the reason for not receiving answers to prayers even though we are living a life of faith?
<Question> I have been living a religious life since I was a child at a church in the neighborhood. However, although I have been attending church for over 20 years, I have never had an experience of meeting God or receiving answers to prayers in particular. Why is there no answer from God even when I pray?
<Answer> God is clearly living. This can be known by looking at all things, by reading the Bible, and through the testimonies of many believers who are still meeting and experiencing God. However, if there is a barrier between God the Creator and us, we cannot meet and receive answers to prayers. This wall is not built with visible objects like concrete or bricks, but ‘sin’ constitutes the wall.
‘No, what’s wrong with me? I am even told that I am a person who can live without laws… ‘ There may be someone who can do it. When you are in a dark place, even if your clothes are stained with dirt, you cannot see it, so you do not realize it. But when you step out into the bright light, even the smallest specks on your clothes are revealed. Also, even in a bright place, when you are spiritually blind, you cannot know your sin. In other words, they say they believe in God, but they do not discover their own sins, so they just go to church saying, ‘I have no sin. Therefore, even if you believe for 10 years and believe for 20 years, you cannot meet God and receive no answers.
God leaves us so full of sin and does not just look at us, He wants us to meet, He wants to talk to us, and He wants us to respond. God said, ‘Please break down the wall of sin between you and me and let’s have a conversation of love to our heart’s content. You’re thinking about it with your hair tied up, but it’s too easy for me.’ Then, what should we do in order to break down barriers, communicate with God, receive answers to prayers, and solve problems?
- You must realize your sin.
First, while reading and listening to the words of the Bible, you must examine yourself carefully and discover what things are not living according to the Word of God. There are many things that are contrary to the truth that we have learned from the world as we grew up.
For example, let’s say a young child came into the house crying after being beaten by a neighbor’s child. Then the mother, who saw this, was angry and said, “Hey! Do you have no hands or no feet? Why do you eat the same three meals a day and then go around? Next time, hit me too.” But God’s Word teaches peace by saying, ‘If anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn it to him also’ (Matthew 5:39). This is really just a small example. In this way, in all things our life is different from the truth of God’s Word, so we need to know what is wrong.
Also, those who did not believe in God must first repent of their sin of not believing in God and receive Jesus Christ. If a child keeps doubting that his or her parents are real parents, goes to the neighbor’s aunt and says, ‘Mom! please give food.’ If so, how much heartache would that mother have? In this way, God the Creator is the true God and spiritual Father who made our people. How must God’s heart be hurt when people doubt this and instead worship idols as gods and pray for blessings? So, when we see families that worship idols or vain gods around us, it is common to see many people with disabilities or mentally ill. However, when we repent of our sins of not believing in God and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, God accepts us as children, forgives all our sins, and guides us to the right path.
- We must repent of the sins found.
When you discover your sins and repent one by one, the barriers between you and God will be broken down. Then, you will be able to draw closer to God, meet Him and receive answers to your heart’s desires.
When we repent, we must repent that is acceptable to God. Let’s say a young child makes a mistake in front of his parents. If it’s a small mistake, say, ‘I’m wrong. I won’t do that again next time.’ It is forgiven just by saying that, but when you do not listen to your parents and make a big mistake, it is not forgiven by simply saying one or two words that you did something wrong. Likewise, when we repent before God, there are some things that are forgiven just by repenting with words, and some are not. If this is not the case, you must repent that is acceptable to God, and you must repent of repentance.
Confession of contrite means to mourn for your sins, break your heart and repent before God. This is different from simply crying because of sadness, but you can see that tears and runny nose are coming out together, and it is possible when God gives grace. As you truly turn and repent in your heart, you will receive from God the power not to repeat your sins again when you confess your sins.
In this way, when the barriers with God are broken down, God is pleased to see the children repent and turn back. He immediately answers prayers and supplications, heals diseases, solves problems, and blesses them.
- We must bear fruit worthy of repentance (Matthew 3:5-10).
After repentance, we must bear fruit worthy of repentance. To bear fruit worthy of repentance is to forsake the sins we have committed and to live according to the Word of God and bear the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. If you say ‘I made a mistake’ and do not turn around and continue to make mistakes, then it is not that you have repented.
The nine fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 9:5). Here, love is not carnal love like that between a man and a woman, but spiritual love that seeks the interests of others rather than self-interest (22 Corinthians 13).
To the extent that we bear these fruits of the Holy Spirit, we become children of God who resembles God, and because God is pleased and we receive God’s love, we will always receive answers to our requests and prayers. In the name of the Lord, I pray that you will feed these words well and become saints who meet and experience God and glorify God.