“Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God.”
Every believer needs an unrestrained access to God through prayer. There are going to be times in everyone’s life when prayer is the only hope you have. In times of sickness, you are going to need prayer. In times of financial hardship, you are going to need prayer. In times of a lack of wisdom, you are going to need prayer. In times of family struggles, you are going to need prayer. Fill in the blank of the area where you need God to hear your prayer, and you will realize that you don’t need anything to hinder your prayers.
The verse above says, “…and restrainest prayer before God.” Eliphaz accused Job of doing things that restrained or prevented his prayers from being heard. Of course, this is a great and unproven accusation, but the thought that something in our life could restrain God from hearing our prayers should cause every believer to pause and consider if they are doing something that prevents God from hearing them. In the Scriptures, there are several things that can prevent God from hearing one’s prayer.
First, talking about sin can restrain your prayer from being heard. Verse 5 says, “For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity…” The believer should never be comfortable talking about sin. The words that come from your lips should be pure words and never words cloaked in immorality or sin. What you say does impact your prayer life. Let me strongly suggest never to allow your conversations to go into areas that would not please the LORD. One day you are going to need your prayers to be heard, and it would be a shame that the conversations you have allowed yourself to be a part of have hindered your ability to get an answer to prayer.
Second, dishonest prayers can cause your prayers not to be heard. Verse 5 continues to say, “…and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty.” Don’t think that you can cover the intents of your request from God. Sadly, many are so used to being crafty with their words to cover their true intent of what they are saying that they allow their deceitful intent to come into their prayer life. My friend, God knows exactly why you are asking Him for a request. You can try to spiritualize your request to make it sound good to God and to appease your conscience, but God knows the true intent of your prayer. Being dishonest with God as to why you are asking Him for something only causes your prayer not to be heard. The best thing you can do is to be bluntly honest with God in your prayers. A bluntly honest prayer that shows true intent to God always goes further with Him than a deceit-filled prayer that tries to trick Him into answering your prayer. Don’t try to be crafty with your prayers; just be honest with God.
Third, sin always hinders your prayers. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Knowing you have sin in your life and not dealing with it will always hinder your prayers. God did not say that sin in your life hinders your prayers, but known sin that is not dealt with is what hinders your prayers.
My friend, are you your greatest enemy to your prayers being answered? Are you doing something that restrains your prayers from being heard? It is easy to be sure that your prayers are heard by God. The way to be sure and to have the confidence that your prayers are heard by God is to make sure none of these things are in your life.