We Need Someone to Listen
AS HUMANS, we try to find joy and satisfaction in life. But when personal problems arise, how helpful and comforting it is to have someone with whom to talk over our troubles!
Says Dr. George S. Stevenson: “Talking things out helps to relieve your strain, helps you to see your worry in a clearer light, often helps you to see what you can do about it.” Dr. Rose Hilferding observed: “We all have to share our troubles. We have to share worry. We have to feel there is someone in the world who is willing to listen and able to understand.”
Of course, no human can completely fill this need. Because of limitations on time and other factors, our human confidants may be unavailable when we need them most, or we may be hesitant to discuss some matters even with our closest friends.
True Christians, however, are never completely without a listening ear, for the avenue of prayer is always available. The Bible repeatedly encourages us to pray to God, our Creator, whose name is Jehovah. We are directed to pray in sincerity, in the name of Jesus, and in harmony with God’s will. Even personal and private matters are proper subjects for prayer. “In everything . . . let your petitions be made known to God,” we are told at Philippians 4:6. What a remarkable gift! The Sovereign Ruler of our universe is always ready to welcome and receive the prayers of his humble servants whenever they desire to approach him.—Psalm 83:18; Matthew 6:9-15; John 14:13, 14; 1 John 5:14.
Yet, does God really listen? Some may wonder if the effectiveness of prayer is limited to human ability: A person prays, arranging his thoughts and expressing them in words. Having thus defined his problem, he seeks a fitting solution and is alert to everything that may contribute toward finding it. When his problem is solved, he may credit God, but it was actually his own mind and efforts that produced the desired results.
Many today think that that is all there really is to prayer. Do you? Is the power of prayer thus limited? Granted, a person’s mental and physical efforts in harmony with his prayers play a significant role in receiving answers. What, however, of God’s own role in the matter? Does God listen when you pray to him? Does he count your prayers important, giving consideration to their content and responding to them?
The answers to these questions are significant. If God does not give his attention to our prayers, then prayer is of no more than psychological value. On the other hand, if God does receive and listen with interest to each of our prayers, how grateful we should be for such a provision! It should move us to make use of that provision every day.
We invite you, then, to read on, as these issues are addressed in the following article.