Is God Ignoring What I Prayed For?

For some time now, I have been writing about what various people have prayed for as a model of what we may face in life. When some people pray, I know that many people feel isolated and ignored. This leads them to ask Is God Ignoring What I Prayed For? There are two reasons that prayers go unanswered. One is that the prayer is not the will of God – that is what is asked for does not align with what God desires. The other is that the prayer is prayed by one whom God does not obligate Himself to respond.

The latter is what we will explore today in a few verses. When we don’t get what we want, we have a bad habit of blaming the person whom we attribute the loss of that desire. In Isaiah 59, Isaiah addresses the peoples’ accusation that God did not help them when they called upon Him. Isaiah corrects the mistake of those who had been arguing with or blaming God because He did not the deliver them even though they had been often fasting and praying. Listen to the Word of the Lord through Isaiah 59.

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongue mutters wicked things.

In verse one, Isaiah conveys that God has no limitations in accomplishing what He desires. The reference to the “short arm” connotes that nothing is out of reach for God. He has the power and presence to do whatever His will desires. Isaiah also states that God’s ears aren’t too dull to hear. This addressed the peoples’ accusation that God obviously could not hear them especially since they had fasted and prayed which they felt entitled them to a response from God.

Verse two clarifies the matter. Essentially, Isaiah says that God’s lack of response in answering their prayer, even with fasting, is not a function of God’s limitation, which He has none, but the unanswered prayer is a function of their sins. Their sins created separation with God. Sin impairs the mercy of God from being extended to us. Sin builds a dividing wall of hostility between God and us. Our sin alienates us from God. Sin hides God’s face from us (which denotes great displeasure, Deut. 29:21Deut. 31:17). Matthew Henry, says about this about our sin “it provokes him in anger to withdraw his gracious presence, to suspend the tokens of his favour and the instances of his help; it provokes him to hide his face, that he will not hear, as he has said, Isa. 1:15. If we regard iniquity in our heart, if we indulge it and allow ourselves in it, God will not hear our prayersPs. 66:18. We cannot expect that he should countenance us while we go on to affront him.”

We learn in verse three what their sin was. What is the sin in your life that prohibits God from hearing and answering your prayers? Psalms 66:18 adds “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;” Isaiah goes on to show in great depth how the Israelites sinned in the Isa. 59:9-15. Those verses give an account of how many and how great their sins were, according to the charge given him (Isa. 58:1), to show God’s people their transgressions. From Matthew Henry and he also said, “it is a black bill of indictment that is here drawn up against them, consisting of many particulars, any one of which was enough to separate between them and a just and a holy God.”

God did not hear their prayer because of their sin; God does not hear our prayers because of our sins. What hope then do we ever have of God hearing our prayers? Paul tells us how in Ephesians 2:

11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men) — 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

 It is only through Jesus Christ that the dividing wall is broken down affording us access to the Father for Him to hear and respond to our prayers. Surrender to Jesus and receive the Ear of God.

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