How do you know God hears your prayers?

Carey Kinsolving Contributing columnist

Carey Kinsolving Contributing columnist

“God doesn’t only have one phone line,” says Avery, age 10. Apparently, Avery has never heard a busy signal when praying.

We’ve all experienced the unavailability of important people. We may think God is too busy to listen to the details of our lives, but God is the perfect father. He takes special delight when his children come to him in prayer.

Even when President Kennedy had important meetings in the Oval Office, one person always had access to him: his son.

“If you have faith and are born again, then you should know God is listening,” says Joel, 10.

Not only does he listen, but he also answers prayer.

“One time I prayed for my brother to get well, and the next day, he was healed,” says Paul, 9.

“I know because I prayed for my grandmother,” says Deana, 10. “She has a rare type of cancer, and God has kept her alive for 13 years.”

“God answers prayer because he keeps my family safe,” says Ellen, 7.

Remember what the Apostle James wrote: “Yet you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). However, James could have said your prayers are answered because you had the faith to ask.

James also wrote that God will not answer the prayers of the proud, envious and jealous. Selfish prayers from wrong motives don’t go any higher than the ceiling.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” wrote the Apostle James (James 4:6). Self-sufficient people don’t like to ask anyone for anything, but where God is concerned, we all need his grace.

Whitney, 10, says it another way: “If you ask for candy (and you might want it), but if you don’t need it, God might not give it to you. If you pray for safety, he will give you safety.”

Whitney wisely distinguishes between a desire and a need. Furthermore, she knows God has her best interest in mind. He’s not going to give her something harmful.

Three times, the Apostle Paul asked God to remove a particular form of suffering he called a “thorn in the flesh.” However, God said, “My grace is sufficient for you.”

God wants us to learn how to trust him in the midst of suffering. God always has the big picture in view, namely our spiritual development.

“Honoring God always brings blessings to mankind, because God desires the good of those whom he has created and especially those whom He redeemed,” writes Bible scholar W.L. Liefeld. “The effective power of prayer does not ultimately reside in the prayer itself, but in the One to whom prayer is directed.”

“In our classroom, we have a prayer request list,” says John, age 11. “When prayers are answered, we move them down to the praise list.”

John, the lessons you’re learning about depending on the Lord in prayer are invaluable. Your teacher must have a bold faith to post a prayer request and praise list in your classroom.

Think about this: To illustrate effective prayer, Jesus spoke of the nurturing relationship of a vine to branches. Referring to himself as the “true vine,” Jesus made an incredible promise to answer prayer to those who experience the reality of abiding.

Memorize this truth: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).

Ask this question: Do you know what it means to abide in Christ so that you experience his presence and answered prayers?

Kids Talk About God is designed for families to study the Bible together. Research shows that parents who study the Bible with their children give their character, faith and spiritual life a powerful boost. To receive Kids Talk About God three times a week in a free, email subscription, visit

Carey Kinsolving Contributing columnist Kinsolving Contributing columnist