06 Mar Is God Hearing Your Prayers?
“Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.” (Ezekiel 14:1–5)
You. You are the biggest hindrance to your prayers being answered. No, I’m not talking about the fact that you seldom pray or even pray at all, which you should. I am talking about praying, and even praying often, and your prayers not being effective…or even heard by the God you say you love. In the passage above, certain religious leaders came before the prophet Ezekiel to sit before him and receive a message from God. He had just delivered a scathing message in chapter 13 and maybe they needed further understanding? I don’t know why they came. But, they were interested. They were inquisitive. However, these men where hypocrites, whited sepulchres, which indeed appeared to be beautiful on the outward, but where full of dead men’s bones on the inside (Matt. 23:27). They had removed the physical idols from their lives…but had a serious problem with idols in their hearts and had placed a stumbling block of iniquity before their faces. God has a big problem with this.
There were a number of judgements that God laid out for this in the verses that followed, but probably the most awful of them all was the fact that God wouldn’t hear them. He asked a question in verse 3, “should I be inquired of at all by them?” The answer to that is a resounding, “No.” He told the prophet to communicate to them that He would deal with them like according to the multitude of their idols (he would destroy them), and that they were “estranged” from Him. You see, God is a jealous God that has commanded you to have no other gods…but Him.
You are guilty. You are just like these elders who look all good on the outside, but are hypocrites. Anything that you love more that God, is an idol. Anything that has all of your heart, is an idol. Please don’t misunderstand. Not everything that you love should be regarded as an idol. God does not claim the ONLY affection of your hearts…but God claims the first place, the throne within. However…you love self more than God, you love money more than God, you love recreation more than God, you love your spouse more than God, you love your children more than God, you love a lot of things more than you love God. These are idols. Idols of the heart…and you will not love God like you should until you repent and turn from you abominations…that is what The Book says. AND…you aren’t getting through to God with your prayers until you do.
The Scriptures tell you that your sin withholds good things from you (Jer. 5:25). It says that if you have iniquity in your heart, He won’t hear you (Ps. 66:18). It says that the Lord is far from the wicked, but hears the prayer of the righteous (Prov. 15:29). It says that God doesn’t hear sinners, but if you worship God and do his will…He hears you (John 9:31). It even says, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer shall be abomination.” – Prov. 28:9. An abomination? Yikes! There are a lot of things that God says are an abomination to Him. You have that list memorized…cuz you are self-righteous. You know that God can’t “look” on sin, but He wants you to know that He will not “hear” abominations either.
How long have you had an idol of the heart? How long have you been praying with all of those? Have you left your “first love”? Has it been a while since you have had any prayers answered? There could very well be a good reason. Turn yourself from your idols. Repent. Then…inquire of Him.