Memorise: If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: - Psalm 66:18
Read: Isaiah 59:1-4 (KJV)
1 Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Bible in One Year: Genesis 25-26, Isaiah 47:1-13
The fact that God answers prayers is without doubt. Anytime you call on Him, as long as it is in the Name of Jesus, you can be sure the answer will come. Jesus in John 14:14 said,
“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
To God, answering prayers is a question of keeping His word. He said if you call upon Him when you are in trouble, He will deliver you, and He is bound by His word (Psalm 50:15, Hebrews 6:18). There was once a contest between the prophet of God, Elijah, and 450 prophets of an idol called Baal (1 Kings 18:19-24). Each side was to call on their God or god; the goal was to see which side would receive a response by fire. The prophets of Baal called on their god from morning till afternoon, but there was no answer. The moment the man of God called on the Lord, fire fell from heaven. God is still in the business of answering prayers, but are you still in the business of obeying Him? Be assured that God is still in the business of stilling raging storms. If you remove iniquity from your heart, you will call on Him and He will answer and deliver you.
As much as God desires to answer your prayers, if you still enjoy a life of sin, your prayers cannot be answered. We must make conscious efforts to remove all impediments to our prayers. Such impediments include what the Bible describes as “the sin which doth so easily beset us” (Hebrews 12:1). The pleasures of the flesh run against God’s expectations (Galatians 5:17). Such pleasures will not allow us to receive answers to our prayers. We must be weary of gossip because there is great danger in every idle word we speak (Matthew 12:36). Jesting should also be avoided (Ephesians 5:4). Jesting refers to unholy jokes. God is not against laughter and humour as some people wrongly believe. He is pleasantly humorous, but we must keep ourselves from unhealthy jokes that hinder holy living or make fun of the Holy Spirit. The Lord is not just looking for those who are calling on Him for miracles and signs; He is searching for those who will lift up holy hands and a pure heart before Him (Psalm 24:3-5). He is looking for those who are ready and committed to walking in His footsteps. God is holy, and He has called us to holy living. We are to do as He commands because we are the light of the world. God in Heaven is glorified when our light shines in the midst of the darkness of this world. If you don’t want any impediment of your prayers from now on, you must amend your ways. If you have been stealing, repent and steal no more. If you have been involved in questionable transactions and dealings, you have to repent and forsake such ways. If your life is right with God, your prayers will not be hindered.
Action Point: Confess every pleasure of the flesh you have yield to, asking for grace to live above them.