Praying to the God Who Responds [30 Days of Prayer]

Summer of Prayer Ads_Banner“He will call on me, and I will answer him.” (Psalm 91:15)

When we pray, it sometimes feels like we are talking to ourselves or to the wind currents in the air. We may wonder: does God really hear us, and if so, does He respond? Where Psalm 80 reaches out to God with an anguished request for God to hear, Psalm 91 rises up with the powerful response that God does hear us and responds.

Many people love the faith-filled expression of taking refuge in God at the beginning of this psalm:

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)

After this strong beginning, the psalm encourages the reader to turn to God because of His trustworthy promises of protection and goodness (91:3-13). Line by line, the psalm builds a citadel of faith from the sturdy stones of God’s character and activity on behalf of those who trust in Him.

The psalm concludes by switching voices, as God now speaks through the psalmist with words that respond to the faith expressed up to this point (91:14-16). At the heart of those words from God we find one outstanding promise in verse 15: “He will call on me, and I will answer him.”

Here is the crux of the matter in prayer: God hears and God answers. Simply take that in for a moment. God reaches out to us first, and we answer Him. As one writer describes it, prayer is essentially the act of “answering God.”[1] But the reverse is also true: we speak to God, and God answers us. This wonderfully reliable and personal reality undergirds all of our praying.

As we approach God in prayer, asking Him to hear us, let us also come with confidence that God will undoubtedly hear us. There is no utterance of any person that goes unheeded by God.

“Our Father,”
  what a beautiful phrase that is
  in which we draw near to You, our God.
Thank You that You are near to us,
  and involved with us,
  and hear us in prayer.
What greater gift could we receive
  than that the God of the universe
is also the God of our lives
  who hears our prayers
and responds to our prayers
  with gracious answers beyond our understanding.
Thank you!


[1] Eugene Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer (New York: HarperCollins, 1989).

[This post is part of the “30 Days of Prayer” devotional. Read other posts here.]

2 thoughts on “Praying to the God Who Responds [30 Days of Prayer]

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