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What Moves God to Answer Prayer?
By Rick Warren

“LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble; you will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully.” Psalm 10:17 (CSB)

God always responds to humility. It’s the attitude that moves him to answer your prayers.

The Bible says, “LORD, you have heard the desire of the humble; you will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully” (Psalm 10:17 CSB).

In the Old Testament, Daniel had the attitude of humility. Even though he faced enormous pressure to conform to cultural expectations and lacked the emotional energy to keep going, he threw himself on the grace of God. Instead of depending on his own strength to carry him through, he prayed, “We have sinned and done wrong.” But he didn’t stop there; he continued, “We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your servants . . . Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame” (Daniel 9:5-7 NIV).

Daniel knew that he, along with the other Israelites, didn’t deserve God’s blessing, so he humbly confessed his sin and acknowledged his weakness. He then asked God for mercy: “Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem . . . hear the prayers and petitions of your servant . . . look with favor on your desolate sanctuary” (Daniel 9:16-17 NIV).  

How did God respond to Daniel’s humble prayer? He responded with grace. Here’s the message God had for Daniel: “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you . . . Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer” (Daniel 10:11-12 NLT).

When you humbly confess your sin to God, you are surrendering your will to his. You are acknowledging your weakness. You are admitting to God that he is God, and you are not. That’s the kind of prayer God honors because he has promised: “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts” (Isaiah 66:2 NLT). 

Many people hesitate to admit their weaknesses and sins because they think they’re going to get punished. But God already knows about all your sins! He knows every mistake you’ve made in your entire life. He just wants you to confess them. He wants you to show humility, and when you do, he won’t just respond to your prayer—he’ll respond with grace. 

Anytime you pray, “God, I need you. I’m depending on you. I can't do this on my own,” he hears you and strengthens you.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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