7 Mar 2015 by Stewart Chew –
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their prayers. 1 Peter 3: 12
Do we often wonder why our prayers are seemingly not answered? Read carefully through 1 Peter 3:12 again. It is because we have only satisfied one half of this quotation by just praying to God. God’s answering of our prayers comes with a condition that we have to obey. Have we satisfied His compulsory condition whenever we pray?
“For the eyes of the Lord is on the righteous.” What is to be righteous? It simply means, “to be in right relationship with God”. When we have a right personal relationship with God, it means to be trusting, honest, faithful, listening, caring and responsive with Him. A loving and happy relationship would exuberate these qualities in us because this ideal association has all the right values to make a right and successful relationship. “All righteousness is rooted in belief. Believe God for all His promises and He will count it to you as righteousness. Firmly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate standard and incarnation of righteousness”. (Righteousness. Billy Graham “Unto the Hills”)
However, we have all fallen short of this ideal relationship with God by default. We have all sinned and that has taken us away from God. It is like being told by our father not to be involved or be part of something in our daily living that he completely detests. We have to be exempt from what our dad totally dislikes first before we can become freely intimate with him. Similarly, there is no greater aspect of our lives that God detests more than for us to deliberately abuse the freedom and independence that he has gifted us all as individuals. There is no greater thing that God detests more than sin because sin originated from the devil and the devil has been constantly tempting God’s people to sin and thus break this loving relationship with God. When we sin, we ashamedly shy away the loving things that bring us all closer to God. Sin is darkness that cannot exist in God’s light. We are to humbly acknowledge that we have all sinned and that it is destroying God’s relationship with us. However, especially that we know how much God hates sin, we can make it our top priority in working with Him to quickly confess and ask for forgiveness and stop committing those sins again. Striving to become sin-free in our lives is very commendable to God and will be greatly rewarded.
In the world we live in, it is almost impossible to become sin-free and maintain this state constantly. God understands because we are still part of this world that we live and we are continuously subjected to the devil and his temptation to sin. By ourselves, we do not stand a chance to combat the strength of the devil that is hell-bent to separate all God’s creation from their loving Heavenly Father. However, God has given us the free choice to acknowledge His supremacy and victory over sin and He wants us to ask Him for His protection whenever we are confronted by the temptation to sin.
We all want God to answer our prayers. He has revealed to us in 1 Peter 3:12 that His eyes are constantly looking at the righteous and He is constantly paying great attention to his beseeching prayers. When we are righteous with God – i.e. we have met His condition when we pray, we can be absolutely sure that He will answer our prayers. The Book of Romans is magnificent in that it reveals so many aspects of the righteousness of God (Romans 1: 16-17). The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).
Sometimes when our prayers seem not to have ‘gone beyond the ceiling’, we have to seriously look into our lives to see if in fact we have fallen short of His expectations and that we have not in fact ‘short-changed’ Him whenever we make our prayer requests.
ABOUT: Stewart Chew is a retired senior lecturer in School of Medical Sciences, Curtin University in Perth, Australia
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