Why is God ‘NOT’ answering our PRAYERS?
August 4 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 58-60
"Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)
When we study the workings of Jehovah God through the ages, especially with His dealing with the children of Israel, we can clearly see that there are certain set rules and regulations that God required from His people. Even way back in the Garden of Eden, God set a rule for Adam and Eve where they were prohibited from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17). However, when they disobeyed God’s commandment both Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden since their sin prevented God from having the same intimate relationship with them!
After many years, when God appeared to Moses on Horeb, the mountain of God, the first thing that God told Moses was to take the sandals off his feet, for the place where he stood in God’s presence was holy ground (Exodus 3:1-5). When the children of Israel arrived at Mount Sinai, God asked Moses to consecrate and cleanse the people so that God could appear to them in the sight of all the people (Exodus 19:10-11). None of the people could even touch the mountain where God would descend in their sight otherwise they would die (v. 12).
Through the wilderness journey, God’s presence among them was symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant in the holy of holies, where only Aaron the High Priest could approach only once in a year on the Day of Atonement after he was consecrated and cleansed completely (Leviticus 16). Only the blood of the slain lamb could cleanse Aaron and the people of Israel! If there was sin in the camp, God would neither hear the prayers of His people nor would He save them from their enemies. A good example was the defeat of Israelites before the people of Ai because of the sin of one man, Achan (see Joshua 7:1 – 8:29).
The same principle of cleansing and consecration is evident in the New Testament and in our days. God refuses to either hear our prayers or work on our behalf when we harbor sin in our hearts. The psalmist understood this principle clearly when he declared: "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear" (Psalms 66:18). The only way for our sins to be wiped away is through the blood of Jesus, the eternal Lamb of God!
Today, let us examine our hearts and our motives, and ask God to cleanse us thoroughly by the precious blood that our Lord Jesus has shed for us on the cross of Calvary. Let this be our sincere prayer to God: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalms 139:23-24). If we do that, God will hear and answer our prayers as well as work on our behalf!