Have you ever felt as though God wasn’t listening to your prayers? Maybe there was something you needed an answer to and didn’t know what to do. You prayed and prayed, but God just didn’t seem to answer you.
One day, while I was going through this very thing, I was reading in John 12 and realized I wasn’t the only one who had experienced this. In John 12, starting at verse 20, the Bible says Jesus was in Jerusalem, and there were some Greeks who wished to speak with Him. They asked Philip if that would be possible. Philip and Andrew then asked Jesus if this meeting could take place. “And Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him’.” John 12: 23-26, NASB.
If you are like me, you probably thought, “That is so great Jesus, but what does that have to do with what Philip and Andrew asked you? All they needed was a yes or no but what they got was a sermon that had nothing to do with their question.” I figured maybe this is some great revelation He needed to get out, but He will answer them later on in the chapter. Well, I was half right. What He said was an amazing revelation about His death and resurrection, but he never did get around to answering them.
I must admit this bothered me for a little bit. Why wouldn’t Jesus just answer such a simple question, just a yes or no? That’s when it hit me. Maybe the reason I am not getting the answer to my question is that we are not talking about the same thing. I am over here trying to figure out something in my life, and Jesus is trying to speak to me about what’s really important, trying to prepare me for what’s to come. But I want to focus on what I think I need now.
The issue wasn’t that God wasn’t listening to me; the problem was I wasn’t listening to what God was saying because it didn’t line up with what I thought was important at the time. This changed the way I prayed and, to be honest, the way I lived. I no longer asked God for what I thought I needed over and over again, but instead, I just spent time with Him. No agenda, just whatever He wanted that day. The Bible says He will supply all our needs according to His riches and Glory (Philippians 4:19). I had to believe that verse and trust that whatever He wanted to talk about was more important.
I had to lose my life to find it and make sure I was following Him, not trying to make Him follow me, like what He was trying to get through to Philip and Andrew. It wasn’t about answering the question, it was about getting them to see the big picture. What they thought was urgent and important wasn’t as important as they first thought.
Next time you go into your prayer closet, do more than think of yourself. Really connect with God. He may be trying to talk to you about something really important. Make sure you are available to hear it.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on olmosministries.org.
Featured Image by Priscilla Du Preez