“‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty.Zechariah 7:13 NIV
Does it seem like God does not hear your prayers? Like they are bouncing off the ceiling? There are several reasons why that might be. But one of them concerns your obedience to what God has told you. Are you investing time in reading the Bible and listening to its words? And are you obeying God’s instructions in it?
Zechariah was a prophet to the Jewish exiles returning from Babylonian captivity. In the passage leading up to this verse, God recounted that he had told the people what he wanted from them (Zech. 7:9-10). The prophets delivered the message, but the people refused to listen to them (Zech. 7:11-12). And they suffered the consequences.
God called out to the people, sending multiple prophets to them. But they did not take his words to heart and obey them. So, when they were in trouble and called out to God for deliverance, he did not respond to them. Their disobedience closed God’s ears to their cries for help.
These words God gave Israel through Zechariah make clear the importance of listening to what God has to say to us. Not just hearing the words, but also responding to them. As James says, do not just be a hearer of the word, but also be a doer. That is who will be blessed by God (Jam. 1:22-25).
Pray in Jesus’ name (John 14:13). Pray in faith (Matt. 21:22). And pray in accordance with God’s will (1 John 5:14). But also pray from a place of obedience, hearing and obeying God’s word to you.