Thursday, May 5, 2011

Proverbs 28 - Detestable Prayers

"One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination."
~ Proverbs 29:9

My children bring their requests before me every day. "Mom, can I?" "Mom, I want..." "Mom, will you...?" By the end of the day, I want to change my name. I want peace and quiet. I want to be left alone for a few moments of quiet solitude.

I long to fulfill the desires of my children. Whether they want to go to a friend's house, get the newest toy on the market, or take a walk in the park while holding my hand, this mother's heart wishes it could provide all things to my children. 

Alas, I cannot. Sometimes it's because they don't need what they're asking for, and I don't have the extra money in our checking account to provide it. Other times, it's because I know the result of granting their wish would put them in jeopardy. Whatever the reason, when I say no, I expect them to accept my answer. Without whining. Without complaint. Without debate.

Our Father in heaven is the same. Sometimes He answers our requests as soon as we ask Him. Other times, we are required to wait on His perfect timing. And still other times, He denies our request.

When we don't get what we want from God, we need to consider why He said no. Is it because what we asked for isn't in His will for our well-being? Is it because He knows we don't need it?

Or could it be because He refused to hear it?

There are times when my children have pushed and pushed for things after they've ignored my requests for them to clean their rooms or to stop hitting each other. Sometimes they've disrespected me, and I refuse to honor their requests in their refusal to honor mine.

God makes it very clear that when we refuse to follow His law, even our prayers become an abomination. The NIV Bible calls them "detestable." 

Just as I turn to my children and say, "Why should I answer your request when you refuse to do as I've asked you?" I can hear God say the same to human beings. Why would a righteous and just God answer the prayers of an unrighteous and unjust man? 

"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” - John 14:21

Just as I feel loved by my children when they honor me and keep the rules of the house, God knows I love Him when I honor and keep His commands.

If I'm not receiving an answer to my prayers, I go before the Lord to make certain my heart is right with Him before asking again. Sometimes, He's simply asking me to wait. Occasionally, I need to repent of my disobedience to His law.

But I know that when my heart's right with Him, He hears my prayers.

Photo Courtesy of Jesper Noer

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