I don't have a lot of time this morning, but I want to make my point short and sweet! Just recently, since I've found facebook, I've had the opportunity to get in touch with a bunch of friends that were once pretty dear to me! Just yesterday, one of those friends, was so kind as to ask me, how I was doing in light of all the flooding here in Georgia. She told me she was thinking about me and praying for us...I told her the weather was getting better but I wasn't so sure God was hearing her prayers...Obviously, that wasn't something she was expecting me to say. And I know she felt hurt by that statement. However, that wasn't my intention. My intention is always to speak the truth and most of the time, I've found that's not what people want to hear... See, this girl was one of my friends from my Christian High School. Her Dad was a pastor and she knows the truth of God's word. Now, she is a lesbian and because she is getting LOVED the way she desires, she thinks somehow God should be happy for her and can overlook her sin. My heart breaks for her and I told her that "With GOD ALL things are possible" and that I would not stop praying for her. Our conversation ended on a good note and I know she knows that I truly care about her!!! Anyway, that sparked me to take out my Bible and look up verses on this subject. Does God hear the prayers of sinners or not? I know there have been plenty of times in my life, when I was not close to God and actually had a rebellious heart toward Him. At that time, I felt like anything could've happened to me because I wasn't under his protection. I was out on my own, doing things MY way. I always felt unsettled though, because I knew the truth in my heart. Jesus wanted ALL of me or NONE of me...He never wants luke warm christians but we have to decide when we're ready to surrender to Him. Here are some of the verses I found: (quite a few)
"For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, And his ears unto their supplication: But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. " (1Peter 3:12, KJV) "He (any man) that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination." (Proverbs 28:9, KJV)
"When terror strikes you like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you, Then they (people) will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. " (Proverbs 1:27-28, ASV)
"Because I have called (people) and you refused to listen, have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded. " (Proverbs 1:24, KJV)
"Because they (people) hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD." (Proverbs 1:24, KJV)
""Surely God will not hear an empty cry, neither will the Almighty regard it. " (Job 35:13, ASV)
Thee following verses describe the results of not listening to God and obeying His laws and commandments.
"Because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when terror strikes you, . . . therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices." (Proverbs 1:25-26, 31, ASV)
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:3, ASV)
"As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice." (Daniel 9:13-14, ASV)
Yet God shows mercy to thousands who call on his name for his ways are right:
"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. " (Psalms 86:5, ASV)
Let's take a look at King David's example:
"Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou (GOD) wilt answer me. " (Psalms 86:6-7, KJV)
God also says:
"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. " (Isaiah 66:2, KJV)
How can we tremble at His word and what does that mean? Paul says, "But declared both to them of Damascus first and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judaea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. " (Acts 26:20, ASV)
"Works of repentance" means to change our ways to God's ways. When God sees someone who is truly sincere He listens to them and will answer their prayers:
"And Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (through which God helps us). For the promise (of helping us) is for you and your children, and for all those who are far off, as many as the Lord shall call unto Himself.' " (Acts 2:38-39, ASV)
"I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. (meaning to change one's life)." (Luke 5:32, ASV)
"Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:10, ASV)
And when one changes their life and listens to God and begins to do the things which God requires of us, all for our own good, THEN God hears us and answers us!
Anyone can find themselves at a time in their life where God does not hear them. However, we can be heard and have our prayers answered when we pray in the right frame of mind. We need to become submissive to God and choose his ways which reap good results in our life rather than continue in the wrong ways of living which bring on disastrous results. When we "get right with God" He provides us with confidence, hope and assurance that He will hear and answer our prayers, and provides us the answers and help us to live a better way of life.
"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. " (1John 5:14-15, ASV)
" Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in my name, that will I do. If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. " (John 14:11, 13-15, ASV)
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life. " (Galatians 6:7-8, ASV)
"We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth. " (John 9:31, ASV)
God loves each and every human being. In the book of Revelation Chapter 3 God says,
"As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Behold I stand at the door and knock . . . " (Revelation 3:19-20, ASV)
Why is it as soon as we start reading Bible verses, something inside us wants to hurry up and get it over with? Our flesh is turned off to the Word of God- We want to be entertained and not have to deal with truth! But it's strange because we need that truth so desperately...We seek for love in so many places but TRUE love comes from Jesus Christ! His love is pure and not based on any conditions. It washes us and forgives us of all of our sins and no one or nothing else can give that to us!!!
We need to constantly be in prayer everyday, for wisdom, to stand against Satan and his deception! He is the Father of Lies and there is NO TRUTH found in Him... What does it take for you to look at yourself honestly? Are you giving your best to Jesus today? Have you dealt with all the crud in your life and realized there's nothing you can do about it!? Only Jesus can deal with it and forgive it! His Love is Amazing!
One last thing, on Sunday I used some cheap hairspray and it was like 90% water and 10% hairspray- it was pathetic! After a couple sprays, I realized it was not working so I just had to throw it in the trash-even though it was brand new....And I thought, that's how it can be as a christian too. I can call myself a christian or "hairspray" in this case, but if I don't really do the job (live obediently according to the Word of God) then I'm worthless and I might as well be thrown in the trash(like the hairspray)-because I am of no use!!!
The Lord opened my eyes to see that analogy. He wants us to know we are useful when we are living the life He expects us to live accoring to His Word. Apart from Him, we are nothing! The only good in me is Jesus!!!