Unheeded Prayers
Lamentations 3:8
Also when I cry and shout, he shuts out my prayer.

God wants more than prayer from His creatures, when that prayer is limited to mere asking, or to the expression of a beggar's desires. Prayer may be but a religious form of selfishness. Asking must, of course, enter into prayer: every day brings its need; but what is prayer in its widest and most enduring acceptation? It is communion with God. When we omit this element, we degrade ourselves and our prayers to the level of selfishness, and when our prayer is so degraded it is shut out from heaven. There is no mystery in this. Let us always understand that we are accepted, not because of our formality, but because of our sincerity and earnestness and importunity. Good men in all ages have had experience of this exclusion of prayer from heaven, and sometimes they have misjudged it (Job 30:20; Psalm 22:2). It is well to have such experiences, terrible as they are at the moment of their realisation; they chasten the spirit, they are full of theological teaching, they drive us back to first principles, they constrain us to ask the most serious and penetrating questions. God will not allow such experiences to be unduly prolonged, for he knows that the extension of such trial would end in despair or madness. The Lord can take us very near to the brink, but He will not let us fall over.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

WEB: Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer.

Unheard Prayer
Top of Page
Top of Page