Last updated on April 13, 2018
Last updated on April 6, 2018
Does God Hear All Our Prayers?
(A Message delivered by the blog author in a Christian congregation recently. Some of the points in this message are taken from Dr. Woodrow Kroll’s recently released book,”When God Doesn’t Answer, Removing Roadblocks to Answered Prayer”) I am very much indebted to Dr. Woodrow Kroll (President Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska) for this).
We all pray. There is no doubt about it. Is there anybody who is sitting here who do not pray? Or let me say, ‘˜never prayed? I don’t think any such individual is sitting here.
What to say! just have a look around us. We can see a big crowd around us who believe in prayer.
If we take the case of the whole of India, the majority population in India are Hindus. I believe that about 90% of our Hindu brethren believe in prayer. The long queues at the temples in the morning hours will support or declare this.
Let us take the case of our Muslim brethren; theirs is entirely a different one, without fail, daily three times they pray. Even if they are on travel they find a comfortable place and do their prayers. Likewise, other religious people like the Buddhists, Jainists, Sikhs and all others believe in prayer and they all ceremoniously and systematically pray daily.
What to say! Even the atheist pray, when they are in deep trouble they cry and call god. There are many such atheists names occupied in the pages of history.
There is no doubt that, everyone believes there is a supernatural being above them and they pray in some way or other. But we the believers of Christ too, pray. But there is a great difference between them and the believers or let me put it this way, the so-called “Verpaadukaar” “or the “separated ones”. Yes, they are no doubt entirely different from all these mentioned groups.
But here is a question: How far we are true to these words?
Are we or do we have a separated prayer life?
Or let me say like this, how much respect or priority we give in this aspect?
Here I am only stressing on the subject ‘˜Prayer’. It’s true that in many other areas we miserably failed.
It is a plain truth which we need to consider seriously. I don’t want to dwell on any such issues now. But I want to emphasize only on the subject Prayer. It is equally or more important or more serious than anything else in a Christian’s life.
As I said earlier “we all pray, there is no doubt about it.
Here is a question to you:
Let me ask again ‘” Does God hear all our prayers?
Now you may ask? What, brother, what question is this?
And you may say:
Yes, No doubt, God will hear all our prayers.
I don’t think anybody is having other than this answer
Let me repeat the question again.
“Is God give ear to all our prayers?
The Psalmist says ” As for me I will call upon God and the Lord shall save me, Evening, and morning and at noon will I pray and cry aloud; and he shall hear my voice ( Ps. 55:16-17).
Yes the prayer, with a broken heart Lord hears, No second opinion to this.
Yes, it’s very true.
Now you may ask like this – “Then, Brother, why did you ask such a question?
OK, that too is a genuine doubt or question.
Your question is a valued one and it got its own importance, no doubt about it. Yes, our God is a God who hears our prayers and he is entirely different from all other Gods.
But then dearly beloved of God, there is another side too to this, and that is true and we need not forget this.
All our prayers are not heard by God. That is true and a plain truth too.
Now again you may think like, hey, what this brother is going to say? He says our God hears all our prayers and now he says “all our prayers are not heard by God” What’s this?
Dearly beloved of God, Please do not show your red face on this statement, and please do not get annoyed by this.
This is the fact, I am not saying but the Bible says it.
Yes, “all our prayers are not heard by God.”
Some of our prayers do not go beyond this ceiling or roof, that is the reality or truth.
Yes, some of our practices, belief or deeds will not allow those prayers to go beyond the roof. Some of our approaches, attitudes or deeds keep us away from hearing our prayers.
Today, in this connection, I want to share with you some of the truth I read it in a recently released book.
If our prayers are to be heard or answered by God, we need to follow some rules and regulations or conditions. These rules are very well presented in the Scriptures.
What are those rules?
To get our prayers answered or heard the first condition is that we must pray in faith. Read Heb. 11:16, Matt. 17:20,21,22 Mark. 11: 23,24; James 1:6.
Second is our prayers should be in Jesus name John 14: 13; 15:16; 16″23
Our prayers should be according to God’s will. 1 John 5:14,15
Our prayers should be in the Holy Spirit. Eph. 6:18, Jude 20.
Our prayers should be after repenting for our sins. PS. 66:18; Prov. 28:9 Isa. 59: 1,2,6
Our prayers should be with a patient heart Matt. 6:12-15; 18: 21-35; Mark. 11:25-26; James 11:25-26; James. 5:14, 16
It should be after reconciling with your brother. Matt. 5:21-24; 18:19
It should be with persistence. Luke 11:5-8; 18:1-8
It should be effectual and fervent. James 5:16
The one who prays should abide in Christ. John 15:7
There are some more reasons.
