Read these verses, then try and apply them to the Jews of that time – aka – think of what this would mean for them. Then, reread them, and see how they can apply to you.
When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, (Isa 1:15-16)
Why would God hide his hands from them? … Because there hands were bloody! Can I ask you something, why is it that it seems your prayers aren’t being answered? Well, it could be that you have “bloody hands”. Of course, for them, it means that they, actually did have “bloody hands”. God was referring to the sacrifices they were making, (God through Isiah).
What this means for us, is that we have guilt. Here’s an example, it’s like pilot “washing his hands of Jesus”. He was trying to wash his guilt of killing a innocent man away.
Anyway, back to the topic; One possible reason your prayers may not seem to be answered, could be that your spiritual life needs to “washed”. Of course, the new question becomes, how do you do that?!
Well, let me, if you will, answer that question with a question:
How can we remove evil of your deeds from before my eyes (God’s eyes); and cease to do evil.
Well, I’ll be blunt… We can’t remove evil from our deeds, we can’t cease to do evil. We can’t clean our spiritual life, simple as that. End of story, you can go away now… Right?
WRONG, WRONG, AND WRONG AGAIN!!! We can’t do anything, it’s true, but Jesus can do everything!
I’m guessing that your saying something like (if your an unbeliever):”Joshua… Jesus just doesn’t exist! We can’t, as you say, “cease to do sin.” And, I respond by saying: “You can say something is impossible, just don’t interrupt the person doing it!” I forget who exactly said that, probably some old dead guy…
But, those words still remain true! Jesus has changed me life for the (much) better, he can change yours as well!
You are loved!