When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. – Isaiah 1:15
How often do we pray … (I should probably just stop there, because this question alone indicts me) … how often do we pray, yet never consider the hindrances to prayer? I’m not really asking about those things that we claim as hindrances. Things like:
– “I don’t have enough time.”
– “My schedule just won’t allow it.”
– “I try, but I just don’t have the energy.”
– “I don’t know what to say and find it hard to concentrate.”
Can we all agree that nothing is actually able to hinder our ability to pray … except self? To put it simply, we don’t want to pray or we would.
What about the things that might hinder God from entering into the conversation? The Bible lists a few, like unbelief, unconfessed sin, (for men) not honoring your wife, and (the one above) hands covered with blood. What? That’s right, in context, God tells Israel that He will not listen to their countless prayers, because although they give the appearance of obedient, frequent worship (multiple sacrifices of animals … bloody hands), their actions are empty and meaningless. They sought His forgiveness, but did not seek HIM; therefore, He refused to listen. Ouch.
If you desire your prayers to be effective, then you must desire to know the One to whom you pray.
Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire? – Corrie Ten Boom