Prayer is a resource and an honor that not all enjoy. Through the power of prayer, we can receive forgiveness from God, boldness from God, peace from God, opportunity from God, strength from God, healing from God, wisdom from God, and tranquility from God. For those that do not have the privilege of prayer, their prayers will be an abomination to God. Their prayers will fall on deaf ears. Their prayers will be hindered. Their prayers will not be answered favorably. We might be praying people, even pray fervently; but do we have the right to pray, to expect God to heed us when we pray?
God will not hear the prayers of those that will not heed His word. Those who turn their ears from the law, their prayers are an abomination (Prov. 28:9). Such is the case of those who will not endure sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3-4). God will not hear the prayers of those whose sins separate them from Him. Sins can separate one from God so He will not hear (Isa. 59:1-2). Such is the condition of those who will not seek God’s forgiveness (Rom. 6:23). God will not hear the prayers of those that treat others unjustly. Those who fail to consider the poor (Psa. 41:1-3). Those who fail to treat their wives as they should (1 Pet. 3:7). Those who fail to make things right with those they have offended (Matt. 5:23-24) Those who fail to forgive those who sinned against them (Matt. 18:21-35). God will not hear the prayers of those that pray without faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Those asking with doubt in their hearts ensures failure (Jas. 1:5-8).
The privilege of prayer is not for everyone. It is afforded to those whose hearts are in the right condition. God hears the prayers of the sinner seeking truth and righteousness. This is what we learn from the example of Cornelius. He was a good man, but still in need of salvation (Acts 10:1-2; 11:14). His prayers and alms had been noticed by God (Acts 10:4,31). God saw to it that he had an opportunity to hear the words whereby he could be saved (Acts 11:14). God heard the prayer of a sinner like Cornelius because he was hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Mat. 5:6). He was asking, seeking, and knocking (Mat 7:7-8). God hears the prayers of those that have Jesus as their high priest. He is now a merciful and faithful high priest, able to aid His brethren (Heb. 2:17-18). He makes it possible to approach God’s throne boldly (Heb. 4: 14-16) He is able to save to the uttermost, since He ever lives to intercede (Heb. 7:25). Jesus has now become our Advocate and Mediator. Our advocate with the Father (1 Jn 2:1. He is the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). He makes intercession for us at the right hand of God (Rom. 8:34). What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.