Aug 10, 2013

God Doesn't Hear Me?

     Have you ever prayed, but felt that no matter how hard, or how long you pleaded, you just couldn't seem to get a hold of God? You felt as if your prayers were only going as high as the ceiling, and you couldn't understand why?

I have. 

     One morning, as I was sitting and listening to a lesson being taught by a very godly, very wise preacher, I realized he was making a painstakingly good point. He gave three reasons as to why God does not hear your prayers. They were short, sweet, and to the point. Well, short and to the point, anyways, and full of wisdom.
     The first point he made, hit the nail on the head, at least in my life. How often, when we pray, does our prayer go along the lines of, "...Dear Lord, thank you for the day, bless it, keep me safe, and my friends and family, bless all who are sick and dying, be with so-and-so, forgive me of my many sins and where I fail you..yada yada...amen."? 
     I admit, I am guilty, as charged. Nothing wrong with that prayer though, right? Wrong. The problem? It's backwards. You do not pray, and then confess, you confess, and then pray. If you take a look at Psalm 66:18, you might understand why. 

  • If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me: 
-Psalm 66:18

That brings us to the first point.

  (1.) God cannot hear prayer because of unconfessed sin. 

     Good news though. God assures us in 1 John 1:9, that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.". When I heard this, however, I immediately thought, "Well, what if I can't remember everysinglesin. I had committed in a day? I mean, it could range from lying, to a bad attitude, to maybe contemplating swiping that nickel I found on the counter. I can't remember EVERYTHING." That's when the pastor seemed to have read my mind. You see, God says that if we confess our sins; the sins we remember, the ones that we know we're guilty of, then He is faithful and just to forgive us of them, and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. All. Not just the things we remember. But the things we can't, as well. That's pretty amazing. We serve a merciful and gracious God! 

    The second point the preacher made, was this:

  (2.) God cannot hear our prayer because of unbelief. 

Hebrews 11:16 says that, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him.." The rest of the verse tells us that, if we come to God, we must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. However, before we pray, we must ask ourself the question, is it the will of God? If you can validate the will of God through the word of God, you are to step out on faith, and do it. James 1:5-7 tells us that, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." Notice the part where it says, "But let him ask in faith...", again bringing up the matter of belief. If we have faith that God shall bring something to pass, then He shall, in His will. Simple as that. He even said so, in Mark 11:24

  • Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 
- Mark 11:24

Believe, and "Ye shall have" is what He promised. 
    The next two verses in this chapter bring about the third, and last point. 

  (3.) God cannot answer prayer because of an unforgiving spirit.

  • And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
-Mark 11:25-26

     If you are not willing to forgive the wrong of others, then God is not going to forgive you, thus keeping that wall of separation between you and the Lord, and forming a rift in your relationship with Him. We are commanded over and over in the Word of God to forgive, even as Christ has forgiven us. Ephesians 4:31 tells us to, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

     Forgiveness is essential in the Christian's life, especially if we wish to have a close relationship with the Lord. 

     So, the next time you can't seem to get God's attention in the prayer closet, maybe it's because there's something in your heart that needs to be dealt with. I challenge you to ponder these things, and maybe even find a quiet place, where you can get things right with God, so your relationship with Him is once again restored. And remember that He faithful and just, merciful and gracious. He is wanting and waiting to forgive. :)

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