How do I know if God even listens to my prayers? I have a lot of problems, and I've asked God repeatedly to take them away, but nothing ever changes. Maybe God doesn't care.
You may find it hard to believe right now, but God is even more concerned about you and your problems than you are. This is why the Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
It’s often been said that God answers our prayers in one of three ways: Yes, no, and wait. There is much truth in this, because God knows our needs far better than we do. Sometimes, for example, we want Him to do something for us, but our prayers are self-centered or thoughtless, and God says “No” because He knows our motives are wrong. Or sometimes God says, “Wait! Not yet!” — because He sees the whole picture, and He knows what’s best for us, both now and in the future. And sometimes, of course, God says “Yes.”
But I’ve discovered that God sometimes answers our prayers in a fourth way: By showing us how to solve the problem. In other words, sometimes we become the answer to our own prayers! We always want God to solve our problems instantly, but sometimes God wants us to deal with them on our own, as He gives us wisdom.
I don’t know what problems you’re facing right now, but God does and He wants to help you overcome them, because He loves you. Pray for wisdom… seek advice from people you trust… and then, little by little, do all you can to solve them. The Bible says, “I will go before you and will level the mountains” (Isaiah 45:2).