“If anyone turns deaf ears to the law, even his prayers are detestable”
Proverbs 28:9, NIV
There are some verses in the Bible that are challenging to the extreme. Our Scripture for today is one of them. Whoever would have thought that God would hate anyone’s prayers? But the psalmist had already written on this very topic when he said, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18). And then again in the New Testament Jesus was scathing about the prayers of the Pharisees because of their hypocrisy. When Scripture reinforces itself so strongly, with similar teaching from different books of the Bible, you can be sure that what is being said is of special importance and significance.
So why would God find someone’s prayers detestable? This Scripture explains very simply and clearly. God has given us His Word. The commandments and everything we need to know about what is right and what is wrong is contained within God’s law. So when people deliberately and knowingly choose to rewrite God’s laws, so that what God has really said is put on one side in favour of what they would have preferred the Bible to say, they are treading on very dangerous ground. And it’s an even more serious sin to teach others, either by example or by your words, to disobey God’s law.
To presume that you know better than God and deliberately flout the teaching of God’s Word is not only a serious sin, but it makes our prayers detestable to God. It’s no use people saying, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” if, at the same time they are choosing to live their lives outside the parameters of spiritual safety that are provided by the teaching of the Bible. When we choose to turn away from God like this and walk in the opposite direction, it’s as if God goes deaf!
If you’ve been walking away from God in some area of your life and have been wondering why your prayers have not been answered, may I encourage you to change direction (that’s what repentance means), confess your sin to God and seek His face afresh. You will be very surprised to discover that not only does He love to hear your prayers, but He also delights to answer them. Daniel was able to say to King Darius “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me because I was found innocent in his sight” (Daniel 6:22). What an amazing testimony to the power of prayer from a man who chose to live according to God’s law.
Prayer: Father God, I pray that You will forgive me for all the times that I have wanted You to hear and answer my prayers at the same time as I have been knowingly disobeying Your law. I ask You to show me all the areas of my life where I need to change so that Godly order may be restored in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.