PRAYER ANSWERING GOD – PART 2
1 JOHN 5: 14 – 15: This is the confidence which we have before 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 which we have asked from Him.
Once again, I would like to encourage you with an incontrovertible fact that God still answers prayers. I know this because the bible tells me in Heb.13:8 that “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (KJV). He has done it in the past; He would do it over and over again. Many times God answers prayers not because we deserve it but in order that His name might be glorified. However, many times God may not be obliged to answer our prayers if we refuse to honour Him or His commandments. In such situations, we may not get answers to our prayers. If that happens, then it is not that God does not answer prayers but for our sins and disobedience that has shut His ears against us.
The bible tells us in 1Pet. 3: 12 that “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” (KJV). In this passage, we are clearly informed of when and why prayers may not be answered. God would not answer our prayers if we do not hate and eschew evil. Habakkuk 1: 13a says “your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (NIV). So, it implies that wherever there is iniquity, God’s eyes and ears are shut against such. As such any prayers from such a fellow would not be heard. However, because we have a God who is merciful, He is ready to answer again, if and whenever such a fellow repents of his/her sins and come back to God.
The Psalmist says in Psa. 66: 18 that “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear [me]”. This tells us that one of the reasons why God would not hear a fellow is the presence of iniquities in a life. Beloved, do you still bear iniquities in your life? Are you easily offended? Do you wish your neighbour well? Are you ready to put God first in your affairs? The bible says in Jn. 9:31 that “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the Godly person who does his will” (NIV). These two passages inform us that we would be pitching ourselves against God if we have iniquities in us.
Unfortunately, it is very easy to get out of God’s will and become His enemies. You can be the best of God’s friend in a minute and become his greatest enemy the next minute; just as you can be his worst enemy in a minute and be His best friend in another. For instance, we know of King David, who was at peace with God until the minute he stepped upon the roof of his palace and saw the nakedness of Bathsheba (II Sam. 11:2) that changed his testimony and that of his household for the worse. David’s story contrast the case of Saul of Tarsus, the chief sinner (I Tim. 1: 15) whose testimony and destiny was reversed (Acts 9: 1-17) to become an eminent Apostle (II Cor. 11:5). In Paul’s own words in I Tim. 1: 15 he said, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst” (NIV). This contrast with his changed status described in I Tim. 1: 16 and II Cor. 11:5 where he says “For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles” (NIV).
Beloved, what is the message of today? It is that we should beware and search ourselves when there is a delay in our prayers. We must check ourselves to be sure it is not because of sins. Remember, when David realised his sins he cried unto God for mercy (Psalm 51). I would enjoin you to cry to the Lord if you have to. You have all to gain and nothing to lose. My prayer is that your testimonies would be that once I was a sinner, but now I am saved.
Dr. Yinka Okude
RCCG Jesus Sanctuary, Northampton
HYMN: WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS