Sin Renders Prayer Useless




    Job 27:8-9 For what hope has the godless . . . Does God listen to his cry when distress comes upon him?

    Job 35:12-13 He does not answer when men cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked. Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.

    Psalms 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened

    Proverbs 1:25-30 since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you . . . Then they will call to me but I will not answer . . . Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD . . .

    Note how this matches Jesus’ teaching:

    Matthew 25:11-12 Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ [This is virtually a prayer] . . . But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

    More Scriptures:

    Proverbs 15:8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.

    Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

    Proverbs 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.

    Proverbs 28:9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.

    Isaiah 1:15-16 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! . . .

    Isaiah 58:4-9  . . . You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  . . . Then you will call, and the LORD will answer . . .

    Jeremiah 11:10-11 They have returned to the sins of their forefathers, who refused to listen to my words. . . . Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.

    Jeremiah 14:10,12 This is what the LORD says about this people: “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. . . . Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. . . .

    Lamentations 3:8 Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer.

    Ezekiel 8:17-18  . . . Must they also fill the land with violence and continually provoke me to anger? Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.

    Jonah 2:8 Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

    Micah 3:4 Then they will cry out to the LORD, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.

    Matthew 5:23-24 Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

    John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will.

    James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

    1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

    (Emphasis mine)