Unanswered Prayer? Are You Presentable?

If you were to appear before a King or Ruler of a Nation and was given the chance to ask him or her to do something, how would you dress and act? Take a moment and visualize it. Would you be humbled, cleaned up, neat, polite, be conscious of customs as to not offend, etc.? Now, how is that different than coming before the King of the Universe in prayer? Do you think you can come before Him in pride and with an unrepentant, filthy heart and demand Him to give you what you want?

To continue the simple illustration of electricity. If prayer is the power cord and faith is the action of plugging into the power source, then hope is the expectation the power source will deliver results. So, if a lamp is plugged in but does not turn on, then you need to look for the reason. We know we are plugged into God through the Holy Spirit that dwells in us when we believe in Jesus Christ and received forgiveness of our sins.  One way our prayers are short-circuited is from unrepentant sin.

Reason Four: Unrepentant Sin short-circuits our prayers.

We cannot approach a Holy God in prayer if we are not presentable by having unrepented sin in our lives. What is sin? Sin is disobedience to the commands of God to love Him by keeping His commands and to love one another. Sin is knowing the right thing to do and not doing it (James 4:17). The following verses explain why prayers are not answered because of unrepentant sin.

Psalms 66:18 states, “If I regard wickedness (sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear;”

Isaiah 59:1,2 states, “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.  2) But your iniquities (sin) have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.

1Peter 3:12 also says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Psalms 34:14-18 explains, “Turn away from evil (to harm) and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15) The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 16) The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 17) When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 18) The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Unrepentant sin includes not forgiving those who sinned against you because God instructs us to forgive. Matthew 5:23, 24, states, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” If you struggle forgiving those who did evil against you, please read my post on why we should forgive.

Wayne Jackson writes in “6 Reasons Why Some Prayers Are Never Answered” on ChristianCourier.com. “If you know that someone has a legitimate grievance against you, how can you sincerely approach God in prayer? Uncorrected problems with brethren are extremely detrimental. Peter certainly stressed that discordant home relationships could hinder prayers (1 Pet. 3:7). Where domestic wrangling and bitterness prevail, prayer can never be effective.” What do you think? Would you agree?

Solve the problem of sin through repentance and the work of Christ on the cross.

1John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Pastor Darryl Baker writes in “Abiding in the Word” blog, “Because of what Christ did in bearing our sin and the punishment of our sin, we no longer need to live fearful of approaching our heavenly Father. The sin that separated us is gone and we can now approach God with complete confidence. So as a believer we should daily draw near to Him and He will draw near to us. Don’t ever run from God, run to Him. If you have sinned repent, and run back to the Father for He awaits with arms open wide to help you get back on your feet again.” And he writes, “It is the devil who tries to keep us from approaching God by making us afraid to do so through wrong thoughts. Scripture teaches us to come boldly to the throne of grace, to find grace and help in our time of need. God is waiting to help us overcome whatever we may be dealing with in life, but we must draw near to Him to get that help. The door is open so don’t ever run from Him. He is your answer, He is your deliverer, He wants to help you; and most importantly He wants you to know Him.”  I agree, but we need to come before Him with a repentant and humble spirit.

Hebrews 4:14-16 states, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 

16) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

James 4:6-8 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.‘ 7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8) Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

These verses are the theme verses for my county jail Bible study. I have the women memorize them. One inmate return because her roommate had alcohol in the apartment which meant she broke her probation. When she came to the Bible Study, she was excited to still be able to quote the verses above from memory. I encourage you to memorize Hebrews 4:14-16 and James 4:6-8.

Conclusion:

God is loving, merciful, gracious, and slow to anger. Psalm 103:8 states, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” He is also Holy and Just, Isaiah 5:16 states, “But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows Himself holy in righteousness.” So, we need to approach Him with humility and with repentance if we want him to hear our petitions.

RELATED POSTS

HOW TO PRAY USING THE LORD’S PRAYER AS A MODEL

Reasons One and Two Why Prayer Is Not Answered

Unanswered Prayer—Reason Three

How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer


All verses are from the English Standard Bible.  If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S., experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

How to Recognize and Eliminate Emotional Cancer

Emotional cancer stays hidden deep in your heart even when you think you are okay. It is infectious and spreads into other areas of your life, and it destroys your peace, joy, and righteousness (spiritual right thinking). God gave me this revelation last week when it was triggered by an email. It was hidden, and I didn’t realize I had it until it was triggered.

How did I discover I had emotional cancer?

Last week I received a layoff notice. I accept that I am getting laid off because of the hardship placed on the University from the COVID-19 pandemic, and I have a peace that God will provide for my needs and lead me to another job. In my last post, I describe how I was processing this difficult news and how I felt betrayed by the Department Head because she told us that all our jobs are secure and that everyone matters to her. So when I received an email from her, wanting to know when she could chat (her words), I became anxious, and for a lack of a better word, I felt this unsettling “grrrrr” inside my soul. I felt like the cat on my home page. Do you know that feeling?

