How Does God Respond to Prayer?

How Does God Respond to Prayer? July 17, 2023

Build your spiritual life – The photo is courtesy of The Foundry Community

In any relationship, constant communication is required to grow together, and to get closer to each other. Prayer is the central vehicle in to our relationship with God. Catholics have many different prayers to choose from when they want to pray, but prayer is a two-way street. Many Catholics are happy and satisfied to recite their prayers everyday and share their needs with God.  How often do we listen for God’s response and recognize it when He does respond?

Prayer Isn’t Complicated

Maybe the better way to say this is prayer should not be complicated, but too often we make it more complicated than it should be. Praying with God is a big deal and can be very intimidating, but God knows what we want, what we need, and God wants to be closer to us in the process. Prayer should be structured meaning you should have a set time everyday to pray, have a process that you follow that opens your heart for prayer, and most importantly gives you time to be quiet with God for a period of time to be aware of His presence and be open to His response. Spending time in contemplative prayer works to clear your mind and allow you to focus on God’s presence waiting for Him to reveal His desires for you. Contemplative prayer can be very challenging as it is hard to clear your mind completely in this day and age to sit in the silence without interruption. When your mind wanders (and inevitably it will), people get frustrated and have a tendency to beat themselves up. It is not uncommon to look back and not feel a connection to God, or to view your time as a waste of God’s and your time. God is always active in our lives everyday and that means He is doing work with your heart that you won’t even realize. The quiet time you spend in prayer allows God to work in you to prepare your heart to accomplish His plan for you.

God is constantly at work in our lives, but how often do we see it?

God’s Way of Responding

One of the most important lessons I learned while in formation to become a spiritual director is:

God will use ANY means possible at ANY time to speak, guide, and interact with us.

Think about that statement for a minute:

God will use ANY means possible at ANY time to speak, guide, and interact with us.

Does this mean that God speaks or interacts with us outside of prayer? Yes absolutely.

Does this mean that he may communicate with me in a way I may not expect? Yes very likely.

God can and does speak to us directly and through others. God communicates through feelings, through our thoughts, through visions in our minds – ANY means possible. The key is to be aware of God being active in your life and looking for His response in everything that you do. Being open and aware is critical to “hearing or seeing” God’s response. Here are a couple of examples:

  • You pray over a situation in your life and maybe you think you have resolved it, but there’s this uncomfortable feeling that stays with you even after you believe this is resolved. That feeling may well be God telling you that you aren’t finished with this situation and to look deeper.
  • God can speak through other people. I had a situation in my own life where a family member was at end of life and refused to sign a DNR for the hospital. When this family member became incoherent I had to make a decision when it was time to hospitalize her as hospice required a DNR for all patients. I prayed over the decision and was confident in what I intended to do when this family member had a moment of clarity and told me in the strongest voice I had heard from her in weeks that I can make the decision. I knew that was God speaking to me through this family member.
  • A friend recently went through a situation where she had to take care of a very sick family member. This was very taxing on my friend and she did not think that God understood how she felt. As we discussed the situation she told me how her friends and relatives had been so very helpful to her in offering assistance, sending cards, and doing whatever they could to help her during this difficult time. Clearly God did understand what she was going through and used other people to communicate this.

Spiritual Direction is a process in which one believer (director) journeys with another believer (directee) to help the directee grow in intimacy and communication with God, and to deepen the awareness in the directee to God being active in their daily lives. Spiritual direction is all about relationship with God. If you have any interest in learning more about spiritual direction please reach out to me directly at and I will be happy to share more information with you.

God Bless



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