Isaiah 58:3-5 NIV
“Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
One of the things which stood out to me in Isaiah 58, is that Israel was seeking The Lord, but God didn’t see it because of how they were living. What I mean by that, is Israel’s sin was a hindrance to their prayers and fasts being heard. A very important thing that God has taught me, is it is not only about praying and fasting, but God also wants us to live a lifestyle of obedience. When we live our lives by what the Bible teaches, it will make our prayers very powerful, for the Bible says that He listens to the godly person who does His will (John 9:31). If there are areas that we have trouble obeying God, we can ask for forgiveness and pray for Him to help us obey in that area. God is very merciful.
God bless you
(To study more about this, please read the entire chapter of Isaiah 58)