When Prayers Don't Get Through
Today Jesus warns us that there are some prayers He can’t put through for us. Please open with me to Matthew 6.5-15.
Prayers are like phone calls, both are about talking to someone you believe is there but you just can’t see them. The telephone, invented in 1877, by Scottish born inventor -- Alexander Graham Bell, was a big hit. Today in America there are 194 million land-line phones, 140 million cell phones and in the world there are many hundreds of millions more phones.
In the olden days, many years ago, long before cell phones, wireless handsets, and a phone in every room, were the days of telephone operators. These ladies (did you ever get a man back then?) would say “Operator” and then you would say “I would like to place a call to …” and then they would proceeded to try put that connection in place.
Some of the most dreaded words back then for all of us helpless and dependent telephone users were, “I am sorry I can’t put that call through for you”. Then would come the reasons – we had given an incorrect sequence of numbers, or the lines there were not functioning, or the party was not answering, or that party was not even accepting calls, or we had not been able to settle the whole matter of paying for this event.
But back to the dreadful words, “I am sorry, I can’t put that call through for you.”
When you and I pray we always go through the One and ONLY OPERATOR. He always answers the call, but doesn’t always put that call through for us. Today we need to consider why our Operator Jesus Christ the Son of God would ever have to say -- “I am sorry, I can’t put that call through for you.” And if you listen carefully to Him speak through His word, you will never have to get those dreadful words again. The rules for placing a call, and being put through are VERY CLEAR, right here in the COMMUNICATIONS GUIDE that Jesus our OPERATOR left us.
So what stops and or hinders prayers from getting put through to our Heavenly Father?
- COMPASSIONLESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Proverbs 21:13 “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard.”
- UNCONFESSEDLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Isaiah 59:1-2 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”
- IDOLATROUSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Ezekiel 14:3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?”
- UNHUMBLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is hypocritical there is no response from the Lord. Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
- HEARTLESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is mechanical there is no response from the Lord. Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
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