Why doesn’t God answer me?
In this discussion, I am only speaking about prayer as it relates to God who made the heavens and the earth and all things in them, including every soul of men. He is the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. He is the God who spoke to Moses in Mt Sinai. He is the God who revealed Himself in the flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah of God, of whom Moses testified saying
“Jehovah your God shall raise up to you a prophet from among you, of your brothers, one like me; you shall listen to him,
according to all that you desired of Jehovah your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of Jehovah my God, nor let me see this great fire any more, lest I die.
And Jehovah said to me, They have spoken well, what they have said.
I shall raise up a prophet to them from among their brothers, one like you; and I will put My Words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.
And it shall be, whoever will not listen to My Words which he shall speak in My name, I will require it at his hand.” Deuteronomy 18:15-19
It is a constant wonder to me, that God who so made all things and sustains them all by the Word of His power, should permit us mere mortals, even me, to cry to Him for answers to life and help for the journey of life, is truly astounding.
SOME OBSTACLES TO PRAYER ARE:
Hiding sin in the heart.
“If I regard sin (iniquity) in my heart, the Lord WILL NOT hear me.” Psalm 66:18
The Hebrew word for regard is ra’ah (raw-aw). In this sense it means enjoying, or looking with favour on, or approving of sin.
And sin here is not talking about a standard which a church, denomination, or minister sets up as sin. Some churches do not include all the things that God has listed as sins – as evil. Rather it is the Bible in all its length and breadth which declares what sin is. God has revealed to us His standard, His definition of what sin is. We may choose to ignore it. That is our choice. But we ignore it to our own peril.
In everyday living, if we are unsure of the meaning of a word we go to a dictionary. In doing so we gain understanding. And we believe the dictionary definition. More people believe their dictionaries than they do the Bible. More people believe the science books than they do the Bible. People are believers of something or other.
So it nust be with the Word of God. And don’t use the excuse that the Bible is only a collection of myths, or is the work of men only, or is imperfect. The dictionaries of the world are imperfect yet we trust in them.
God has preserved enough of His Word in the Holy Bible. And if you only have The Message or Good News, or NIV, and can’t access any other, then God in His mercy will help you. Just begin to search Him out, and His Word.
There are sins of the flesh that others may be able to see or hear, and there are sins of the heart that only God can see.
It is most profitable to read carefully the Scriptures year after year to understand what God is calling a sin. We must begin to do so. If we have begun to do that, we must continue to do so, for God will reveal to us many many things, not just what is a sin.
Not showing respect and honour to parents, children, wife or husband, or to any one in authority.
“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7
Satan is a master at getting us off track with God. He works his wily magic upon us, or at least around us, seeking to influence us to get our eyes off Jesus Christ and onto our problem or our feelings or our emotions, or things that we don’t like about our spouses and getting bogged down with all of that.
For a husband to give honour to a wife is a most rewarding thing to do. And they must do so irrespective of what they can see, hear or feel. To honour the wife is to honour God. To honour the wife is to honour the children’s capacity of perception and observation.
Many men do not know how to honour their wives because they were not honoured as a child by their own parents. Or they did not see their own father honour his wife, so they just follow the example they were given – Until they come face to face with Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ who can set the picture straight.
Believing husbands – those who believe in Jesus Christ as Son of God, are required to love their wives as Christ loved His called out ones and gave Himself for them. It is impossible for men to so love their wives apart from the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and His power working in their lives. And husbands must seek God for those blessings to so love their wives. That is one of the first things they must persist in prayer about. Honouring the wife will bring great rewards in the home.
The word for honour that Peter uses, speaks of value, dignity, esteem. If you are stingy on honour because you do not think your wife deserves it, you are in for a rude awakening. What you sow you will reap. Husbands you must lavish that dignity on your wife. You must esteem her more highly that you esteeem yourself. You must put a value on her that is greater than the value of any material object. It does not mean that you buy her a Lamborgini, or a mink coat; or chocolates every day. We are not talking about buying favours. We are not talking about sensual things or external things.