Because we ask amiss that we may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:3.
If we regard iniquity in our heart, the Lord will not hear Ps. 66:18, Isa. 59:12 Habb.2:13
Keeps idols in our hearts Ezekiel 14:3
Because of our unforgiveness Mark. 11:25,26
Because of our unbelief James. 1:6
Because of our negligence to hear the Word of God Prov. 28:9
Because of our negligence towards the cry of the poor. Prov. 21:13.
Perhaps, these are some of the reasons why our prayers are not heard or answered.
Yes, there are so many reasons our prayers are unheard or unanswered, but today I want to emphasis on three Major reasons why our prayers are not answered or unheard by our God.
Reason Number One. Our failure to respect God
Reason Number Two: Failure to abide in Christ
Reason Number Three: Failure to give respect to the Word of God
There are some of the major reasons why our prayers are not heard or unanswered.
If we rectify this and proceed further God will hear our prayers.
Let us take these points very seriously in our life and follow Christ then He will listen to our cries.
Failure to respect God
One of the main reason why our prayers are not heard or answered is our failure in respecting God.
Who is God?
We all know very well, Yes, He is our creator and the creator of this universe.
He is our sustainer, He is Sovereign, He is eternal, Omniscient, omnipotent etc. there are so many things we learned about God. This comes automatically from our heart since we all learned and heard this thing from our childhood. Yes, through the reading of the school textbooks and above all by the reading of the Word of God and the hearing the Word through the sermons of the men of God.
As if learned from a textbook we all know this by heart. But at the same time, we all need to know this personally from our own individual experiences and we must find out answers to this.
How is our relationship with God? And how we deal with God?
Well, we may say, of course, we all give the importance to God as He deserves,
OK Is God knows this through our daily activities?
A bit difficult question to answer.
Maybe sometimes due to the sins pressure and its invasion in our life and our desire to fondle it or enjoy it is definitely be a big hindrance between God and us or to hear our prayers. Here is where we fail in our relationship with God
We have many individual references in the Word of God when sin entered into their life and everything departed from them. The very best example is our great, great grand Father and Mother, Adam and Eve.
They failed utterly when sin entered in their life. In the beginning, they were in constant conversation with God and they walked with God and enjoyed a heavenly life but alas when sin entered in their life the lovely relationship with God is broken. But God didn’t leave them there, instead, He sends His only begotten Son to this world to mend those broken relationships. So God allowed His son to die on the cross of Calvary for us. God in His eternal plan provided this wonderful opportunity to mankind to rebuild the broken relationship with God.
So by His grace and love today we all become worshipers of this living God. This God loves to dwell among us and loves to hear our voices, but most of the time due to our deeds we couldn’t keep up that relationship constantly. Here is where we need “prayer” one of the major links between God and man. Our prayers with a broken heart God listen carefully. But quite often our thoughts and actions keep us away to exercise this due respect and glory which is due to him. Instead, we withhold that within us. And we lack in glorifying the creator thus our prayers became ‘˜just’ prayers or vain repetitions.
Here in this area, we are not alone, we are standing in the midst of a big crowd. Yes, the people went ahead of us, our forefathers and the many among the old testament believers, especially the people of Jewish generation they all faced this drawback in their life.
The people of Israel fallen into the sin of idolatry, due to this sin God turned away his ears to their prayers. God gave warnings through different prophets time to time. But they didn’t listen to His words and they continued or repeatedly indulged in the same sin.
In the book of Ezekiel 8:18 we read like this: “Therefore will I also deal in fury; mine eyes shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.
If we read the whole chapter 8 we can know that How much God hates this sin.
Here is a vital point for us to make note of it, a great lesson we can learn from this chapter. Though we do not literally worship idols there are some small- small idols dwells in the bottom of our heart. Yes, there are some idols occupied in our life. Yes, when His people gave their love and affection to anyone or anything other than God that will definitely be a kind of idolatry. In such situation what will happen? God will not listen or care such people’s prayers.
Are we not giving importance to many other things when you need to give importance to God and His things? Yes, these are no doubt, the idols in our life. Whatever, we respect more than God and His matters that is idolatry.
Let us break such activities or remove such idols from our lives. Let us not give respect which is due to God to something else of this world, then He will honor your prayers. Honor God He will honor you. Let us examine what are those idols dwelling in us and let’s destroy or remove them at ones.
Lord God again reminds the same thing to the people of Israel through Prophet Micah. Micah chapter 3:14 says, “Then shall thy cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them. He will even hide his face from them at that time as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.”
The Lord dealt with them so harshly because of their own doing. Since their relationships with God had cut off their prayers are not answered.
