27 The priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.
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I would say that God (being both omniscient and omnipresent) is aware of all prayers (Psalm 139), but the Bible indicates at least four kinds of prayers to which He will not respond: 1. When we are choosing to hold on to sin, rather than to repent and change (Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 1:15); 2. When we ask according to our own selfish desires (James 4:3); 3. When what we ask is not in accordance with His will for us (1 John 5:14); and 4. When we do not ask in confident faith in God to respond in the manner of His time and choosing (James 1:6-8). (For example, when, despite our prayers, we continue to worry about the thing that we are praying for, or to harbor doubt (either privately or expressed in public actions or comments) that God will respond.)
Our prayers reach heaven when we are in a right relationship with God. Our prayers bounce off the brass ceiling when we are disobedient and rebelling against the Lord. King David affirms this truth in Psalm 66:18. “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Whenever we live with wilful sin in our lives, unwilling to confess and repent of it, God will not hear or respond to our prayers. We all sin and God knows that. He wants us to open our hearts and confess all known sin and resolve, with God’s help, to turn away from it and turn toward God. That’s what the nation of Israel was doing in 2 Chronicles 30. King Hezekiah had called the people to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Festival. The couriers went from town to town and the people scorned and ridiculed them. Nevertheless, some people humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. The people who came confessed and repented their sins. They were in a right relationship with God. They performed their duties in accordance with God’s commands. God was pleased with their praise and thanksgiving. He listened and heard their prayers.
Obedience. God hears the prayers of the righteous, otherwise called, the faithful. Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. Righteousness and obedience are synonymous. One cannot exist without the other. The age old argument over works is clear. As Paul said, “Faith without works is dead.” And yet, “Works without faith will not be accounted as righteousness, because no one is righteous. Their works are as dirty rags; apart from faith. Be as children. Our faith in God must be the same as an infant's in his parents to provide for all his need. Do you know that an infant's smile is a reflex to gain the parents' approval? So must be our obedience. We set our heart on him, we smile in our heart because of our obedience, and God counts it as righteousness. Abraham’s obedience was counted as faith, and faith righteousness.
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