The Lord told Moses, "I have seen the affliction of my people...have heard their cry...know their suffering...I have down to deliver them." God still looks with mercy on His people and answers our prayers.
You see how God wishes for us to pray to Him also for all the things that affect our bodily interests, so that we seek and expect help nowhere else except in Him. For if we are to be preserved and delivered from all evil, God's name must first be hallowed in us, His kingdom must be with us, and His will must be done. After that He will finally preserve us from sin and shame, and from everything that may hurt or harm us.
God has placed before us all the distress that may ever come upon us, so that we might have no excuse whatever for not praying. But all depends upon this, that we learn also to say "Amen." This means that we do not doubt that our prayer is surely heard and that what we pray shall be done. This is nothing else than the word of undoubting faith, which knows that God does not lie to him. For He has promised to grant it. Therefore, where there is no such faith, there cannot be true prayer either.
It is an evil deception on those who pray as though they could not say "Yes!" and conclude that God hears them.
James says, "Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord" [1:6-7]. God attaches such importance to this fact that we can be sure we do not pray in vain. (paragraphs 117-121, 123-124)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.