The loving God again reminded them about their sins through the prophet Zechariah.
Zechariah chapter 1: 2-3 we read, “The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers. Therefore say thou unto them, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you saith the LORD of hosts.
So Lord says, through the prophets, “Turn unto Me” Chapter 7:13 we read — He cried, they wouldn’t hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts: likewise if we deal the Lord lightly and give importance to many other thing things like the people of Israel did. How he will hear our prayers.
Again Lord God reminds the people of Israel through Prophet Jeremiah. Three times Lord reminded the people through Jeremiah. Jer. 7:16l 11:14; 14: 11-12.
We read in verse 16, God says to Prophet Jeremiah, therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
These are the word of God.
Perhaps you may think that, is there such verses in the Holy Bible that a holy God telling his prophet to not to pray for them’?
This may be a surprising news to some of you.
We think that God will hear all our prayers; though sometimes he may not immediately answer definitely he will hear our prayers. This is what we all generally believe. But here he says, “Pray not thou for this people” here we see God’s how God hate or dislike idolatry. He hates idolatry and the people who do it. In the case of Israelites, the Lord desired their change of heart and sends his prophets to them.
What about our idolatry? Do we have any difference from the people of Israel?
Let us think for a moment and examine ourselves.
Oh! I think there is not much difference between us and the people of Israel.
We do not have any problem in spending 100 or 200 or 500 bugs to watch a football or a cricket match but at the same time when coming to the Sunday worship service at the offertory box, we put the small denomination notes or coins. Likewise, if we look into our life we can trace so many examples like this. Yet another example I would like to add here is: After a hectic day’s work back home and spend a lot of time in front of TV to watch the favorite soap shows or serials. At the same time how much time you and I are spending in the presence of God to read and meditate His word and for the prayer. All these things, that is the time, respect and position which God deserves we are putting it on many other vain things. Is this not a kind of idolatry? Then when the necessity arises we cry to God, God, God, Help, Help, will such cries will be heard or answered? No. according to His Word a definite NO.
Dearly beloved of God, Let us reconsider our doings and our attitudes towards God and His matters. All these days if we failed, let us take a decision today to give more importance to God and His things, let us give the first priority to God and then all other things connected with our daily life.
The word of God very emphatically says, “Those who honor me I will honor”
How we honor God? In the same measure only will God honor us too. If we honor God according to His desire and plan no doubt, He answers our prayers.
Let us give the respect which is due unto him or which He deserves.
Failure to abide in Christ Jesus
The second reason for the unanswered prayer is The failure to abide in Christ Jesus.
God at different intervals called and dealing with us in different manners. And he speaks to us in different ways and reveals his greatness in different ways. Mainly through His Son Lord Jesus Christ and His living Word.
From the pages of the word of God, we know the intimate relationship with the father and son. Jesus Christ, the son of God had a constant contact with His father through prayer. There was now a hindrance in their conversation. The Lord God always opened his ears to his son’s supplications. Except the few hours on the cross of Calvary . He heard and answered every supplication of His son except the cry at the cross of Calvary . This is not answered just to save us from the eternal damnation.
Some of us only when the need arises rush towards Jesus for help. The salvation which Christ Jesus offered on the cross of Calvary everyone wants , and it is very necessary too. Since it is free we receive it wholeheartedly with the stretched out hands. For some, that is the end of the story and go and live as they like. Again when trials and tribulations or when an emergency comes rush back to Jesus Christ, like an “aapathbandhu” ie. “help in need of accident or in an emergency. Such emergency” time if dial the number 108 the ambulance (aapathbandhu) will come to the spot with the help. A government service provided by the Andhra Pradesh State.
We the believers should not be like this, God is needed only when an emergency comes, this is a sad situation prevailing among many Christians. This is very sad. God never accept or tolerate such behavior. Let us not to be just Sunday Christians, let us have a constant contact with our Lord in our daily life. Let us look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith daily and always.
What is written in Psalm 91, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Only when one dwelleth in the secret place of the most High one can expect protection from Him. Only such people can say along with the Psalmist that , He is my refuge and fortress. His presence is not a place only when need arises to rush for refuge.
How is our relationship with him? In which category, we are in? Are we in the list of the people who rush only when the need arises? Or are you in the group of people who always dwells in the presence of God? Is that a permanent one or a temporary one like the people who rush to God only when the need arises? Is that restricted only to Sunday mornings? If that is the case it’s a sad situation and no doubt it will be a failure Christian life too. I and you are in this category we need to seriously think on this and to rectify soon.
Let us examine ourselves where we stand?
