TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Many believers struggle with prayer, perhaps because they’ve often prayed prayers that remained unanswered. Isaiah 59 gives us one clearly stated reason for God’s unwillingness to answer our prayers: our sin.
Isa. 59:1-2 Indeed, the ’s hand is not too short to save, and His ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.
Don’t miss what Isaiah says. The problem is not that God cannot save or hear. Instead, our sin has built a barrier in our relationship with God.
Read the verse again: “your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.” Those words remind us that our sin matters. When we live in unrepentant sin, God chooses to hide His face from us and does not listen to our prayers.
I think about so many believers and churches in the world that seek God’s answers to prayer, but they do so without first addressing sin issues in their own lives. They fail to see that the apparent “wall” in front of God that seems to keep Him from answering our prayers is actually the wall of our sin. God does not listen to our prayers because we do not listen to Him.
What sins in your life render your prayers useless right now?
If you want God to hear and respond to your prayers, tear down the wall of your sin. He stands ready to hear your prayers of confession and repentance — and He then will stand more ready to hear the rest of your prayers.
PRAYER: Ask God to reveal to you and me any sin that hinders our prayers today. Let Him weaken our love for our sin and then dislodge it from our heart. May our lips resound with words of repentance this day.
TOMORROW’S READING: Isaiah 64-66