The Ears of God
In Psalm 18:6 David is praising God for hearing and answering his prayer for protection when he was on the run from Saul. You can almost hear David’s excitement that God heard his prayer and answered him as he proclaims, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” Psalm 34, another psalm of David, reiterates this theme that God hears and answers the prayers of the righteous. What a joy to have a prayer heard and answered by God.
There are many more times in the Psalms however, where the psalmist is crying out for God to hear and answer a prayer. Here are just a few examples; Psalm 31:2, “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue,” Psalm 71:2, “In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.” and Psalm 88:2, “May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.” More often, like the psalmist, we find ourselves crying out to God to answer our prayer we have brought before Him. Sometimes God answers our cries quickly and sometimes He doesn’t answer immediately. Be assured however, that unanswered prayers are the experience of all believers. You are not alone.
It’s part of the Christian experience to have unanswered prayers and concerns that we continue to bring before the Lord asking Him to turn His ear toward our cries. While we know that He does hear our prayers, He doesn’t always answer them in our preferred timing or way. Still, we can be confident that He does hear us when we pray. Proverbs 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”
In James 5:4-8 we find great insight into this dilemma. James addresses the issue of the poor treatment of workers. He sharply warns the landowners who had treated their laborers unfairly, saying that their cries had “reached the ears of the Lord.” He continues with a challenge to be patient for the coming of the Lord. The idea is that when Christ returns He will right all injustices and wrongs. There is a day coming when all of our prayers will be answered and justice will be meted out for the cries of the righteous. The challenge for us is to be patient for God’s timing in all things, whether He answers our prayers here and now or at a later time.