"Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Hebrews 5:7-8). What is the correct interpretation of this verse?.
God is omniscient. He hears everyone's prayers in the literal meaning of the word. He hears (answers) those who fear Him. An answered prayer does not necessarily mean granting a person what he has asked for, but what is best in Godís judgment and according to His will. This truth is found in the Lordís Prayer that Our Lord Jesus Christ had taught to His disciples and us after them, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." St. Paul explains that our Lord Jesus Christ knew that God had heard Him but He also knew that he would have to obey and accept God's response to His prayer, which was to still go ahead and fulfill salvation of mankind by death on the cross. "Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered" (Heb 5:8). The Son prayed in complete obedience to the Father, crying and supplicating. We hear Him saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Mt 26:39). Our Lord Jesus Christ came to represent us. He came in complete obedience not to do His own will, but the Father's will. He gave us the true example on how to cry to the Lord, believing that He hears our prayers and that He will lead us to abide by His will not our own.
St Paul himself, who also feared and loved God, pleaded with the Lord three times to take away from him 'a thorn in the flesh'. God heard Him and replied, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9). St. Paul accepted gladly God's answer to his plea.