In reading through the Psalms on Sunday mornings, certain themes recur. One of those is the frequency with which the psalmists pray and the regular reminders of the truth that God hears (and responds to) our prayers.
Consider these recent examples:
“Oh, give ear, Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth!” (Ps. 80:1)
“O LORD God of hosts, restore us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.” (Ps. 80:19)
“O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob!” (Ps. 84:8)
“Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy. Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.” (Ps. 86:1–2)
“Make glad the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You. Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; And give heed to the voice of my supplications! In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, For You will answer me.” (Ps. 86:4–7)
Jonathan Edwards expands on this theme in his sermon, “The Most High a Prayer-Hearing God.” Consider these two paragraphs from his introduction:
Here it may be inquired what is meant by God’s hearing prayer? There are two things implied in it.
First, his accepting the supplications of those who pray to him. Their address to him is well taken, he is well-pleased with it. He approves of their asking such mercies as they request of him and approves of their manner of doing it. He accepts of their prayers as an offering to him. He accepts the honor they do him in prayer.
Second, he acts agreeably to his acceptance. He sometimes manifests his acceptance of their prayers by special discoveries of his mercy and sufficiency, which he makes to them in prayer, or immediately after. While they are praying, he gives them sweet views of his glorious grace, purity, sufficiency, and sovereignty, and enables them, with great quietness, to rest in him, to leave themselves and their prayers with him, submitting to his will and trusting in his grace and faithfulness. Such a manifestation God seems to have made of himself in prayer to Hannah, which quieted and composed her mind, and took away her sadness. We read (1 Sam. 1) how earnest she was, and how exercised in her mind, and that she was a woman of a sorrowful spirit. But she came and poured out her soul before God, and spake out of the abundance of her complaint and grief. Then we read that she went away and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad, verse 18, which seems to have been from some refreshing discoveries which God had made of himself to her, to enable her quietly to submit to his will and trust in his mercy, whereby God manifested his acceptance of her. — Not that I conclude persons can hence argue, that the particular thing which they ask will certainly be given them, or that they can particularly foretell from it what God will do in answer to their prayers, any further than he has promised in his Word. Yet God may, and doubtless does, thus testify his acceptance of their prayers, and from hence they may confidently rest in his providence [and] in his merciful ordering and disposing, with respect to the thing which they ask. Again, God manifests his acceptance of their prayers, by doing for them agreeably to their needs and supplications. He not only inwardly and spiritually discovers his mercy to their souls by his Spirit, but outwardly by dealing mercifully with them in his providence, in consequence of their prayers, and by causing an agreeableness between his providence and their prayers.
You may read the entire sermon here.