TO CHEW ON: "Then they will cry to the Lord
But He will not hear them;
He will even hide His face from them at that time,
Because they have been evil in their deeds....
So the seers shall be ashamed
And the diviners abashed
Indeed they shall all cover their lips
for there is no answer from God." Micah 3:4,7
What a desperate feeling—to pray and not be heard, to expect and wait for an answer and none comes. Micah's denouncement on his contemporary prophets reminds me of Israel's first king. Saul found himself in this very predicament. After the prophet Samuel died and he faced the Philistine army, he cried out to God in desperation himself but "...the Lord did not answer him..." 2 Samuel 28:6. He felt driven to seek an answer from a witch and discovered his sealed fate (read the whole story in 2 Samuel 28:1-25).
The Bible gives some clues as to why we might pray and not get an answer:
- We have been disobedient - Deuteronomy 1:42-45.
- We are holding onto sin - Psalm 66:18.
- We have ignored God's rebuke and been indifferent to Him - Proverbs 1:23-28.
- Have have been callous toward the poor - Proverbs 21:13.
- We have despised God's laws - Proverbs 28:9.
- We have blood on our hands - Isaiah 1:15.
- We are living in sin - Isaiah 59:2 and Micah 3:4.
- We have stubbornly refused to listen to God's words in the past - Zechariah 7:11-13.
- We waiver and are double-minded, asking with a doubting attitude - James 1:6-8.
- We ask with self-indulgent motives - James 4:3.
If we have been praying but the heavens seem like brass, perhaps we should examine our hearts in the light of the above to see if any of them describe us.
PRAYER: Dear God, please shine the light of Your word on my heart. Show me where my attitudes and actions have blocked the answer to my prayers. Amen.
MORE: Unanswered prayer quotes
"When He grants our prayers,
it is because He loves us.
When He does not, it is also
because He loves us." - O. Hallesby
"If the request is wrong, God says, 'No.'
If the timing is wrong, God says, 'Slow.'
If you are wrong, God says, 'Grow.'
But if the request is right, the timing is right
and you are right, God says, 'Go!'" - Anonymous
"God has not always answered my prayers.
If He had, I would have married the wrong man—several times!" - Ruth Bell Graham
All quotes from Prayer Points, compiled by Randall D. Roth, pp. 196, 197.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.