We are speaking about tenderheartedness, forgiveness, warmth, kindness, in the way you look at her and in the way you speak to her, and in the way you listen to her. Wives are women and they need their man to listen to them. Men need to be patient and tender-hearted. For most men thses things don’t come naturally. So this is where you must cry out to God for help. God understands your wife perfectly. He has all the grace and power you need to give you, so that what He wants you to do you will be able to do.
A double mind.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8
While it is common for people to have conflicting thoughts, doubts and fears as to whether God will hear them or not; whether He will answer them in the way they would like Him to, and God does understand our weaknesses in this regard, it is important that we grow in understanding of and faith in God. And the more we do, the less doubt we will have as to those questions. and this will produce much patience in us as we wait for His answers in His time and in His way.
The best way for a child to get the know the parents is to spend time with them. And like- wise the parents concerning their children. The best way for a husband to get to know his wife is to spend quality time with her without demanding things from her. And likewise the wife with respect to her husband.
For all that God delights to do FOR us, He delights far more for us to spend time with Him without any expectations from Him. And believe it or not that is richly rewarding for us who are his children.
The more we get to know His Word, and delight in it, even when it exposes our hearts, the more we will value the way God deals with us, and that knowledge will bring us greater rest and peace about the God we are dealing with. God wants us to be certain of Him, for He longs for and delights to have fellowship with us. If you want to know the God of the Bible look at Jesus Christ revealed in the New Testament. If you ‘see’ Him, you will ‘see’ the Father. The more we get to zknow who God is and what He is on about, the more we will have confidence in Him to answer our prayers wisely and powerfully. and that is how God works; wisely and powerfully.
An dis- honest heart
Dishonesty comes from a heart that is covering up things it ought not to. It is more akin to pride. And God sets Himself against the proud.
On the other hand – God loves honesty. Honesty before God is beautiful and precious. An honest heart will receive the word of God more easily than a dishonest heart. Honesty is more akin to humility than dishonesty.
“And all the army heads, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah, the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least even to the greatest, came near.
And they said to Jeremiah the prophet, We beg you, let our plea fall before you; and pray for us to Jehovah your God, for all this remnant, (for we are left but a few of many, as your eyes see us),
that Jehovah your God may show us the way in which we may walk, and the thing that we may do.” Jeremiah 42:1-3
The background for this plea is that some Israelites were left behind in Israel, after Nebuchadnezer has taken a whole lot ot Hebrews back to his country for deportation. He had ransacked the regiion known as Judah and had devasted many prominent houses in Jerusalem and even the Temple itself.
But because of the mercy of God toward the house of Judah and the promise He had made to David the King of Israel centuries before, God wanted a remnant left behind and so Nebuchadnezer was moved to be somewhat lenient on some of them. Prudence says it is better to leave the land you conquer in the hands of people who can work the land rather than to leave it completely depopulated. It is much cheaper.
You can read the account in chapter 41 of what happened then. There was a mutiny and much cold blooded murder by a certain Ishmael and ten soldiers from the depleted armed forces of Judah. Many people were carried off by Ishmael and his cronies to the land of the Ammonites westward over the Jordan.
There was a counter attack after news had leaked out of the massacre. And a rescue was made of all those taken captive. This rescue force along with all the people then came to Jeremiah the prophet of God with the above plea.
In those days the people depended a lot on the prophet of the priest of God to pray for them or teach them about the ways of God. Many people did not know that God wanted a personal relationship with each of His people. So they asked Jeremiah to ask God on their behalf and find out what God wanted them to do.
But God revealed to Jeremiah the heart of the people. Though they were scared for their lives owing to the murdering of Babylonians that the king had left behind. Those left wanted desperately to have some help from God, but they were asking dishonestly.
Jeremiah told them whatever God says to me to tell you I will tell you everything. Then they testified saying that whatever God says we will do it, whether good of bad, we will do it. So after the set time they come back and Jeremiah tells them all. Firstly he lets them know that if they will obey God and not go into Egypt to try and save their skins, God will show mercy and protect them and the Babylonians will not harm them. But he warns them again about going down into Egypt to try and save their skins.
So to finish off Jeremiah says this –
“For you used deceit against your souls when you sent me to Jehovah your God, saying, Pray for us to Jehovah our God; and according to all that Jehovah our God shall say, so declare to us, and we will do it.
