Prayer is a way for us Christians to maintain a proper relationship with God, especially prayers in the morning and at night. Although Brother Zhang insisted on praying every day, he still felt the Lord didn’t listen to his prayer, and he even couldn’t feel His presence. When he posted this feeling on the Internet, it aroused an echo among many brothers and sisters.
To prove Brother Zhang’s words were true, some brothers and sisters also opened their hearts, saying that although each time they said many words to God when they prayed, it was just like they were speaking to themselves or talking to the air. And they obviously felt the Lord didn’t listen to their prayers. Thus they doubted whether they have been abandoned by the Lord.
Why doesn’t the Lord listen to our prayer? The reasons are as follows:
Reason 1: We don’t pray to the Lord with our true heart but treat Him as a fool and deceive Him.
The Lord Jesus said, “when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him” (Jhn 4:23). However, we usually don’t quiet our heart before the Lord and don’t use our hearts to pray to Him. Sometimes our lips seem to move, but our hearts are upset, filled with household matters and our jobs; sometimes we only move our lips but don’t stir our hearts, going through the motions to speak some words without a sincere attitude; we often make great empty talks with inaccurate words. For example, our love for our parents and careers exceeds our love to the Lord. Nevertheless, we pray, “God, I love You!” When we encounter something in our families, we are negative and complain to the Lord, but we thank the Lord and praise Him in prayers. If we don’t pray to God with sincere heart but make great and empty talks and say some words which are contrary to our own convictions to God, then we are going through the motions and cheating the Lord. He will not listen to this kind of prayers at all.
Reason 2: We pray to God with wrong intentions and aims, and often ask Him for blessings without obedience.
Most of the time, it seems that we are praying to God in an honest way, but we are often making demands of Him: those with no jobs ask for a job; those with no children ask for a child; we ask God to have our diseases healed or deal with our issues at home; businessmen pray for earning more money; students pray to God to bless them with intelligence and wisdom; the young pray for a good job, while the old for the absence of disease or misfortune and spending the rest of their days in peace. When in peace, we pray to thank and praise the Lord with a desire of asking Him to protect us forever; when in tribulations and trials, we disobey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, wanting Him to take away the bitter cup. Also we stand in a wrong place to make demands on God and hope He can do everything according to our will. As a result, the more we pray in this way, the further we stray from God, for this kind of prayer is making a deal with God and there is no true faith or true love for God in it. We are making use of Him to achieve our own objectives. Just as the Lord said, “This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Mat 15:8). God will never listen to this kind of prayer.
Reason 3: There is no work of the Holy Spirit in the church, so the Lord doesn’t listen to our prayers.
This is the most important reason. At the beginning of the Age of Law, there was the work of the Holy Spirit in the temple. Anyone who sinned would get the discipline of the Holy Spirit, and when the priests who served God violated the law, they would be burned by the fire from heaven. Thus people at that time feared God and had a heart that revered God. Yet when it came to the later period of the Age of Law and when the Lord Jesus began to do His work, the Jewish people at that time exchanged money and sold oxen, sheep and doves within the temple. They changed the temple into a den of thieves but didn’t receive the discipline of the Holy Spirit. At that time, the Holy Spirit had left the temple and the Lord Jesus began to do His work. So even if people kept the laws in the temple or prayed in the name of Jehovah God, they couldn’t gain the work of the Holy Spirit. The temple that was once used to serve Jehovah God had completely become a religious venue.
Let’s have a look at our church, is there any difference between the situation of our church and that in the latter days of the Age of Law? From the outside, although we persist in gathering and praying more often for the revival of the church, our sermons have no new light and believers can’t get true supply; though we read the Bible and pray every day, we only know the letters without understanding the spirit of the Lord’s words; we perceive the withering and darkness of the spirit and can’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. What’s more, we cling to eating, drinking, pleasures, and status and power. Co-workers struggle and fight against each other, committing sins continuously without receiving the discipline of the Holy Spirit. When we are overcome by transgressions, we do not feel indebted to God, just like unbelievers. It is obvious that there isn’t the work of the Holy Spirit in our church.