Prayerfully Speaking

Hope from the Truths of God's Word

When Prayers Come Before My Obedience to God

It was a “time stands still” moment for me when the lady who counseled me said, “God does not answer our prayers when we are choosing to sin.”  My brain felt like it was tilting because in my mind – the GOD of the universe, the Lover of my soul would surely answer my prayers unconditionally. But I knew this woman knew her Bible inside and out. She was right! Here are the verses that support her statement.

Proverbs 28:9 – If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.

Psalm 66:18 -If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

This is not an easy pill to swallow. But it’s straight out of God’s Word – our ultimate truth.

Obedience is a BIG deal to God. Not because He’s so mean, selfish, and ruling with a scowl on his face saying – “It’s my way or the highway!”

He’s a God who loves us and knows exactly what we need in order to live the abundant life that Jesus left Heaven to give to us. God knows what we are sacrificing when we don’t follow his advice or live under the authority of His wisdom. He has eyes to see that what we are choosing to do or not do is sub-par to what he has to offer us.

He’s a fountain of endless forgiveness. He is Wisdom! He is sure we are not perfect and always offers mercy for our failings. The door is always open for us to come to Him in our time of need. But this is a relationship, not an endless ATM of what we want the way we want it and when we want it with no regard to what He wants.

He lays out the steps for us in Matthew 6:33 (Amplified),…“But seek ( aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ( His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

I would like to hear from you on this. When you read these verses, are you a little taken aback? Does it make you angry? Please don’t hang your head in guilt. This post is about shining the light on the truth.

My prayer for me and you:

Thank You God for wanting to give us the best of what You have to offer: Your love, Your mercy, your help, Your perspective, Your right answers, Your joy. Help me to choose to obey You. Help me to trust that Your way is the best way for me. I want to honor You with my obedience. Let Your Holy Spirit living inside me show me where I am choosing to ignore You and Your perfect Word. I want to love You with my obedience and trust that You are working on my behalf to accomplish more than I know how to ask You for.  Amen


About Jennifer O. White

I’m a simple wife who has discovered God’s amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you’ve ever imaged.

9 Replies

  1. a hard pill to swallow, yes. but it’s a nice reminder. if i’m angry about these verses, i should direct my anger towards myself for being disobedient. i think sometimes we get so caught up in sin that we forget that we’re sinning, so we’re confused as to why God doesn’t work on our behalf. thanks for the gentle reminder and for shining light on the truth!

    1. Jennifer White

      thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Eryn. I was reminded of the scripture today – Delight yourself in the Lord and HE will give you the desires of your heart. Another reminder that putting HIm first is what is best for us.

  2. Dear Jennifer, Thanks for bringing up this discussion. My first thoughts are that God will still choose to hear some prayers that come from those holding onto sin. Even as believers we are all working to remove the hold sin has on our hearts. We ask for our daily bread then go out and worry about today’s provisions. We ask for a greater capacity to love, but withhold love from those who have hurt us. It is the place where God grants us mercy.

    I personally think the bigger point with the two verses you mentioned are that sin in its basest form is running from God. Therefore when you are not wanting God except to do what you want, you will miss the way He would chose to answer you. He is a good Father, and His answers to our prayers are always out of love. By refusing to listen to the prayers of those that refuse to have relationship with Him, He forces them to rethink their position with God. God’s heart is to lead them to repentance, but some may just completely turn their backs.

    For the average believer, these verses should cause our hearts to open more to God showing His great big heart for us. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. If we don’t feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction, then we shouldn’t dig for sin but assume God is teaching us something different. God’s conviction brings life not death to those that respond.

    God is incessantly in love with you.

    1. Jennifer White

      Kevin – i love what you shared! Can I share it as a follow up blog. I think we all need your insight on this.

  3. Melissa

    Jenn, I love the ATM comment. That is so true. I believe that when we knowingly sin and disobey God, we are being like selfish children. We want to do what we want but also have his grace and understanding. I think if we focus more on obeying his word, the temptation to sin will be (or should be) lessened. One of my favorite Bible verses is Jeremiah 29: “For I know the plans I have for you.” If we will trust in God’s plan for us, our lives would work out much better than following our own plan.

    1. Jennifer White

      that is a wonderful verse Mel. It was Leigh Ann’s favorite too

  4. Jennifer, I love this post. It really stirred my heart and shed some light on an area I wasn’t even aware that I needed to work on. Sometimes I genuinely seek His will and other times I just go through the motions of prayer. I want to give Him more than that. I agree with you that Kevin’s reply would make a great follow “For I know the plans I have for you, plans not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future.” All I need to do is to let go and trust Him and be real with Him.

  5. Something happened to my post. I should have read….I agree with you that Kevin’s reply would make a great follow up post. One of my favorite verses is also in Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans not to harm you but to give you hope and a futurel”…..