John 9:31 - Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.According to this scripture, who does God hear?
Anyone who is a worshipper of God and does his will.
Who does God not hear?
Sinners. Sinners are those actively sinning. They know what they are about to do is wrong and do it anyway. They rationalize it. They say they are weak. They say they can't help it. There are a lot of excuses they have come up with to keep on sinning. They are sinners.
Notice that this verse does not say that God doesn't hear the heathen or unbelieving. It just says he doesn't hear sinners. Who are sinners? Sinners are those who know to do right and do not do it. The difference between a Christian who sins and an unbeliever who sins is that a believer stumbles into sin (unintentionally, absent mindedly, accidentally) and an unbeliever sins with intent.
Unfortunately, popular preaching today says that Christians are sinners and that we're just "sinners saved by grace". But if this were true, then, according to the verse above, God would hear NOBODY. Instead, this scripture accurately divides people into two categories — the sinner and the saved.
Romans 6 declares that we WERE sinners. Past tense. That we were once slaves to sin, but NO MORE. If a Christian is still sinning (deliberate acts of disobedience) then something is wrong. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
Is your ear turned away from the law? Have you ever witnessed children whose hearing was suddenly faulty when their parents called them? Their hearing was just fine. They just "turned away their ear" because they didn't want to answer. God's law shines light onto sin and makes sin "exceedingly sinful". If your ear is turned away from hearing God's law, then your prayers are like an abomination. Strong words.
Proverbs 15:29 - The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.Who are the wicked? The wicked are those who do not fear God. The wicked are people who sin on purpose. God says he is faaaaaarrrr from them. The righteous are people who fear and obey God. In other words, when there's a hard choice before you, do you choose right? If you do, you're pleasing God and in turn, his ears will be open to your prayers. I don't know about you, but I need God to be near to me.
Psalms 66:18 - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:How does your heart regard iniquity? Do you allow it influence you? If you give thought to it and have desire toward any thing that God calls sinful then, according to Scripture, God will not hear you. Have you ever noticed that when some people pray, nothing happens, but another person can pray for the same thing, and God is quick to answer? (This reminds of the passage in the book of Job when God told Job to pray for his friends and then he would forgive them.)
1 Peter 3:12 - For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that DO evil.Again, a clear-cut case of the righteous being heard, and the evil doers/sinners not being heard. Think of it this way — what if your husband was just a little unfaithful to you? (We all know there is no such thing as a little unfaithful, right?) What if he said he just couldn't help it? You'd be pretty insistent about that being hogwash.
God's got a cure for the sinner who claims he "can't stop": simply cut off the offending body part. If you're sinning with your eye, pluck it out. If it's your hand, chop-chop.
God's serious about sin. These are drastic measures to deal with sin, but he said it would be better to enter life (eternally in heaven) than be cast into hell with all your body parts intact. Whew!
Pulpit preachers do not warn the flock faithfully on this issue. It is despicable, but many clergy are ravenous sinners themselves. They will counsel you, but they will agree that it's just the "sin nature". And although popular, the Sin Nature teaching is completely unbiblical.
It may be unpopular to say that you can stop sinning (deliberate acts of disobedience toward God), but it's scriptural!
But God gives us all a choice whom we're going to obey and whom you're going to believe - God or man.
God gave his Son's blood to save us and free us from sin. The gospel is the POWER of God. This means that believers have the power to do God's will. When we read the Bible, and believe God, we renew our minds to our saved condition. The Bible says that I'm a new creature. The Bible says I don't have an "old man" anymore.
The Word of God is sharp and powerful and can "update your operating system" so to speak. I have read Romans chapter 6 carefully and I believe every word of it (and the whole Bible). The Bible says that when you repent and trust in Jesus, you are a blood bought, born again child of the living God. And it is the power of Christ within you to live a righteous and holy life.
James 5:16 - Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.Again, whose prayer availeth (profits, makes available) much? A righteous man's. Confess your faults...a fault implies a failing, a weakness or an error. This is different than a deliberate sin. A sin as I've said before, is a deliberate act. Have you ever accidentally robbed a bank or kissed anyone other than your husband? The courts differentiate degrees of murder by intent. Unintentional murder is dealt with differently than first degree murder. It's all about prior intent before the act.
Isaiah 59:2 - But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.Are you seeing a pattern here?
The thing that hinders prayers is sin.
It separates us from God.
When you cross your conscience in a deliberate act of sin, you cut off the prayer line.
If your heart is toward the Lord, seeking the Lord, walking in Truth, taking the narrow way over the wide gate, turning from what is abominable to God and doing what delights him, then you are obeying him. This is the power of God to every one who believes! And it's exciting! God's power is awesome! And his ears will be OPEN to your prayers. It is very exciting to know that my prayers are reaching the ears of my Father in heaven!
Walk in holiness, dear sisters in Christ. Shun evil, and fight the good fight of faith. Do not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)