Sometimes, it feels like God isn’t listening. And He may, in fact, not be. There are reasons that God doesn’t listen, spelled out for us in His word. We just have to listen and correct the things that are in need of correcting. Blackaby focused on four things that can keep God from hearing or answering our prayers.
- SIN â€“ yeah, this is an obvious one but sometimes, we have un-confessed sin that we don’t even remember. It can keep us separated from God and keep our prayers from being heard. Recall what He told his people in Isaiah 1:15 â€“ “Your hands are full of blood.” The people were oblivious to their sin. They were praying, sacrificing, celebrating, doing religious stuff and God said â€“ “I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning.”
- RELATIONSHIPS â€“ look around you, are there people in your life that you need to reconcile with? In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus tells us to repair our relationships before we bring offerings to God.
- RITUAL â€“ Jesus also talked about the actors, the hypocrites, who tried to impress God with their public prayers. They were really trying to impress their friends and neighbors. God expects us to keep it real â€“ we can’t hide anything from him, why try?
- DISOBEDIENCE â€“ this one really hit home. I always (seemingly) know what to do, yet do the things I want to do, knowing they are wrong. Just like Paul in Romans 7:15. Until I am obedient, I miss all that God has in store for me. It’s pointless for me to keep asking for something in prayer if I’m not going to do what God tells me to do.
This was one of those days that I knew I was in need of reconciliation with someone. But I don’t want to reconcile. Just don’t want to. It’s too hard to approach someone that you think has wronged you and try to overcome the hard feelings from a long time of bitterness. And then the blame game sets in, hey, it was their fault in the first place. Sigh. I don’t want to do this. I need to pray for strength.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. (Matthew 6:7-9)