‘In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because he was angry.’ 2 Samuel 22.7-8
These verses express something very powerful about the way we perceive prayer. At times, no doubt, we have all experienced praying when it seems as if our prayers are hardly reaching the edge of our lips, let alone the throne of God! Consequently, because we feel as if little is happening, we judge that our prayers are not being heard.
In this passage, David recalls a time when he prayed; he describes his prayer and God’s response to it. David may not have been speaking literally – he was, after all, a poet – and it is doubtful if there really was an earthquake or a shaking of the foundations of heaven, but what is significant is that when he prayed, God heard and acted. This is also true for us.
Jesus spoke about prayer, saying: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6.6).
The point is this: it is not what you feel about prayer that counts, but the truth about what really happens. It may be that heaven shakes when you pray – you simply do not know – but what you can be certain about is that the Father hears your prayers, whether or not you feel anything.