Draw Close to the Hearer of Prayer
MANY who claim to believe in God cannot give a sound basis for their faith. Nor can they explain why religion is often bad or why God allows suffering. At best, they can pray only to a God they do not comprehend.
You, however, can draw closer to God than that. You can build your faith on an understanding of God that makes you love and appreciate him. Genuine faith is based on evidence. (Hebrews 11:1) If you learn the truth about God, you can know him and speak to him as a friend. Consider the experiences of some who used to pray even though they had doubts about God’s existence.
◼ Patricia, mentioned in the opening article. “One day I was with a group of about ten friends when they began discussing religion. I had told them that I walked out of the house to escape the discussion between my dad, who was an atheist, and one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who had called at our home. ‘Maybe Jehovah’s Witnesses have something,’ said one of my friends.
“‘Why don’t we go to one of their meetings to find out?’ said another. And that is just what we did. Although we were skeptical, some of us continued attending simply because the Witnesses were so friendly.
“However, one Sunday I heard something that changed my attitude. The speaker explained why people suffer. I had never before appreciated that man was originally made perfect and that sin and death started with one man and then spread to all mankind. The speaker also explained why Jesus’ death was necessary to restore mankind to what the first man had lost.* (Romans 5:12, 18, 19) Suddenly, everything made sense to me. ‘There really is a God who cares about us,’ I thought. I continued studying the Bible and soon, for the first time in my life, I found that I could pray to someone who is real.”
◼ Allan, also mentioned in the opening article. “One day Jehovah’s Witnesses called at our home, and my wife invited them in because she was interested in what they said about living forever on earth. I was annoyed. So, leaving the visitors in the front room, I got my wife into the kitchen and told her, ‘Don’t be foolish. You can’t believe things like that!’
“‘Well, then, you just go in there and prove them wrong,’ she replied.
“Of course, I could not prove anything. But they were very kind and left me a book about whether life originated by means of creation or evolution. Its logic was so clear and well supported that I decided I ought to know more about God. I began studying the Bible with the Witnesses, and soon I realized that what it says is very different from everything I had previously assumed about religion. As I learned about Jehovah, I began to pray to him more specifically. I had some attitudes that were not very nice, so I prayed for help. I feel sure that Jehovah answered my prayers.”
◼ Andrew, who lives in England. “Although I had strong opinions and a keen interest in science, I believed the theory of evolution merely because other people said it was proved. I rejected belief in God because of all the bad things that happen.
“Yet, sometimes I would think: ‘If there is a God up there, then I want to know what it all means. Why is there so much crime and war?’ When in difficulty, I sometimes prayed for help, but I did not know whom I was speaking to.
“Then someone gave my wife the tract published by Jehovah’s Witnesses entitled Will This World Survive? I had often pondered that exact question. The tract made me wonder about the Bible, ‘Might its answers be worth considering?’ Later, while I was on holiday, someone gave me the book The Bible—God’s Word or Man’s?* When I realized that the Bible is in harmony with true science, I felt that I needed to learn more about the Bible. So when one of Jehovah’s Witnesses offered to study it with me, I accepted. As I came to understand Jehovah’s purpose, I felt that I knew him as a real person, someone I could freely speak to in prayer.”
◼ Jan, who was brought up as a Protestant in London. “The hypocrisy in religion and the prevalence of suffering led me to give up religion. I also gave up college and began singing and playing the guitar for money. That was when I met Pat. He had been raised as a Catholic and had become a disbeliever like me.
“We lived in an abandoned house along with several other dropouts who were interested in Eastern religions. Late into the nights, we spent hours in intense discussions about the meaning of life. Although Pat and I didn’t believe in God, we felt that there must be some ‘life force.’
“After we moved to northern England in search of work as musicians, our son was born. One night he got sick, and I found myself praying to the God I didn’t believe in. Soon afterward, the relationship between Pat and me deteriorated, and I took our baby and walked out. Again, I prayed for help, just in case there was someone listening. I didn’t know it, but Pat did the same.
“Later that day, two of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on Pat’s door and showed him some of the Bible’s practical advice. Pat called me and asked if I would agree to study the Bible with him and the Witnesses. Soon we learned that to please God, we would have to legalize our marriage. It seemed a tall order in view of our precarious relationship.
“We wanted to know more about the fulfillment of Bible prophecies, the reason for suffering, and the meaning of God’s Kingdom. Gradually, we realized that God does care, and we wanted to do as he says. We got married. The wisdom of God’s Word has helped us to raise our three children. We feel sure that Jehovah listened to our prayers.”
Examine the Evidence for Yourself
Like millions of others, those quoted in this article saw through the deception of false religion and discovered why God allows suffering. Did you notice that in each case it was an accurate understanding of the Bible that convinced these individuals that Jehovah really does hear prayers?
Would you like to examine the evidence that God exists? Jehovah’s Witnesses will be pleased to help you to learn the truth about Jehovah and how you can draw close to the “Hearer of prayer.”—Psalm 65:2.
For more information about the ransoming value of Jesus’ death, see chapter 5 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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“As I came to understand Jehovah’s purpose, I felt that I knew him as a real person, someone I could freely speak to in prayer”
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Genuine faith is based on evidence and a desire to know the truth about God