Unanswered Prayer: Unconfessed Sin

The prophet Isaiah lived in the Southern Kingdom Judah about one hundred years before the fall of Jerusalem. His beautiful literary skill exemplified Hebrew literature at its best as the result of his apparent erudite education. During this time, he witnessed the fall of the Northern Kingdom Israel to the Assyrians.

As Isaiah repeatedly reminds Judah that sin separates man from God, his reveals why prayers go unanswered.

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
so that he will not hear.
For your hands are stained with blood,
your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken falsely,
and your tongue mutters wicked things. (Isa 59:1-3, NIV)

1. Carefully observe Isaiah 59:1-3. What images do you see that describe sin? What do these images represent?

2. As you think about Isaiah 59:1-3, what would cause the face of God to reappear and hear your prayers?

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