And I have declared it to you this day, but you have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah your God, or anything for which He has sent me to you.
And now know certainly that you shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the plague in the place where you desire to go to sojourn.” Jeremiah 42:2-22
But the people who had asked the prophet to pray on their behalf concocted a story that Jeremiah’s scribe had made up this answer, so they wouldn’t believe what Go spoke through Jeremiah. And so that is exactly what happened. Nebucahnezer found them in Egypt and killed them.
When we ask with a dishonest motive or intent, we are open to deception. These people were open to lies of the devil, and believed a lie about Jeremiah’s scribe Baruch, the son of Neriah. By believing this lie that came into their minds they then were calling the true word of God a lie. Do you see what dishonesty before God cam produce? When we are dishonest with God, we will not believe anything He says to us or has already told us in His word. This open us up to deception by the evil spirits, and we will believe lies, and those lies will produce death in the end.
So, it is important that we are honest before God at all times, and especially so when we are praying. Listen to this…
“For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge of the thoughts and intentions of the heart;
and there is no creature unrevealed before Him; but all things are naked and laid open to His eyes, with whom is our account.” Hebrews 4:12,13.
How then are we to Seek God?
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” Proverbs 8:17.
This is the cry of wisdom. In Proverbs 8 in the first few verses, wisdom is described as ‘she’; ‘she stands’, ‘she cries out’. ‘She’ is searching everywhere and ‘her’ voice is crying out for the foolish to cease from their foolishness and come to find the good and right thing, the pure and noble thing.
Do not think that because the text says ‘she’ – therefore God is a woman. But some do think that and teach that; it is a false premise.
‘She’ is reference to character not gender. God’s wisdom is gentle and tender as a woman is meant to be tender. God’s wisdom is beautiful, just as a pure hearted woman is beautiful to a faithful man. God’s wisdom is desirable, just as a virgin woman is desirable to a good and just man seeking a wife.
Wisdom is revealed to be hidden in Jesus Christ. Paul speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ says –
“in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge” Colossians 2:3. He also says – “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” 1 Corinthians 1:30.
If we seek Jesus Christ we will be finding wisdom, not the wisdom of this world which is passing away, but the true wisdom that will set your soul free from the bondages and enslavements to sin and hopelessness that sin brings, and set your feet on a right and good path and will lead you to a most desirable future in Jesus Christ our Lord.
“I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right”. Isaiah 45:19
“Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” Isaiah 51:1
When God says to mankind ” Seek Me”, He is wanting us to find Him for ourselves and get to know Him for ourselves. God reveals Himself to individuals on an individual and personal basis.
People are crying out – “Why doesn’t god show himself? If he was real why do only certain people say that they have found him and others don’t? Why is it when I look for him I can’t find him…he is silent? He should reveal himself to everybody if he loves everybody.” …and because they don’t get to see God therefore they conclude He doesn’t exist. They want to see before they will believe. But God says belive in me and i will reveal myself to you. There are many Muslims and Jews who are finding God by Him revealing Himself to them personally…but they are crying out in their heart in spite of the life they are living. and God hears the cry of the heart.
God says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
One of my daughters when she was living at home and very young, lamented to me that she could not hear God speaking, while other people around her in the church said that God was speaking to them. After a long journey of disappointments and trouble, anguish and pain, she now has sweet fellowship with the God who made her and gave her breath. She is now content and satisfied in her personal walk with God by faith in Jesus Christ. And the joy in her heart, the song on her lips, the sweetness of her face tells it all. Jesus has taken her big burden and disposed of them. And she knows that God has not finished with her yet.
God has given us the recipe for finding Him. When you search for God with all your heart…He makes the promise…you WILL find Him. It is His word that is at stake.
When making a pavlova you have to be careful you don’t mix egg whites with egg yokes, otherwise you will get somehting else. If you are mixing concrete you best not put oil or mud in it lest you end up with something else. If you are training to be a airline pilot, you have to follow very precise rules in order to qualify. If you delete or add anything to the requirements you wil not get the thing you are seeking for.
