Nicole’s older sister Steph caused constant turmoil in the family. At sixteen, Steph demanded to run her own life. She rebelled against everything: going to church, her curfew, doing homework, and any rule their parents set. In high school, she’d made new friends, and these friends liked to party. Nicole shared a room with her sister, who often dragged in reeking of alcohol and cigarettes. When Steph’s boyfriend dumped her, Steph was stunned and hurt. Nicole heard Steph pray for God to bring him back. When it didn’t happen, she blamed God and continued to rebel. Nicole shook her head. How could Steph expect God to hear her prayer—even if he wanted to help her—when she continued in her sinful and rebellious lifestyle?
Nicole’s sister is no different from many people. They rebel against the Lord’s instructions, but when an emergency strikes, they expect God to answer their prayers anyway. He won’t. “If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable.” (Proverbs 28:9 TNIV) God has made it clear throughout Scripture. He won’t help rebellious people. If you’re cherishing certain sins in your life, deal with them and get it out of your life. Then you’ll be in a position for God to hear your prayers.