Does God Hear the Prayer of Sinners?
Sinners Forgiven by the Blood of Christ
Under the new covenant of Christ that began upon
the death of Christ, those that are "in Christ"
have their sins forgiven through the blood of Christ
(see Lesson 1). As we just saw, the Holy
Spirit is given as a helper to those who are in
Christ...and the Spirit along with Jesus intercedes in their prayers.
Even though Jesus' disciples may never fully
understand how to pray as they should, Jesus and the
speak to God on their behalf:
in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the
Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too
deep for words... Romans 8:26 (NAS)
...Christ Jesus...also intercedes for us. Romans
Certainly, it is critically important to our
prayer life that we are first made righteous by the
blood of Jesus:
effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish
much. James 5:16b (NAS)
But what about people who have not yet had their
sins forgiven? Does God hear their prayers?
Others: Rebellious or Repenting?
Following are some examples of God's dealings
with the Israelites (God's chosen people...also
called the Jews) prior to the new covenant of
and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what
He has done for my soul. 17 I cried to
Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my
tongue. 18 If I regard wickedness in my
heart, the Lord will not hear; 19 But
certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the
voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God,
who has not turned away my prayer, nor His
lovingkindness from me. Psalm 66:16-20 (NAS)
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not
so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so
dull that it cannot hear. 2 But your
iniquities have made a separation between you and
your God, and your sins have hidden His face from
you, so that He does not hear. 3 For your
hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with
iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your
tongue mutters wickedness. Isaiah 59:1-3 (NAS)
And I will cast you out of My
sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the
offspring of Ephraim. 16 "As for you, do
not pray for this people, and do not lift up cry or
prayer for them, and do not intercede with Me; for I
do not hear you. Jeremiah 7:15-16 (NAS)
"And they made their hearts
like flint so that they could not hear the law and
the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His
Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great
wrath came from the LORD of hosts. 13
"And it came about that just as He called and they
would not listen, so they called and I would not
listen," says the LORD of hosts; Zechariah 7:12-13
"So when you spread out your
hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you, yes,
even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen.
Your hands are covered with blood. 16
"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the
evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil,
17 Learn to do good; seek justice,
reprove the ruthless; defend the orphan, plead for
the widow. 18 "Come now, and let us
reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins
are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson, they will be like
wool. 19 "If you consent and obey, you
will eat the best of the land; 20 "But if
you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the
sword." Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 1:15-20 (NAS)
If you were one of the
Israelites being spoken to in the scriptures
above...in what instances would God choose not to
hear your prayers? (give the best answer)
If I regard or cherish
wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.
If my hands are defiled
with blood and iniquity and my lips have spoken
falsehood and wickedness, these iniquities will
make a separation between me and God...these
sins of mine will hide His face from me so
that He will not hear.
If the wickedness that I
do is such that God casts me out of His sight,
do not pray for me...for God will not hear you.
If God calls me and I do
not listen...when I call, God will not listen.
If I do not turn and wash
myself...make myself clean...remove the evil of
my deeds from God's sight. If I do not
cease to do evil.
All of the above.