Proverbs 28:9

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
– Proverbs 28:9

The word for hearing is common in Proverbs and means to hear intelligently, or with understanding. Obedience is implied. The command to hear is given frequently in the law (Exodus 4:1-8; 5:1; 8:32-34; 15:26; 24:7; Deuteronomy 5:1; 29:3; 31:11-12, 38, 30; 32:1, 44). Refusal to listen to God’s instruction renders one’s prayer an abomination, or detestable in God’s sight. Wisdom teaches God will not listen to us if we do not listen to him (Proverbs 1:23-33).

Proverbs 15:29

The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
– Proverbs 15:29

Being far is contrasted with hearing prayer. The wicked go their own way, so God does not hear their cries (Proverbs 28:9; Psalm 34:16). The righteous walk in the way of wisdom that is pleasing to God. He is near to them and hears their prayers (Proverbs 15:8). The subject of prayer is infrequent in Proverbs.

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Proverbs 15:8

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
– Proverbs 15:8

This proverb deals with worship and our approach to God. It is consistent with the rest of Scripture in that worship is a matter of spirit and not outward form (1 Samuel 15:22). The word for sacrifice refers to the slaughter of an animal, and contextually to the purpose of offering to the Lord. It is a ritual act. Even if the outward act is performed impeccably, the wicked condition of the offerer’s heart makes it an abomination to God (Isaiah 1:10-15). The wicked despise God’s word and want to perform a ritual for acceptance, but God hates and rejects it (Proverbs 21:27; 28:9; Luke 6:46). The contrast is the delight, pleasure or acceptance, of the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:29; 1 Chronicles 29:17).

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