John 11.41 observes Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me.”
One of our hindrances to prayer is our belief that God hears us. God the Son had no such hindrance with believing that God the Father heard His prayers. Why?
First, because He knew the depth of His relationship with His Father. Its difficult to speak with someone we hardly know. Its even more difficult to always ask for something from someone we hardly know. After all, for most of us, the asking for something is the vast majority of the reason we pray.
Jesus enjoyed a depth of intimacy with the Father that none of us will have but as adopted children it is the will of the Father that we know Him like the Son. Intimacy with God is not beyond the reach of humanity.
The books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are immensely descriptive of the ways God wanted Israel to live. How did these rules and regulations get communicated? God drew Moses near to Himself and revealed in minute detail the things He wanted Israel to know. Every time we read these books we should remember that these words came to a man who was listening to God in intimate relationship.
Moses wasn’t alone in this intimacy. All the prophets and writers of the books of the Bible enjoyed this same relationship. The good news is that God has not limited His intimacy with humanity to those who wrote Scripture. Every great saint has enjoyed deep communion with God. What was the secret to their relationship with God?
They made time to be with God. All of our relationships are formed by time. The more time we spend with someone the greater we know that person. God is no different. We will believe He hears us better the more time we spend with Him.
Second, we will have a greater time believing God wants to hear from us the more we obey His commands. Known defiance against God is going to keep us away from God.
Likewise, not being active in His work, the seeking and saving of the lost, will keep us from drawing near to God. We feel His warning that those who are not with Him are against Him.
Nothing builds camaraderie like teamwork, working together, and joining with another in a noble task. When we work with God at the will of God we develop intimacy with God. Intimacy with God is the key to our will to pray to God and belief that God hears us.
Like any good parent, the Father longs for His children to come to Him. Our children feel most comfortable with us when they have spent much time with us and are on the same page with us.
So too as we practice being with God in prayer and work diligently to see His kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven we will pray and say as Jesus did, ‘Father, thank you for hearing me.’