“Sometimes it feels as if God isn’t listening to me.” Those words, from a woman who tried to stay strong in her walk with God while coping with an alcoholic husband, echo the heartcry of many believers. For many years, she asked God to change her husband. Yet it never happened.
What are we to think when we repeatedly ask God for something good—something that could easily glorify Him—but the answer doesn’t come? Is He listening or not?
Let’s look at the life of the Savior. In the garden of Gethsemane, He agonized for hours in prayer, pouring out His heart and pleading, “Let this cup pass from Me” (Matt. 26:39 nkjv). But the Father’s answer was clearly “No.” To provide salvation, God had to send Jesus to die on the cross. Even though Jesus felt as if His Father had forsaken Him, He prayed intensely and passionately because He trusted that God was listening.
When we pray, we may not see how God is working or understand how He will bring good through it all. So we have to trust Him. We relinquish our rights and let God do what is best.
We must leave the unknowable to the all-knowing One. He is listening and working things out His way.
Lord, we don’t need to know the reason our prayers sometimes go unanswered. Help us just to wait for Your time, because You are good.
When we bend our knees to pray, God bends His ear to listen.
Jesus prayed that “this cup” would be taken away (vv. 39, 42). In the Old Testament cup is a metaphor for both God’s blessings (Pss. 16:5; 23:5) and God’s wrath (Pss. 75:8; Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15). In today’s reading Jesus referred to His imminent humiliation, torture, and death. He knew He had to become the object of God’s wrath and experience abandonment by His Father (Matt. 27:46) as He died to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Knowing that this cup came from God (18:11), Jesus submitted Himself to the Father’s will (Matt. 26:42). Bible commentator Warren Wiersbe wrote: “The Father has never forsaken any of His own, yet He forsook His Son [Matt. 27:46]. This was the cup that Jesus willingly drank for us.”