Read: Mark 12:29

Unlike our uncontrollable tongues, our ears rarely get us into trouble, unless they have an issue, like a man who does not hear the horn of an oncoming train. Although the Hebrew word shema is translated as “hear” or “listen,” it means more than what we normally think of as merely passive hearing. Shema implies acting on what has been heard, or hearing followed by obedience.

Many of the Old Testament prophets preceded their announcements with the phrase “Hear the word of the Lord.” They were exhorting people to obey what they heard from God. Jesus would have been familiar with this understanding, which is why He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mark 4:9). Hearing God means not only listening to what He says but also doing what He tells.

We can be confident that when God hears our prayers, the implication is that He will act in accordance with our best interests. The psalmist said, “I cried to Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!” (Ps. 66:17-20).

If you want God to hear your prayers, make sure you are doing your best to hear His voice and obey.

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