Let us renew our relationship with Him, let us have a constant relationship with Him. Then He will listen to our voice. If we have such a relationship with God He will recognize our voice immediately and He will eagerly listen to our voices.
Let us abide in Him daily.
Failure to Heed the Word of God
The Third Reason is: Failure in heed the Word of God
God speaks to us today through His Precious Word The Bible or the Scriptures. We should not neglect or show less respect in reading and study His Word. Bible the Word of God is the greatest gift ever received from God to us. A “Nidhi” or a Plunder or “kolla’ let us not neglect this in our life.
These days there are different varieties (in size and in look) of Bible available in the book stores. There are different versions varieties like for example for the kids with cartoons, for the young, old, women and for every one according to their choices this is available. And we purchase these and bring it to our homes with great enthusiasm. The latest survey says it is the largest selling book in the world. Dr. Woodrow Kroll said in his book, “When God Doesn’t Answer, Removing Roadblocks to Answered Prayer” and I quote: “We bought Bibles in such quantities that it became the best-seller of all time. God must have been pleased. So many people were so interested in what he had to say.
But the Bible is a little like exercise bikes. A lot of people buy them, but few people use them. Exercise bikes show up in garage sales more often than anything else. Why? The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (literally). The same is true with Bibles.
While the number of Bibles printed and purchased is phenomenal, the number of Bibles read and heeded is pitiful. For many people, the Bible has become a family heirloom, a coffee table dust gatherer, or the object of a maddening search on Sunday morning that makes you late for church.
I have often said that if everybody blew the dust off their Bibles at the same time, we’d all be killed in the dust storm. We have plenty of questions and the Bible has the answers, but we know so very little about the Bible that our questions largely go unanswered.
Solomon the wisest man ever lived said like this: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” Prov. 28:9 from this verse it is very clear that if one turneth away his ear from hearing the law ‘”The Word of God-The Bible ‘” his prayers are an abomination to God.
Yes, those who neglect His Word/Law the Bible, their prayers too, He hates.
We have noticed that God turns away His ears from those who cherish sin in their life. Likewise, if anybody turns away or neglect His Word he hates their prayers, notice that he did not even listen then how will one expect an answer to it.
In Psalm 19: 10 we read, His Statues, or the law is “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
Yes, only the one who tasted can know its sweetness, and only such person can know the value of it.
Dr. Kroll in his book narrated an example, he says, “As an author of dozens of books, the greatest compliment you can pay me is to say you’ve read my books. You don’t necessarily have to say you enjoyed them; reading them is enough for most authors.
May I remind you that God wrote a book'”only one book. It’s the Bible. I wonder what you’ll say to him should he ask you at the judgment seat of Christ, “Did you read my book?” What will you say? How well are you treating God’s Word?”
Yes, our prayer success mainly depends on how we are treating God and His Word.
Let me repeat Solomon’s words again. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.” What a pathetic condition is this!
Let us deeply think over this, and check where do we stand today? Are we failed in this area of respecting God and His Word? Or how far we succeeded in respecting God and His Word? Or Are we giving the respect which is due to God giving to someone else or some other things? If so this is the best time to end that. Let us renew our relationship with God and His Word, and let us give the glory and honor to God. He alone is worthy to receive our glory and honor. Let us not harden our heart like the people of Israel . Let us break or destroy the idols the small and the big hiding in our heart.
Where are we abiding today?
Let us abide in Him. Unless we abide in Him we can’t do anything even to please God. As we read it in John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Please listen carefully: Unless and until one abides in Christ his prayers will not be heard. How can we abide in Him? As I said earlier God is speaking to us today through His word and we in return speak to Him through our prayers, if this process continues we should have a constant relationship with Him and His nature will be transformed to us and our dealings will be like his dealings and his nature will dwell in us. Let us hear His words and let us speak to Him constantly. Prayer is not for some special occasions or not to do on our conveniences.
Let us give importance and honor to His Word and expect his positive response. Other prayers are an abomination to him. He will not give ear to such utterances.
Let us give respect to Him, Let us abide in Him and Let us heed His Word.
Let us honor Him with all our mite and strength, remember His words: “Those who honor me I will honor”, let us make note of this point and live a life which is pleasing to Him, then He will honor us by hearing our prayers.
May God Help us to do so.
(An unedited message, delivered by the author in a Christian congregation recently. Some of the points in this message are taken from Dr. Woodrow Kroll’s recently released book,”When God Doesn’t Answer, Removing Roadblocks to Answered Prayer”) I am very much indebted to Dr. Woodrow Kroll for this).
The Holy Bible: KJV, NKJV, NIV
Dr. Kroll’s Book, When God Doesn’t Answer, Removing Roadblocks to Answered Prayer
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