Keeping Our Prayer Lines Open (Isaiah 59:1-2)
Isaiah 59:1-2, “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
God pleaded with Judah to repent of their sinful living. With those conditions still in place, the prophet cried out, Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. The problem of unanswered prayer is not on God’s end. There is no weakness or shortcoming on His part. Sin dishonors God and makes Him look imperfect when it is not God being inadequate at all, but our sin that is the problem. Our sin sometimes makes God look weak when He is not weak at all. But our sin hinders God from working on our behalf.
Rather, “…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” Sin separates us from God. When sin remains unconfessed and unrepented of in our hearts, God will not hear. Sin is the chief obstacle to answered prayer. They may be sins of commission, but for born-again Christians, often the sin is that of omission—failing to do as we ought. In either event, sin in our lives causes God to turn away His ear from our prayer. Psalm 66:18; Zechariah 7:11-13; Proverbs 28:9.
Prayer is a powerful privilege the Lord offers to us. Knowing this should encourage us to draw closer to Him. Prayer is a relationship with Him, not a list, a board meeting, or a method. Prayer causes the devil to tremble and he will do all that he can to convince you that prayer is pointless and powerless. Satan cannot keep God from answering your prayers, so he will attempt to keep you from praying. Doubt will infect your prayer life. Satan loves to blame God for our problems when we are the blame ourselves. Unanswered prayer does not mean God is incapable of hearing or answering our prayers. It may be that our sin has blocked God from helping us. Let us not blame God for our troubles, but ourselves. God is all-powerful and all-loving. He desires to demonstrate His power and love in and through your life.
Unfortunately, many people often live life on their own terms, as if they expect God to do what they told Him to, when they told Him to do it. Too often God is treated like a genie in a bottle, or a spare tire, and even an ATM machine. May we grow in our relationship with the Lord and in confidence knowing that God is eager to answer our prayers. In fact, He does some of His greatest miracles in our lives in times when we are doubting or discouraged.
PRAYER: Lord, I know there are times when You are not able to hear my prayers due to unconfessed sin. Show me and convict me when there is sin in my life so that my prayers can be heard and answered. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.