True communication requires speakers at both ends, responding to one another, having heard what was said. To ensure communication is taking place, a speaker will wait to receive feedback from the listener. Without feedback, we become lost and unable to communicate any further. We have all been there — you were not hearing the other person on the line, but they heard you! In such a situation, communication cannot take place.
Prayer is like that. We speak to God and expect Him to respond. When we pray, barring any noise, God hears us. Having listened to us, He responds to our prayer, and barring any noise in the feedback, we should hear what He is saying.
Unfortunately, many Christians rise from praying without hearing anything from God. That is not to say that the answer would come immediately all the time, but at the very least, we should know that God heard us. Speaking through Isaiah, God told Judah that if they fasted acceptably when they prayed, He would respond,
‘Here I am.’ (Isaiah 58:9, NKJV)
When we communicate with God, we not only want Him to hear us, but we also want to hear Him speak to us. If prayer is merely offloading our requests on God, we are soliloquising, monologuing, or even ranting or venting. If we do not hear from God after we have prayed, it can be either God did not hear us, or He heard us, but when He responded, we did not hear Him. We already addressed the former in Part One (see below), and now, we must address the latter.
Impediment to hearing God
If we must hear from God after He has heard us, we must ensure that impediments, or the noise preventing us from hearing God, are eliminated. A plethora of noise can impede our hearing from God when He responds, and we shall consider some of them here.