I had forgiven her and put off my negative beliefs and turned it over to God, and I was doing good. So I thought. So, I read two of my blogs called “Being Thankful During Hard Times” and “Caution—How to Get Out of The Pit,” and they both helped me change my wrong thinking and refocus again on God’s promises. I didn’t know why I felt offended when I saw her email until I read a blog post about grief where the writer wrote about the need to tell your story and not to allow your grief to turn into resentment. As soon as I read the word “resentment,” I realized why I was still upset, it was resentment for being, well, betrayed.

What is resentment and how do we develop this emotional cancer?

The dictionary defines resentment as a feeling of indignation and showing displeasure toward a person, from a sense of being injured or offended by some act, remark, insult, etc. I felt injured by my Department Head and became offended. A person who has resentment will show anger and ill will for any real or perceived wrong or injury, which they believe is unfair. Resentments build up and grow in your heart throughout your life. These painful memories cause negative thinking and false beliefs, which continue to feed our resentment. When this emotional cancer is not exposed and healed, it leads to bitterness and hate. Job 7:11 states, “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” A bitter person only focuses on their pain and it prevents them from maturing. Have you noticed that the older a person gets, the more bitter they become? When my mother got dementia and could not remember her painful memories, she became a very pleasant, peaceful person for the first time in her life. Read, “Hope for Lasting Peace, Love, and Victory” to learn more.

How to know you have resentment.

Read the following questions. If you answer yes to any one of them, you have hidden resentment.

  • Do you complain about someone or something?
  • Do you dread being around a certain person?
  • When you hear a person’s name do you feel irritated with that person?
  • Do you feel something is unfair or someone was unfair to you?
  • Do you become depressed and pouty, or angry and unkind when you are disappointed?
  • Do you feel jealous or envious of someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantages?
  • Do you feel hurt by something someone did or said?
  • Do you recognize you do not have peace, joy, and right thinking?

Why is feeling offended a sign you have the emotional cancer of resentment?

Most people do not realize they have offenses in their hearts. So be mindful of how you answer the questions in the previous section. When you experience emotional pain and displeasure from an unkind act, unfairness, mistreatment, disrespect, betrayal, unacceptance, and being ignored it creates a painful memory and an offense in your heart. Disappointment also creates a painful memory and causes us to be offended because we are not getting what we want and we feel it is unfair. Once you are offended, the seed of resentment is planted. We will always have disappointment, so resolving to maintain a forgiving and thankful attitude will prevent us from becoming offended and resentful. This is why it is essential to discipline your mind to stay on heavenly promises. Read how to develop heavenly thinking in the posts called Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded? and How to experience a heavenly life on earth.

Recall your last argument or the last time you were frustrated or disappointed. Using the definition of an offense, can you identify what you or the other person was offended about? Once you discover the cause of the offense, then you can work to solve it and heal the emotional cancer of resentment. My book called “Hope for Complete Healing” on my website identifies many causes for offense and the solution. I encourage you to read it so you can love well and have peace, joy, and right thinking. Also, read, “#1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution” for a better understanding of how destructive being offended is.

How do I eliminate resentment?

I recommend the following actions. First, capture the offending thoughts by acknowledging they exist. The evidence is not feeling peace, joy, and thinking the right thoughts. Second, once you acknowledge you are offended, then ask God to show you why you are offended. Third, forgive the person or persons involved. You may have to accept the situation you are disappointed by and trust God’s promises. Fourth, ask God to remove the wrong thinking and false beliefs about the situation and then to take out the seed of resentment sown in your heart. You don’t know you have resentment until it sprouts and takes root in your heart. So as soon as you realize you are offended by a perceived unfairness that causes disappointment, then immediately ask God to remove the seed of resentment before it causes problems.  If resentment is left go, it will become bitterness and hate, at which point, the emotional cancer is at stage 4. Hebrews12:15 tells us to “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” Please read the Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul for the prayer model, you can pray to eliminate offenses and resentments.

Conclusion:

You now know that emotional cancer is resentment and how it develops in your heart. I ask some questions to help you uncover the hidden resentments you may have. The key indicator you have this cancer is feeling offended. Eliminating emotional cancer is not easy but is necessary so it does not spread and affect your decisions and relationships. There is hope for healing resentment in your life, but you first need to ask God to expose it for Him to heal it. Jeremiah 17:9-10 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10) I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

RELATED POSTS

Love from a Pure Heart

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control

Why Should I Forgive?

How to Experience a Heavenly Life on Earth.

Living a heavenly life sounds too good to be true, but you can, and I will show you how.  Because I care about you, I will explain how to experience a life of flourishing growth through righteousness, peace, and joy.  Romans 14:6 states, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Please join me in my journey of experiencing the kingdom of God at this present time.  This does not mean you won’t have hardships, but you will experience a heavenly life that raises you above the hardships.  Does this sound good to you?  The key that opens the door to heavenly living is your attitude.  An attitude of rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and being thankful for everything (1Theselonians 5:16-18).

