Useless Prayers

“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9)

There are some prayers that God hates, strange as that may seem. In fact, our very prayers can even “become sin” (Psalm 109:7). When one who has deliberately “turned away his ear” from the Word of God (preferring his own way to God’s revealed will as found in His Word) attempts to ask God for blessing or direction, his prayer becomes presumption. God hates such prayers, and those who pray them should not be surprised when He does not give them their request. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

No Christian is sinless, of course. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8). The obvious remedy is to ask the Lord, through His Word, to “see if there be any wicked way in me” (Psalm 139:24), and then to confess and forsake any sin so revealed and known. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Then, having been cleansed from our unrighteousness, we are again made righteous, not only through Christ’s imputed righteousness, but also in righteous, daily living. Then the gracious promises of answered prayer can again become wholly effective, for “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

How vital it is to know and obey the Word of God, and how dangerous it is to turn our ears away from it. God will not be mocked for long! “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). HMM

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