A lot of people and I was one of them do not seek God with ALL their heart; with ALL their attention, and purpose and desire. They are not persistent. They are half hearted. One eye on the football, the other eye on God. One eye on their bellies, the other eye on God. One eye on their sweetheart, the other eye on God. One eye on sin and its pleasures, the other eye on God.
We are more persistent with temporal things; things that will fade and decay; things that will fail in their usefulenss; things that we will have to throw away.
In the old testament era, the people of God mostly sought out a prophet or a priest to hear the word of God, to get instruction for living. But today because Jesus Christ has come, who is that prophet that Moses prophesied about and who is our Great High Priest who has passed into the Heavens to intercede for us. Now by faith we are to go directly to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ and because of His great work on the cross on which He died.
Do not go to a priest. That is going back to the old law under Moses. Christ Jesus has set us free from the Law of Moses and has brought us under Grace which is far more excellent and more powerful that the Law of Moses. this does not mean that we can dispense with the moral Law concerning idolatry or murder and so on. But through the grace of God we can rule over temptations and the sins that so easily seek to ensnare us. If you rely on the priest to absolve your sins you are rejecting the work of Jesus Christ and thus you will not be able to receive life from Jesus. You will only get what the priest himself has and that ill not count for much at the end.
Do not fear (reverence) those who can kill the body but can’t do anything else after your dead. Don’t come under or remain under their fear tactics. Fear Him who made you and gave you breath. He alone can give you eternal life. Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. Go through Him to the Father in Heaven. Give Him the honour hat is due to His name. Acknowledge Him as your only Lord and only Saviour and God. Acknowledge His sacrifice for sins on your behalf.
Do not listen the pope or his priest who wishes to keep you enslaved in their system of religion. If that is what you want then that is all you will get at the end. They can promise you nothing. They can give you no assurance of eternal Life in Jesus Christ, for they do not have it themselves. And they do not have it themselves because they do not believe in the Son of God according to the Scriptures, but they believe in their own vain ideas.
RUN TO JESUS CHRIST AND LET HIM ALONE BE YOUR PORTION.
Jesus said that we must be persistent in prayer.
“And He also spoke a parable to them to teach it is always right to pray, and not to faint,
saying, A certain judge was in a certain city, not fearing God and not respecting man.
And a widow was in that city, and she came to him, saying, Avenge me from my adversary.
And for a time he would not. But after these things he said to himself, Even if I do not fear God, and do not respect man,
yet because this widow causes me trouble, I will avenge her, that not coming to the end, she wear me down.
And the Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge says;
and will God not at all execute the avengement of His elect, those crying to Him day and night, also having been long-suffering over them?
I say to you that He will carry out the avengement of them speedily. But the Son of Man coming then, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8
The lady in the example Jesus gave, would not take no for an answer. She did not take no for an answer because she KNEW that what she was wanting the judge to do, which he should have been doing, was right and lawful and it was needed so that justice was seen to be done.
Jesus said that men (and women) should persevere in prayer to God and not give up. And keep in mind that Jesus is talking about justice, things that are necessary. He is not talking about praying to win the lottery or in the casino. He is not giving permission to ask God for sinful pleasures.
Your family may be in trouble of some kind…. ask God to show you what to do. You may be wanting to know if there is any real meaning to life, or that you are at the end of yourself and see no reason to live anymore …ask God to HELP! He understands the word help.
Persistence in the context Jesus is giving it means it is perfectly lawful in the sight of God to ask the same thing day after day, week after week, year after year. We must also keep in mind that the lady believed it was both necessary and right for the judge to do something about her problem that would cahnge the status quo, the present circumstances.
God is big on justice. He wants us to do justice, and He also works justice in people’s lives when they depend on Him in simple child-like faith.
Let us cleanse ourselves by confessing our sins unto God alone and forsaking our sins, and trusting in His promise to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness – 1 John 1:9. You do not need a priest to be your mediator. Go straight to God by faith – Jesus Christ has made the door open for you for He IS the Door to the Father. Seek Him with all your heart – do not give up, believe His word and you will find Him.
Scripture passages are taken from the KJV or from, LITV via “e-Sword” software (hard copies from Sovereign Grace Publciations.)