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.
Previously we saw that God is more likely to answer the prayers of the righteous than those of the wicked. We would be wise to not assume that a person is wicked just because God does not answer their prayers in the way that they would like.
This being said, there is often need for self examination during times of prayer. Our sin hinders our relationship with God and therefore it should be no surprise that it affects our prayer life.
In one of the most well known Psalms, David asks God to search him in Psalm 139:23. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” There are times that not only do we need to examine ourselves but we need to ask God to examine us and tell us if there is something that is hindering our relationship with Him.
There are times that we sin and we don’t realize it because we lack the knowledge of the Bible that we should have. Other times we sin and we should realize it but we’ve convinced ourselves that it is ok or we’ve witnessed the sin so many times that our conscience is numb to it.
We don’t always recognize the sin in our life. Even David asked God to search and test him so we’re not alone in this. If we encounter a time that it feels as if God is ignoring our prayers, we may be asking for the wrong thing or at the wrong time. Or it may be time to look inward and ask God to point out sin in our life that needs to be forgiven.