God does not listen to sinners!

On the Sunday of the man born blind

Karl Bryullov. The Last Day of Pompeii Karl Bryullov. The Last Day of Pompeii
    

Yes you are right, formerly blind man, right a thousand times over that “God does not listen to sinners” (Jn. 9:31)! He does not listen and does not obey those unrepentant obstinate ones who do not wish to bow their heads before Him, and try to incline God Himself to fulfill their requests. A wise parent does not cave in to the manipulations of a spoiled child, no matter how sweetly he sings. Much less so the Giver of wisdom, our Father.

God does not listen to sinners also because they are directing their requests, apparently, not entirely to Him. Or entirely not to Him. Their god is their belly (Phil. 3:19), or mammon, or something else. This “something” occupies the central place in their lives. They made an idol their god, and as a result, the true God is for them something like an idol, useful only for providing them a set of religious services should they need them: help in becoming healthy, success in business, help in casting a spell, and so on. Why should God heed those requests that are directed essentially not to Him but to a mythical being of an incomparably lower order?

God does not hear sinners who insist that He hear them while they themselves shut up their own ears. So why should He listen to them if He can’t answer them, if that person is not waiting for an answer, if dialogue is simply not under consideration? Moreover that person doesn’t want an answer! A god who silently fulfills requests is much more convenient and practical.

God does not hear sinners also because their prayers are often vain and their requests selfish—not for the good, but in order to use it for their own lusts (cf. Js. 4:3). They ask for health not intending to use it for the glory of God. They ask for money without any thought of almsgiving. They ask for children without thinking about raising them in faith and piety.

God does not hear sinners, for they do not know what they want. Their desires are not far-seeing and if they come into being can cause harm. But at the time they do not know about this and continue to ask, ask, ask. Of course a normal father will not give his children a snake when they want a fish (cf. Lk. 11:11–13). But what if they insistently ask for a snake?

God does not listen to sinners. But this does not mean that He doesn’t hear them. He hears them; but will a doctor listen to a patient’s feverish delirium? No, He has no time for that! And no reason to do so—he has to cure him! Right away! When the fever has passed the speech will be healthy, and reasonableness will appear in it. Then he can listen, for The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and His ears shall attend unto their supplications (Ps. 33:15). But until then, God does not listen to sinners, but He has not turned away from them—no, He has not turned away.

Again and again you are right, blind man, for God does not hear even sinners who are repenting! He does not pay heed to their timid “Father, I have sinned against heaven…” He does not ask any questions but embraces them, kisses them, dresses them in clean garments, takes them into His house and has a feast (cf. Lk. 15:17–24).

Priest Leonid Kudryachov
Translation by Nun Cornelia (Rees)

Pravoslavie.ru

5/16/2018

Comments
Afanassy5/20/2018 5:33 am
With all due respect to Fr Leonid, the Prayer to the Holy Spirit goes in part like this:
"O Heavenly King, the Comforter, who art everywhere and fillest ALL THINGs....."

So, God, who is everywhere, can't help but "hear" and "listen to" all the intentions, behaviors, language, motives, and attitudes of all creatures, --- sinners and otherwise, Christian and otherwise.
Whether He acknowledges and acts on those prayers is up to Him, not up to us, to determine.
It is not wrong to say that He may ignore the self-righteous petition of a modern Pharisee, but honor the humble cry of pagan who begs for help, and judge him by his own law, as Holy Scripture clearly states.

=================
Alan5/20/2018 4:49 am
The greatest sin today in Russia and its neighbours is ABORTION.
It occurs every day and is destroying our future.
John5/16/2018 10:23 pm
With all respect, repeating "God doesn't listen to sinners" over and over again is not a helpful presentation of Christianity. I understand that Fr. Leonid does make a distinction between unrepentant and repentant sinners, but waiting until the final paragraph in order to "build suspense" before making that distinction is quite confusing. A person simply glancing at the title or first few paragraphs is going to get the wrong impression!
Anthony5/16/2018 7:25 am
Rejoice! Hello! This was a another very good article by Father Leo. What should also be mentioned how we humans only ever seem to remember God when times are tough. The cheek! We know when to ask for stuff when things aren't going swimmingly for us - but when times are good, well who is God anyway? Oftentimes people ask for things and it has a boomerang effect because we don't know what we are asking for. The one thing I have learnt is not to ask for anything except for everything prayed in two words. Kyrie Eleison. And I say again Rejoice!
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