I had a conversation today with someone who could hear me, but wasn't listening. Although she was physically present, I didn't have her attention. It hurt to watch her eyes flit around the room, as if seeking a more interesting conversation.
Sometimes I wonder if God gets bored with my prayers and cries. Of course, I know that's not true, but still, there are things I've been praying for years. Does he hear? Is he listening? The "right" answer is yes, but how can we be sure?
God Sees and Hears
Because God understands our doubts and fears, Scripture is full of examples testifying to the reality that he hears us. Psalms provides multiple affirmations of this truth. For example, Psalm 4:3 says, "The Lord hears when I call to him" (NIV). Psalm 5:3 tells us, "Lord, you hear my voice" (NIV). Psalm 6:8 contains the psalmist's certainty that "the Lord has heard my weeping." While these psalms are a comfort to those who belong to the Lord, Psalm 59:7 reproves unbelievers who mockingly ask, "Who can hear us?"
Even with these assurances, God knew we would need more. One of the first names God revealed for himself is found in Genesis 16. God had promised to make a nation of Abram's descendants, but ten years passed and Sarai was still barren. At Sarai's insistence, Abram had relations with her servant, Hagar. Hagar became pregnant, but when Sarai mistreated her, she ran away. The Lord met her in the desert and prophesied about the son in her womb. In her amazement that God would take notice of a mere slave, she called him El Roi, "The God Who Sees Me" (Genesis 16:13).1