A few years ago, I struggled with believing that God was listening. It seemed like I was begging for answers, begging for movement, and all I was receiving was nothing. He had given me this grand direction to stand still and then He had left me in silence to seemingly fend for myself.
I was angry and frantic, wondering if this God that I had put the whole of my future into had turned out to be like nearly every other person in my life during that season: temporary. Impermanent. Incapable of staying. I fought hard to keep my head above water, but the fear even filtered into my dreams.
One night I had a dream that rattled me to the core. In my dream, a man grew angry with me and tried to physically hurt me. I began praying with everything I could muster. At first, he fell to his knees and began clawing at my clothing as if my prayers were hurting him. After a few moments, it became evident that nothing was going to change.
My heart broke. I sobbed and the man laughed as we realized the same thing–I had been abandoned. God wasn’t going to show up.
The man in my dream looked me in the eyes and stopped laughing, but the grin creasing his face never wavered. He said, “He doesn’t hear you when you’re sleeping and He doesn’t hear you when you’re awake.”
It still sends chills down my spine to think about how obvious and direct those words were. I woke up and realized that if the enemy was trying to make his point even while I was asleep, he meant business. I needed to mean business, too.
I began listing answered prayers. From the biggest to the smallest, I wrote them all down with relative dates beside them. I looked up scriptures referring to God answering prayer or hearing His people. Isaiah 65:24 was written across my mirror: “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” To this day, Jeremiah 33:3 is written on an index card taped to my prayer wall: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
Having that visual of how many prayers God was answering changed my life. I couldn’t believe He was ignoring me anymore. I could no longer believe that He had left me to fend for myself. I didn’t understand why He was being silent in direction, but I knew without a doubt that He was active in my life. I had papers upon papers full of answers, full of proof that He was showing up. He was listening.
Because listing answered prayers has been so instrumental in my faith journey, I want to encourage someone else to start. For the next thirty-one days, I will be posting an answered prayer daily on my social media using the hashtag #31AnsweredPrayers. Follow along. Count your own answered prayers and join me in sharing them using the hashtag.
If you just need reassurance that He is still here, count with us. If you’re fighting what feels like the fight of your life and you need evidence that He hasn’t left you, count with us. No answered prayer is too big or too small.
It is the most blessed assurance I have that God, in fact, hears me when I’m sleeping and when I’m awake. He’s still here. He’s still listening, friends. See for yourself.