Are Your Prayers Being Heard?

  • 30 October 2019

Recently, someone was bemoaning the fact that God doesn’t answer her prayers. Therefore, she has decided that there must not be a God. I was dumbfounded as to how to answer her but, as I thought back over our conversation, I was aware of how often she talked about people who hurt her, making it clear that she has no good wishes toward them. In fact, that is an understatement.

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.  ~Isaiah 59:2 (emphasis added)

If God is not answering your prayers, the first thing you need to do is examine your heart. Is there sin which you have not confessed that you are hoping God will overlook and grant your request anyway? In the case of my friend, bitterness and unforgiveness flow from her in every conversation. But some sins are more subtle.

Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.  ~John 9:31 (emphasis added)

I think this verse is key. Are you worshiping God, praising Him in the midst of adversity, and doing what God would have you do even when it is hard to do so? I am pondering this in my life as well. We live in a society that is big on not letting people walk all over you but what about humility, turning the other cheek, not letting the sun go down on anger? These things can hinder your prayers as well.

You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. ~James 4:2-3

I confess that I have been guilty of selfish prayers, and I probably still fall into this more than I would like to admit. If I wrote my life’s script, I would never be sick, never have relational struggles. I would live in the bubble of a picture-perfect world. But that is not reality. My prayers may not always be for material gain (although I do pray for that at times too), but I often pray for what I want which is sometimes not what God has for me. You see, we can claim scriptures all day long about “Ask whatever you will, and it shall be done by my Father in Heaven” (John 15:7), while the key is in declaring, “Not my will but Yours be done.” As I draw closer to the Lord, my will surrenders to His will and then all these things are added unto me (Matthew 6:33).

Please don’t think that I am being harsh and judgmental. I am not meaning to throw anyone under the bus or to guilt trip those who are struggling. I am saying that God is not a genie in a bottle. He doesn’t have to answer anyone’s prayers, but He does listen, He cares, His hand is not too short. If you have been asking for something and have not received your answer, don’t give up. Ask God to show you if there is something in your life that is keeping your prayer from being heard. If you know that you are where you need to be with the Lord, then ask Him to make it clear if your request does not line up with His will and be willing to let go of that thing. Sometimes things do not make sense to us but God knows all, and we must trust Him. Do not let unanswered prayers cause you to wonder if there is a God. Draw near to Him like never before and ask Him to increase your faith and trust. I expect that is a prayer that He will answer.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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  1. Scotty Searan - October 30, 2019 at 10:59 PM

    Very enlightening thoughts.

    Absolutely Biblical

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