January 16: Isaiah and Unheard Prayers

Yesterday we looked at Psalm 66:18 and David’s recognition of unheard prayers. Let’s go to Isaiah and see what the great prophet says about unheard prayer.

And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Isaiah 1:15-16

Blood! I’ve never murdered anyone! We’ve all done wrong, but murder – never!

But Jesus said being angry with your brother is just as bad (Matthew 5:22), and 1 John 3:15 explicitly tells us that hatred is equal to murder.

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

1 John 3:15

Is there anyone that you are harboring resentment against? Anyone that you feel disgusted by when you see them? Anyone who has offended you that you need to make things right with?

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Isaiah 59:2-3

John says hatred is equal to murder, and Isaiah says bloody hands will separate you from God. Let’s make relationships right with our fellow man and then God will hear us!

January 15: David on Preventing Unheard Prayers

So far this year:

  • We’ve set reminders to pray throughout the day to break up our routine so we can remember our LORD!
  • We’ve looked at the shortest prayers in the Bible
  • We’ve set up a mnemonic to help organize our prayer requests

Now – let’s make sure we have a clear path to God! As the old song goes, there should be nothing between my soul and the Savior!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gRtrUxyxTk

How can we make sure there’s nothing between? Let’s repent of sin that we’re keeping in our heart.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

Psalm 66:18

Has God pointed out some sin in your life? How can you deal with it? David’s Psalm 51 points out three key truths:

Admittance – God already knows about it. God knew Adam sinned, He just wanted to let Adam respond. (Genesis 3:8-13). Don’t blame others – just admit what you did.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Psalm 51:3

Brokenness – You didn’t make a mistake. You didn’t offend your neighbor. You sinned against God. You disobeyed the King of the Universe. Too often we try to minimize our sin and maximize ourselves. But God wants us to be broken.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Psalm 51:17

Cleansing – We got into the mess, but we need someone to get us out of the mess. Ask God to cleanse you from your sins. Ask Him to redirect your thoughts!

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:2

Take some time to repent of whatever sin God is bringing to your mind.

January 14: Thank God for unanswered prayers!

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

1 Kings 19:4
The Bible panorama, or The Holy Scriptures in picture and story

Sometimes life is rough. We can’t see a way out and pray for a quick escape. Why doesn’t God answer our prayers?

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume itupon your lusts.

James 4:3

Today, thank God for unanswered prayers and pray that He can change our desires to match up with His desires!

January 13: A seven word plea

For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.

Nehemiah 6:9

God has given us a job to do, but sometimes we think we can do it in our own power. Nehemiah reminds us that if we want real success, we need God’s strength.

Today let’s make sure that we confess our pride and seek His power!

January 12: Saturday – Saints!

Welcome to the end of the first week of the mnemonic for growing in prayer! We’re now adding a seventh page to our weekly prayer list, and Saturday is for Saints.

Author’s Photo, Country church near the grave of Robert Sheffey

Who are the Saints?

Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

Acts 9:13

Ananias is calling the Church members in Jerusalem, saints.

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Corinthians 1:2

Those who are part of the church are saints. That means that you (if you are a believer) are a saint! No canonization necessary! But that means that you know many saints to pray for! Start with your church directory, or Sunday School class roster, or Prayer Meeting bulletin, and start praying for the people in your church. Health needs, school needs, spiritual growth, strength for the week, etc.

If you don’t have a church, please find a Bible-believing church!

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

No church is perfect, and unfortunately neither are we. For some reason God told us to gather with other fallen human beings, and even submit to other fallen human beings. If your church is full of hypocrites, gossips, and unfriendly people – don’t complain until you pray!