Isaiah 1:15-18 (NLT)
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; 16 wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, 17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. 18 "Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
In these verses God is speaking against Israel through the prophet Isaiah. God lets the people know their prayers are being hindered because of their sins. Then He goes on to tell them to do the right things and quit sinning. They were to repent and therefore wash themselves of the sin. God says He is even willing to debate the issue, because He knows if they listen to Him their sins will be removed; their soul will be clean once again as the snow and the fresh sheared wool of a sheep.
In a commercial a newly wed husband is talking to his new father-in-law on a cell phone. The father-in-law insists the son-in-law call him by his first name of Jim. The son-in-law then starts saying, “Ok, Jim, Jimmy, Jimmy Boy” and then goes into a rendition of the song Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care. Just after he says all these things, which could be either humorous or insensitive, the phone goes silent as the cell phone call is dropped. The son-in-law does not hear his father-in-law respond in a positive way. With no communication the son-in-law is left wondering where he now stands. Isaiah talks about our prayers not being heard because of sin. If we want to keep open communications with God we need to be willing to repent of our sin and turn back to Him. Unless we do our prayers are like silent words and we won’t hear what God is saying to us. Pray to the Lord and repent. Call upon His name and confess your sins. Listen and wait as the Lord responds to you.