Recently we received a comment that surprised us. Apparently it isn’t self-evident that our audience is primarily Christian. As neither one of us would have joined a “Praying Wives” anything before giving our lives whole-heartedly to Jesus, we figure that most people who read this blog fall into two categories: (1) Christians or (2) those who are seeking to understand Christianity in order to make a decision about what they believe. We presumed that it was apparent to anyone who read our posts that we love God, follow Jesus Christ, and are passionate about seeing marriages restored, renewed, and reflective of God’s plan and purpose for His people.
This same comment included the thought that the belief that God hears our prayers was not theologically sound. (Rebecca stated this in her post, “Failure is Temporary?”) Included were three scriptures that were used to support that opinion. Because we are eager for a dialogue with you, our precious readers, we felt it was important that we address the question of whether or not God hears our prayers as believers.
The first two scriptures in the case against the statement, “God hears your prayers,” are from the Old Testament. We love the Old Testament! There is much wisdom to be gleaned from its pages, without doubt. However, Jesus has come and He, through His blood, has given us a new covenant! The rules have changed.
, which states, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear,” refers to Israel’s sin of idolatry. As born-again believers, the blood of Jesus covers our sins.
says, “If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.” Jesus has fulfilled the law! We are no longer required to fulfill each and every law that the Israelites were subject to in the Old Testament. For that, we are eternally grateful, because we could not do it. In fact, none of us could. That’s why we need Jesus!
In John 9:31
, which is part of the larger story of a man being healed of blindness by Jesus, the now-seeing man says this to the Pharisees, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.” The Pharisees couldn’t accept the miracle of healing in this man’s life and rejected the truth. The verse contrasts sinners and the godly man. This is significant because the man who is saying this does not claim to have obeyed the law perfectly, yet he is the recipient of a miraculous healing. He is addressing the Pharisees, who prided themselves in obeying even the smallest points of the law.
It is true that we are ALL sinners and in need of the Savior. However, for those of us who have put our trust in Jesus Christ and are actively following Him and His teaching, we can be counted as godly men (and women!). Thus, God does hear our prayers.
In fact, Jesus made this clear to us later in John. He is explaining to His disciples that when He is gone, they will be able to confidently ask God the Father for things in His name. This is found in John 16:23-27
We firmly believe that this passage, in Jesus’ own words, confirms that we can confidently believe that God hears our prayers! He said this to the disciples, knowing full well (because He is God!) that some who were listening were about to sin, even to the point of denying Him (think about Peter!). Even knowing what was to come, Jesus didn’t exclude Peter from hearing and believing these encouraging words.
The Word says that we are the temple of the living God in 2 Corinthians 6:16. Does that mean that God vacates every time we sin and “moves back in” when we repent? We don’t believe that is the case.
Do we think that God likes our sin, even a little? Absolutely not!
We do know, however, that like any good parent, God is patient. He is quick to forgive when we repent. God’s grace is BIG for us. He knows our weaknesses and chooses to bless us in spite of ourselves. We are so grateful for God’s amazing grace! We’re painfully aware that we need it daily. We sin every day. We repent. We know that God wants us to grow and change to be ever-increasingly like Jesus. We believe He wants our success in this even more than we do, just because He is perfect and we are not.
If any of you have had any questions about where we stand as the bloggers on The Imperfect Wives (Praying Wives Club), we pray that this answers them. We also pray that you will continue to see the evidence of God’s grace in your lives, as we see it in ours.
With love and prayers,
Rebecca and Cherie ♥