When God speaks to us it is clear, without static or confusion. It is specific and we know it is him. If it’s confusing, we know it’s from the devil because God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). We can have confidence that God hears our prayer, but we may not be asking according to his will.

I John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

When Moses was praying God said he wasn’t going into Canaan and not to talk about it anymore.

Deuteronomy 3:23-26 And I besought the Lord at that time, saying, O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.

God had told Moses to speak to the rock and water would come out but Moses didn’t obey.

Numbers 20:7-8 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

Moses got angry and lost his patience with the people so he said something that God didn’t tell him to say. He showed pride by taking credit for getting the Israelites the water out of the rock.

Numbers 20:11-12 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

God wants us to have self-control over our anger, so we don’t say things we’re sorry about and need to repent. Only by pride comes contention (Proverbs 13:10). God said he wouldn’t hear Moses if he prayed about going to Canaan (Deuteronomy 3:25-26). Some things are just not going to change. If God says no, we need to accept it and just be what God wants us to be. God let the messenger of Satan buffet Paul so he wouldn’t be exalted, to keep him humble. If we have a trial that God has said “no” about, we need to do like Paul and gladly bear the infirmity or trial so the power of Christ can be seen in us. We need to ask God to help us have grace for whatever he wants us to go through.

II Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

David despised God’s commandment by taking Uriah’s wife when he knew it was wrong and against God’s will.

II Samuel 12:9-12 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

David repented and God forgave him but God said it would give an opportunity for the enemy to blaspheme the Lord. God said the child would die but David still fasted and prayed.

II Samuel 12:13-16 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

David afflicted himself in trying to change God’s mind, but he didn’t change. We need to accept what God tells us. The Israelites lusted for flesh and God gave them their desire but sent leanness to their souls (Psalm 106:14-15). When Jesus was in the garden, he prayed that if it was possible God would remove the cup (to die on the cross). He said “not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). We all have a will and want our own way, but we need to ask that God’s will be done.

Things that will hinder our prayers:

  • Sin in our heart. If we keep sin in our heart, God will not hear us. If God shows us we need to get rid of something or change but we don’t, we can pray but the Lord will not hear us.
    Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
  • An unforgiving spirit will hinder your prayers. If a married couple has disharmony in the home it will hinder their prayers. If something comes up and you start to resent your spouse, ask God to help you have grace and forgive, so your prayers aren’t hindered. If they’re hindered in the home, you won’t be able to worship at church.
    Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

    I Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

  • Forgetting the poor. If we stop our ears when we could do something for the poor, God will not hear us.
    Proverbs 21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)