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Why doesn't God hear my Prayer?

10th December 2011, hej

 

3) Putting away sin to be heard

The history of Israel illustrates many points when prayer was not heard. One is striking, Jeremiah is told,

And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. (Jeremiah 7:15-16)


We can see that prayer to be answered must fit the will of God. At that time it was his will as it was his plan to try them and refine them through captivity at that time. Jermeiah is told three times, not to pray for his people. The last explains,

Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins. Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good. (Jeremiah 14:10-11)


It is no good to pray to God when you are not a servant who honours him. It might rather work against the person,

For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourns in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. (Ezekiel 14:7-8)

There will be an answer to such a prayer but it won't be good.


There is no harm in seeking a right way before God before seeking him to ask him for something. Jacob when he fled to Bethel told all his mixed household to put away the strange Gods, and wash themselves (Gen 35:2). There is a specific promise that if the people of Israel sought to do well their prayers would be heard,

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:15-18)


It might be fashionable today to see the God of Israel as tolerant, but the Apostle Peter says the same as Isaiah was told,

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (1Pe 3:10-12)


This says that every servant who strives in honesty to live an upright life, will be heard. Whether their prayer is answered directly or not, is a different matter. John qualifies this.

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: (1John 5:14)

John writes this, having also written the words of Y'shua (Jesus)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24)

John implies that

to ask in Jesus' name ~ ask according to his will


Calling on the name seems to equate to calling on the purpose of God, and that purpose is embodied in Christ, the name by which all are saved. Note how John records,

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)


Prayer in the time of the apostles was to glorify the Father and establish the role of the son. Healing was not for the sake of healing itself, but to show that the witness was true. We might be wary that James points out that prayer other than that for the glory of the Father might not be answered,

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (James 4:1-4)


If you are sure you have sought with the best of your ability to be a faithful servant, to know and understand God's will and do it, and have sought only for the glory of God in prayer and there is still no answer. It may be that it might require a patient wait and persistence. This is Christ's advice

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:1-8)


Christ's recommendation to not faint is equated to faith. Faith is confidence and conviction, which is based on knowledge and evidence. The greater the knowledge and the greater the evidence in the service of an obedient life, the greater the faith.


The future that is promised, is one where there will be much more open communication. Those who are refined will be heard immediately,

And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. (Zechariah 13:9)

Before the question is asked, has God heard and done something about our requests, we might ask ourselves have we heard God and his requests? Have we read, and valued and sought to do every word from his mouth? For in the time of blessing that Isaiah speaks of when people are answered immediately, and there is no more weeping, at that time, they shall hear clearly the voice of God and walk perfectly in the way of Yahweh Elohim,

For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shall weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:19-21)


If you have not read it already, the first part of this article is Prayer

Tags: life, prayer
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