicles 6:30: “Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men: )”
  • Psalm 7:9: “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.”
  • Proverbs 15:11: “Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?”
  • Proverbs 17:3: “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
  • Proverbs 21:2: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.”
  • Matthew 9:4: “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?”
  • Mark 2:6-8: “[6] But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, [7] Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? [8] And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?”
  • Luke 5:22: “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?”
  • Luke 16:15: “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”
  • Luke 24:38: “And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?”
  • Acts 1:24: “And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,”
  • Acts 15:8-9: “[8] And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; [9] And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”
  • Romans 8:27: “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
  • 1 Corinthians 4:5: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:4: “But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.”

Since God is God, He knows every intricate detail in His creation. He is aware of every thought, whether good or bad. If He could create the heaven and the earth ex nihilo, spoken and brought out of nothing, and the Bible leaves no doubt about it, then nothing about His abilities should surprise us. If He designed and fashioned the first human heart from nothing—“heart” here is the innermost being, not the physical blood-pumping muscle—then He knows precisely how it operates. He knows where those thoughts/attitudes/feelings are stored and how to access them. This is an important concept that millions upon millions of church members need to learn even today.

We must be careful to not simply repeat words we find on a prayer card or in a prayer book. People around us can only hear those words that we speak, but God can see right into the heart. He knows whether we are sincerely communicating to Him, having a heart-to-heart conversation, or just guilty of following some religion’s demands. We can fool anyone and everyone into thinking we have good intentions—however, God is not deceived. He looks beyond audible words, right into our (invisible) thoughts, our innermost being. He knows whether we are thinking about His Word, willing to pray according to sound Bible doctrine, or simply mindlessly repeating some pre-written prayer just so we can gratify our priest, preacher, denomination. Remember this well, friend, remember this well! Again, remember this well, friend, remember this well!

There is something else to consider regarding the topic of prayer. Concerning believers in Christ, there is an indwelling Holy Spirit (third member of the Godhead). Earlier, we looked at Romans 8:27. Now we read it with the verse previous. The Bible declares in Romans 8:26-27: “[26] Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. [27] And he that searcheth the hearts [Father God] knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

God the Father searches (examines) the hearts, and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we pray. Verse 34 says Jesus Christ sits at God’s right hand and intercedes for us as well. First Timothy 2:5 tells us, “For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” We approach God the Father in prayer on the basis of the merits of His Son, Jesus Christ, and His selfless sacrifice on Calvary for our sins. This is the meaning of, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ(Ephesians 5:20).

Ultimately, prayer is an intricate collaboration between the three members of the Godhead. We pray to God the Father, approaching Him by the merits of God the Son, enlightened and empowered by God the Holy Spirit. All three Persons play a role in our prayer life. The Holy Spirit, who lives in the hearts of us Christians, knows our prayer before we even speak it. Furthermore, we do not have to worry about God having an “information overload,” or all the prayers being jumbled. The triune Godhead is all-powerful, so all three Members can process all of those millions of prayers every day, without any difficulty.

Also see:
» What about the “sinner’s prayer?”
» How do I pray with the Apostle Paul?
» How can I have an effectual prayer life?