One of the timeless questions asked to ministers is this…”Why doesn’t God answer my prayers.” The common answer given by ministers is, “He always answers your prayers..He says “Yes” or “No” or “Wait.” Yet as we are in the sixth day of seeking, I want to posit another thought.
Isaiah is one of the major prophets of the Old Testament. God used him to warn, inform and correct a nation. Isaiah is mostly known for the prophesies of Jesus Christ that he recorded.
In chapter 58, God is once again using Isaiah to inform his people that they have failed and tells them of their sins. Then comes chapter 59…a reminder and then a truth. For the sake of this post, lets take them one at a time.
1. The reminder: “Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” This verse is reminding His people that God DOES HAVE THE ABILITY TO ANSWER PRAYER. He is no less able to move than when He spoke the word and the universe sprang into existence (Genesis 1-3). He is no less able to move than when He parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14)or when He worked so many mighty miracles.
He reminds us that He CAN hear us…He is not like the pagan gods that were made of stone which had ears but couldn’t hear (1 Kings 18)but that He DOES have the ability to hear…so what is the problem? Why not a “Yes” “No” or “Maybe?”
2. The truth: Verse two cannot be any more clear than what it says…there it is, in black and white on your Bible. Read it:
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Do you notice the stark contrast? Isaiah doesn’t say he “cannot” hear but rather that he “will not” hear! What could it be that is so disgusting that God refuses to hear prayers? Sin. Plain, simple, SIN.
Is it possible today that there is some hidden sin that controls your life? Do you live like a saint at church and a sinner when no one is looking? What is it that is causing God to choose NOT to hear your prayers? Remember, unconfessed sin is unforgiven sin. We cannot afford to have it in our life if we want God to hear our prayers.
On Day Six of Seeking, let us remember the words of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.” (Luke 11:4)
Have you wronged someone? Are you living a hypocrites lie? Then repent…and do it with the remembrance of God’s promise of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Then, and only then, will you hear “Yes” “No” or “Wait.”