One of the great benefits included in the spiritual blessings that reside in Christ (Ephesians 1:3) is the communication we enjoy in our relationship with God. This connection includes the privilege and right to approach the Throne of God’s Glory in petitions and praises. We have an Advocate through Jesus (1 John 2:1) that voids any man’s place between us and God; our Mediator is the Son of God. It is unfortunate that this power so often goes untapped.
However, it is not without condition that we are allowed this avenue of prayer. There must exist a state of being within the petitioner prior to the prayer in order to be heard, a detail often left out in most teaching on prayer. The truth of the matter is that God does not hear just anyone who calls upon Him, but only those who come to Him properly. That there exists a correct way to come to the Throne is implied in the Apostle’s plea, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1) Therefore, it is not surprise to read a wise man’s words in Proverbs 28:9 – “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.”
Countless examples of empty invocations are revealed for our learning and admonition. Isaiah begins his condemnation of rebellious Israel with the warning, “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear…” (Isaiah 1:15). Zechariah testified to this Divine deafness, saying, “‘Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,’ says the Lord of Hosts” (Zechariah 7:13). Jeremiah was even commanded, “do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry of prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time when they cry out to Me because of their trouble” (Jeremiah 11:14); so, God had covered Himself “with a cloud that prayer should not pass through” (Laminations 3:44).
It is a dangerous delusion to believe that God is at our beck and call, ready at any last minute to fix a life lived in rebellion with a death-bed dedication. Rip-cord religion and fox-hole faith are an insult to God who wants His children to commit to and actively live a life worthy of approaching the King of Kings. If we ignore Him, He will ignore us; it is that simple and that true.