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Instead, your iniquities have been barriers between you and your God, and your sins have concealed his face from you so that he won't listen.
Were I to cherish iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not listen to me.
This is what the LORD says to these people: "Yes, they do love to wander, and they haven't restrained their feet. So the LORD won't accept them now. He will remember their iniquity and punish their sin." Then the LORD told me, "Don't pray for the welfare of these people. Although they fast, I won't listen to their cry, and although they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I won't accept them. Instead, I'll put an end to them with the sword, with famine, and with a plague."
As for us, we have sinned and rebelled; but you have not pardoned us. Clothing yourself with anger, you pursued us. You killed without pity, You covered yourself with a cloud that prayer cannot pierce.
"Then they will cry to the LORD, but he will not listen to them. In fact, he will hide his face from them at that time, because they were so wicked in what they were doing."
"I spoke to you but you didn't listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD and went up to the hill country. The Amorites who lived in the hill country came out to engage you in battle. They pursued you like bees do and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. You returned and cried out in the LORD's presence, but the LORD didn't hear your voice or listen to you.
"Then they will call out to me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. "Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD; they did not want my advice, and they rejected all my correction.read more.
They will eat the fruit of their way, and they will be filled with their own devices.
You ask for something but do not get it because you ask for it for the wrong reason for your own pleasure.
When you spread out your hands in prayer, I'll hide my eyes from you. Even though you pray repeatedly, I won't listen. Your hands are full of blood, your fingers drenched with iniquity." "Wash yourselves, and make yourselves clean; remove your evil behavior from my presence; stop practicing what is evil. Learn to practice what is good; seek justice, alleviate oppression, defend orphans in court, and plead the widow's case.
Whoever refuses to hear the cry of the poor will also cry himself, but he won't be answered.
"Shout aloud! Don't hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Declare to my people their rebellions, and to the house of Jacob their sins. They seek me day after day, and are eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practices righteousness and has not forsaken the justice of their God. "They ask me to reveal just decisions; they are eager to draw near to God. "Why have we fasted,' they ask, "but you do not see? "Why have we humbled ourselves,' they ask, "but you take no notice?'" "Look! On your fast day you serve your own interest and oppress all your workers.read more.
"Look! You fast only for quarreling, and for fighting, and for hitting with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and have your voice heard on high. "Is this the kind of fast that I have chosen, merely a day for a person to humble himself? Is it merely for bowing down one's head like a bulrush, for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, an acceptable day to the LORD? Isn't this the fast that I have been choosing: to loose the bonds of injustice, and to untie the cords of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Isn't it to share your bread with the hungry, and to bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him with clothing, and not to raise yourself up from your own flesh and blood?"
But he must ask in faith, without any doubts, for the one who has doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. Such a person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
Jesus also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves, thinking they were righteous, but who looked down on everyone else: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, "O God, I thank you that I'm not like other people thieves, dishonest people, adulterers, or even this tax collector. read more.
I fast twice a week, and I give a tenth of my entire income.' "But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even look up to heaven. Instead, he continued to beat his chest and said, "O God, be merciful to me, the sinner that I am!' I tell you, this man, rather than the other one, went down to his home justified, because everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the person who humbles himself will be exalted."
when my people humble themselves the ones who are called by my name and pray, seek me, and turn away from their evil practices, I myself will listen from heaven, I will pardon their sins, and I will restore their land.
Indeed, you do not delight in sacrifices, or I would give them, nor do you desire burnt offerings. True sacrifice to God is a broken spirit. A broken and chastened heart, God, you will not despise.
"For this is what the high and lofty One says, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "He lives in the height and in holiness, and also with the one who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in the presence of God. Whatever we request we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
Samuel said, "Does the LORD delight as much in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the LORD? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.
"Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices and eat the meat. Indeed, when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I didn't speak or command them about burnt offering and sacrifice, but I did give them this command: "Obey me and I'll be your God, and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you so it will go well for you.'
so God told him: "Because you asked for this, and you didn't ask for a long life for yourself, and you didn't ask for the lives of your enemies, but instead you've asked for discernment so you can understand how to govern, look how I'm going to do precisely what you asked. I'm giving you a wise and discerning mind, so that there will have been no one like you before you and no one will arise after you like you.
"Now as for you, my son Solomon, get to know the God of your father. Serve him with a sound heart and a devoted soul, because the LORD is searching every heart, every plan and thought. He will be found by you, assuming you are seeking him, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you forever.
Jesus answered them, "I tell all of you with certainty, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you be able to do what has been done to the fig tree, but you will also say to this mountain, "Be removed and thrown into the sea,' and it will happen. You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe."
Jesus told his disciples, "Have faith in God! I tell all of you with certainty, if anyone says to this mountain, "Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' if he doesn't doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.
"Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you. Because everyone who keeps asking will receive, and the person who keeps searching will find, and the person who keeps knocking will have the door opened. "There isn't a person among you who would give his son a stone if he asked for bread, is there? read more.
Or if he asks for a fish, he wouldn't give him a snake, would he? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who keep on asking him!
So I say to you: Keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you, because everyone who keeps asking will receive, and the person who keeps searching will find, and the person who keeps knocking will have the door opened. What father among you, if his son asks for bread, would give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish, would give him a snake instead of the fish? read more.
Or if he asks for an egg, would he give him a scorpion? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who keep asking him!"
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a centurion came up to him and begged him repeatedly, "Sir, my servant is lying at home paralyzed and in terrible pain." Jesus told him, "I will come and heal him."read more.
The centurion replied, "Sir, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed, because I, too, am a man under authority and I have soldiers under me. I say to one of them "Go' and he goes, to another "Come' and he comes, and to my servant "Do this' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and told those who were following him, "I tell all of you with certainty, not even in Israel have I found this kind of faith! I tell all of you, many will come from east and west and will feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom from heaven. But the unfaithful heirs of that kingdom will be thrown into the darkness outside. In that place there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." "Go," Jesus told the centurion, "and it will be done for you, just as you have believed." And his servant was healed that very hour.
After Jesus had finished saying all these things to the people who were there listening, he went to Capernaum. There a centurion's servant, whom he valued highly, was sick and about to die. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and save his servant's life. read more.
So they went to Jesus and begged him repeatedly, "He deserves to have this done for him, because he loves our people and built our synagogue for us." So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to tell Jesus, "Sir, stop troubling yourself, because I'm not worthy to have you come under my roof. That's why I didn't presume to come to you. But just say the word, and let my servant be healed, because I, too, am a man under authority and have soldiers under me. I say to one "Go' and he goes, to another "Come' and he comes, and to my servant "Do this' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found this kind of faith!" Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant in perfect health.
Then Jesus left that place and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. Suddenly, a Canaanite woman from that territory came near and began to shout, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed!" But he didn't answer her at all. Then his disciples came up and kept urging him, "Send her away, because she keeps on screaming as she follows us."read more.
But he replied, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the nation of Israel." Then she came and fell down before him, saying, "Lord, help me!" He replied, "It's not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the puppies." She said, "Yes, Lord. But even the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' tables." Then Jesus answered her, "Lady, your faith is great! What you want is granted." That very hour her daughter was healed.
Jesus left that place and went to the territory of Tyre and Sidon. He went into a house, not wanting anyone to know he was there. However, it couldn't be kept a secret. In fact, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman happened to be a Greek, born in Phoenicia in Syria. She kept asking him to drive the demon out of her daughter. read more.
But he kept telling her, "First let the children be filled. It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the puppies." But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. Yet even the puppies under the table eat some of the children's crumbs." Then he told her, "Because you have said this, go! The demon has left your daughter." So she went home and found her child lying in bed, and the demon was gone.
Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the one who believes in me will also do what I'm doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I'm going to the Father. I'll do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it."