Do you believe that God hears your prayers? There are days and seasons it seems like my prayers hit a wall and just bounce right back down to earth. Can you relate? One fear that keeps me from being still is that God doesn’t hear or see what’s going on in my life. Maybe He is preoccupied with bigger things or too busy helping the poor and hungry around the world. Sometimes I am guilty of not even praying about some things because they feel too small to bother God with. How about you? Today we will see you can trust that God hears you and in that trust lies the ability to Be Still and not fear.
We are looking 13 Promises of God to help us overcome fear and be still. Did you find this mid-series? We are in a 40-day Fast to learn how to be still and know God. Go back here and read the intro and keep up with series.
Genesis 21:17 God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.
The Context of Genesis 21:17 – Be Still and do not fear because God hears you
Hagar was the servant of Sara who became the concubine of Abraham in a Soap Opera level drama in Genesis.
Some important things to know as we look at the story of Hagar:
- Hagar didn’t ask to get pulled into Abraham and Sarah’s drama.
- As a servant, Hagar didn’t even have a choice about this hard situation.
- Abraham and Sarah acted in fear when they drug Hagar into their story.
- Hagar had been given a promise from God earlier and called Him the God who sees me (Gen 16:7-13).
- She lost faith in God seeing her when fear set in as I think many of us would.
- This is only one of many times God Hears us in scripture
Observations from Genesis 21:17 -The hard situation in your life is not all about you
We see repeatedly in scripture that hard things happen to people (sometimes) to get the attention of other people.
Now we certainly learn from that hard season, but that doesn’t mean God intended it to be ONLY for our benefit. Many of the difficulties in my life have served to shine God’s joy and light to others around me. One of the hardest things in my life (My Difficult marriage) serves to minister to women all over the world now.
God uses difficult circumstances to grow my faith, but then He lets it spread a testimony that can help others when I live without a mask. Click To Tweet
Do you hide your struggles or let God’s hand be seen through the process?
Other times, however, the hard things in my life have been because someone else made foolish choices. When you are related you can get sucked into a wild storm of hard circumstances. God uses those hard things to teach us so much but we bear the burden of some of those consequences.
Just a side note: There is no such thing as secret sin that only hurts me when you are married or have kids. God sees and will correct you and your whole family faces those consequences. Click To Tweet
That happens in marriage and when you are a dependent child praying your parents to make better choices. The first time I was homeless I was 10 years old. That crazy storm of life had nothing to do with my faith or my choices but everything to do with my parents. I had no control whatsoever and praise God for the kind relatives and friends who housed me for months while they got stable.
Application of Genesis 21:17- Fear is one enemy of being still.
When hard things are in your past, fear can take hold.
Hagar, with no control of her own life, had a difficult problem to address. As a woman, she had no prospects when Abraham sent her away. She had very little provision and was in the middle of nowhere.
Remember Hagar had already been given a promise from God?
El Roi – the God who Sees had seen her crazy messed up situation and promised that her son would live and become a nation.
What happened to change that promise?
Nothing. Fear set in. Hagar began to doubt that God still saw her. Or maybe God sees but doesn’t hear what was done to her this time.
Does God always answer prayer?
Honestly, God has been faithful so many times, but this hard situation seems to be going on and on. Maybe God just doesn’t hear my prayers anymore.
How to Pray so God hears you:
Can I say, Hagar had not even prayed here? God says he heard the cry of the boy. There wasn’t a special prayer method involved. No priest had to be called. There wasn’t a midnight vigil needed.
God sees you. He is Omni-Present (everywhere) at all times and Nothing escapes God. But more than that, God Hears you when you cry. God hears you when you pray. God is listening and cares about the hard things in your life! Click To Tweet
Final Thoughts on Genesis 21:17 – You can Trust that God Hears
Does God hear when you cry? Yes. The Bible tells us He keeps your tears in a bottle.
What difficult situation have you been crying over?
God hears you and cares. Your needs are not too small for God, He hears every single prayer.
What to do when God doesn’t answer your prayers?
Listen, God answers prayers. Sometimes God answers that prayer with a “No” or a “Not Yet” but He does answer.
We don’t always understand what He has answered. Sometimes my mind is so filled with the fear of that difficult situation that I am not in a place to hear God’s voice.
To Hear God’s Voice remember what it means to Be Still:
- Pray about it more than I worry about it.
- Pray about it more than I complain about it.
- Remember how God has been faithful before.
- Meditate on the blessings of God in my life.
- Mourn the hard things.
- Accept God’s last no instead of continuing to try to shove open that closed door.
- Give God permission to have every area of your life – even this fear.
A Prayer to Trust that God Hears You to Be Still and Not Fear
I know that You see everything in my life. Forgive my doubt. If you see then I know you hear. I’ve cried so many tears over this illness this past year. I want to trust You with everything but I am afraid. I have a fear of being sick for the rest of my life. There is a fear that I will lose my identity and my importance… I hear that pride. Forgive me.
I am still trying to be appreciated by others and seeking approval from them instead of just You. Help me Be Still and Trust You. I give you this fear today. Replace it with love and trust. You love me enough to see and hear when I pray. Thank You. To You be all the honor and Glory.