Experiencing the Kingdom of God in this present age can only happen when you submit everything into God’s care first.  Many who call themselves Christians are not submitted to God and are spiritually dead because they do not have righteousness, peace, and joy. Have you been around a “Christian” who is dishonest, angry or depressed, and an ungrateful, sour person?  What I describe are signs of spiritual death.  I was that kind of Christian for many years until I discovered how to heal the painful memories of hurt and offenses to have peace and joy.  Read my short book on my website to learn how to heal painful memories so you can live the heavenly life to the fullest on earth. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

In the last post, you learned how the Spirit gives life.  In this post, you will learn what the role of righteousness, peace, and joy are in the life-giving process.  Our text is Romans 8:10, which states, “But if (the Spirit of) Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”  Read my last two posts for context: HOW TO BE IN CONTROL OF LIFE and How does the Spirit give life?

Where did spiritual death through sin come from and what is life through righteousness? 

Romans 5:17 states, “For if, because of one man’s trespass (Adam’s disobedience), death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” So, through the Spirit, you can put to death the deeds of the body and let righteousness rule your spirit and live the heavenly life.  Just as eternal life is a gift from God (see Ephesians 2:8 and Romans 6:23) so righteousness is a gift.  The following verses verify the correlation between life and righteousness.

Psalm 119:40 states, “Behold, I long for your precepts (direction for moral conduct); in your righteousness give me life!

Proverb 12:28 states, “In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway,  there is no death.

Romans 6:13 states, “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

In these verses, you learn that righteousness is the reason the Spirit is life.  So, what is righteousness?  According to dictionary.com righteousness is the quality or state of being righteous and righteous means acting in an upright, moral way (knowing right from wrong); virtuous. So, what do we have to do?   2Timothy 2:22 tells us, “So flee youthful passions (selfish thinking) and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

How do you pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace?

You pursue righteousness by putting your faith in Jesus Christ’s ability to help you do what is right because He is your righteousness (see Romans 1:17; 3:22).  Pursue faith by reading God’s Word and memorizing Scripture (see Romans 10:17).  Become more loving by putting off pride and forgiving those who sin against you (see Matthew 6:12-14 and 1Corinthians 13:4-7).  Increase in peace by giving all your problems to God, trusting Him, and be thankful (Philippians 4:6,7).  If possible, you are to live peaceably with everyone (see Romans 12:18 and Hebrews 12:14).  Your heart becomes pure when you purify your soul from fleshly sins and obey the truth in God’s Word, then you can love one another (see 1Peter 1:22).

The evidence of righteousness is holiness and peace.

When you purify your soul, you become holy as explained in 2Corinthians 7:1. “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”  The fear of God is reverent awe and a desire to please Him, knowing He disciplines us.  Hebrews 12:9-11 states, “Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10) For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  11) For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”. And, Isaiah 5:16b explains, “the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.”

Isaiah 32:17 also tells us, “And the effect of righteousness will be peace and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.”  Do you think peace and quietness are better than the turmoil resulting from setting your mind on your selfish desires and sinful behavior?  Do you have peace and quietness in your life right now?  Isaiah gives us a clue as to why you may not have peace.  Isaiah 48:18 states, “Oh that you had paid attention (listened) to my commandments (instructions)! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;”  When we obey God and do what He instructs us to do, then we will have righteousness and peace.  This is living a heavenly life.

To increase your righteousness and know abundant life, you must make peace with others.  James 3:18 states, “And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  Making peace with others can be difficult.  Romans 12:17 & 18 explains, “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable (upright, moral) in the sight of all. 18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”  And, Hebrews 12:14 encourages us to, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”  Peace and holiness are essential pursuits if you want to experience the heavenly life and see the Lord in eternity.  If you have a problem being at peace, work through the instructions in my book to remove past offenses that keep you from living in peace and joy.

For example, someone was throwing trash in my yard as they drove up a private dirt road that runs along my property and in my front yard along the main road.  I was losing my peace over it and through a process of elimination I figured out who it could have been.  I began to roil inside.  Then I thought, wait a minute, I am no longer living above my problems.  So, I captured my thoughts and turned them into a prayer and began to rejoice in God’s goodness and mercy and thanked him for blessing me.  I had just memorized Romans 12:17&18, so I thought about how I can bless the person throwing trash in my yard.  I came home that very evening from work and my side yard along the dirt road was all cleaned up and no trash has been thrown in since.  Praise the Lord.  Do you see how living the heavenly life of righteousness, peace, and joy is better than revenge, worry, and anger?

There is hope for complete spiritual healing as you pursue righteousness, peace, and joy with the help of the Spirit and live a heavenly life above all hardships.


If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the link to my post and website with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).

RELATED POSTS:

How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

Victorious Thinking to Live a Successful Life

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Being Thankful During Hardships