On Monday, February the 7th I prayed a very specific prayer. I had been angry with the L-rd for not answering my prayer so I asked Him, “Father, Please tell me if you can hear by prayers by speaking to me in a dream, tonight.” Just before I fell asleep I added, “But if you can not hear my prayers, please tell me why.”
I awoke from a dreamless sleep, at which point I felt I needed to read the book of Jacob (James). In Jacob 1:5-8 It is very specific that our prayers do not get answered because of doubt, because we are double-minded . . . Well I did not want to read any more. After mulling on it all day, I went back and read the rest of Jacob. In chapter 4:7-10 it also talks about the double-minded man, but it talks of how we must repent and return to the L-rd.
The next morning I awoke, and I felt the L-rd say, “You are a Thief.” I asked Him, “How?” and “What do you mean?” He reminded me that I had, on my game system, DVD’s that I had not paid for. I had downloaded them. He also reminded me that I was using a pirated copy of my drafting software. . . . I immediately went about deleting them.
I then studied out Jacob chapters 4 through 5, as follows:
According to 4:2, the first reason that we do not have is simply because we do not ask. G-d does not respond to inference. Then in verse 3 we find a major reason for unanswered prayers are our selfish motives. When we are only interested in satisfying our self, in our entertainment, then we can not expect the L-rd to answer our requests. Verse 4 goes on and shows that we are actually the enemies of the L-rd when we are friends of the Worldly system and worldly pleasures. When we choose those things over the L-rd, He sees it as idolatry
In the next passage, vs. 6-10, we can see the directives that we are to take when we are double-minded. However, the inverse is also true, the L-rd will not answer our requests, when we are proud, when we are not submitted to G-d, when we are judging one another, etc. We are boasting in our own accomplishments, and we are not acknowledging that the L-rd is the one who helps us and gives us strength.
As we move on to Chapter 5:1-5 we see that Jacob is continuing the same thought and showing that the sin of greed and fraud are some of the reasons that the L-rd is resisting us. We then are encouraged to be patient and endure without grumbling.
It is interesting that the man Job is brought up in verse 11. Job was one individual who was not guilty, who did not receive an immediate response from the L-rd. However, the L-rd did eventually respond with one of the most wonderful revelations of the L-rd recorded in Scripture. The reality though, is that most of us are not as guiltless as Job was.
Sickness is something that the L-rd has given us authority over (vs. 13-16), but one of the greatest causes of sickness is sin in our lives. See Luke 5:20-24 and John 5:5-14. It is also one of the major reasons why the L-rd is not listening to our prayers. See Psalm 66:16-20 and Isaiah 1:11-20.
So if the L-rd is not hearing us, what prayer will He hear? In II Chron. 7:11-22, is states that the L-rd will hear and respond when:
- We humble ourselves
- When we pray fervently
- When we seek His face
- And when we repent (turn from) our wicked ways.
It is THEN that He will hear from heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land!
For further study see: 1 Samuel 8:18, John 9:31, Jeremiah 11:9-14, Ezekiel 16:32, Psalms 138:6, Isaiah 59:1-8, Jeremiah 7:16-19, Jeremiah 14:11-17