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God, Do You Hear Me? Author Q&A

Andy Whisenant | Aug 12th

Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it?

I wrote God, Do You Hear Me? out of a longing to understand prayer. God was teaching me too much about prayer to keep to myself.

I also wrote it for people who struggle with prayer, for people who doubt the effectiveness of prayer and for people who want to know if God really hears them when they pray.

I was also inspired by being a part of a global movement of prayer. When God’s people learn to pray the prayer that God always answers, beautiful things will happen in God’s people and through God’s people. I really want that to happen. 

Life is hard. There is so much to overcome. Many of us, perhaps instinctively, turn to God in these moments. We cry out in prayer. And in the crucible when we are pressed from side-to-side and top-to-bottom, we wonder if God hears us or if we are not praying the right way.

Through the pages of this book, my goal is to hold the readers’ hands, journeying alongside them, not as an expert, but as a fellow traveler, in learning and living the prayer that God always answers.

The prayer that God always answers is what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13). The Lord’s Prayer is the firm foundation that God builds our lives on the Rock.

For whom did you write this book?

I wrote God, Do You Hear Me? for spiritual seekers and for followers of Jesus who have lost their passion for prayer. I also wrote it for people who want to experience a new level of prayer and intimacy with Jesus.

In March 2020, the number of worldwide Google searches for “prayer” increased to the highest level ever recorded (Bentzen, 2020). In the wake of more people turning to prayer, why is it important for them to know how to pray?

The last 18 months has shown us just how much we need God; 2020 gave us a global pandemic, a divisive presidential election, racial unrest, economic turmoil and a rise in suicide. Please notice what I said: “how much we need God,” not “how much we need God to do something for us.” Often, prayer is a means of manipulating God to get us out of a bad situation or to give us something we want. But Jesus invites us into a reality of prayer that is so much more than getting stuff from God. Prayer is more about becoming who God has created us to be so we can partner with him as co-workers, displaying his kingdom.

How is this different from other books on prayer?

The Lord’s Prayer is a mini catechism that teaches about the person and work of Christ Jesus. Each line of this ancient prayer details an aspect of Jesus’ life. In this book, you will discover that the Lord’s Prayer is not about getting stuff from God but about becoming who you were created to be. Your purpose, your passion, and your participation in God’s kingdom will be ignited.

You will approach God’s throne of grace and mercy with boldness and confidence because you will pray the prayer that Jesus told you his papa would hear and answer. When you pray the Lord’s Prayer, you are praying God’s will for your life. You will also learn that God answers the Lord’s Prayer in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. Sometimes the prayers we have prayed in silence with tears streaming down our faces take years to be fulfilled. When a farmer plants seeds, he does not expect instant growth, but he patiently waits for the harvest to sprout when ready. There’s a trust there, that the seeds planted will bloom in their time.

What are some ways that believers have misunderstood prayer, and how does your book address those?

The biggest mistake I see is that people often see God as a “cosmic Venmo.” If you just say the right things and ask hard enough, God will transfer what you want into your account. Prayer becomes a way to consume God instead of worship God.

People also do not recognize that prayer is a gift that draws us deeper into God’s love in Christ, into his mission and into discipleship.

I address this issue, by walking readers through the Lord’s Prayer so they can be immersed in the culture of prayer as Jesus laid out:

Section I: Discovering Who Our Father Is

Section II: Discovering God’s Kingdom and Your Priestly Role in It

Section III: Depending on the Bread of Life

Section IV: Diving into God’s Forgiveness

Section V: Developing a Wartime Mindset

What can people do daily to experience a renewed prayer life?

As readers journey with me through the book, they gain a greater appreciation of Jesus and the gift of prayer. At the end of each chapter, I give the reader a written prayer, questions for reflection and things to remember. This will help the reader form holy habits that will ignite their prayer life.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

It’s simple: I hope that God, Do You Hear Me? leads people closer to the God who gave us prayer. Because the more we know him, the more we will want to pray, and the more we pray, the more he will shape our hearts to love like his.