Monday, May 24, 2021
Two Roadblocks to Prayer
“It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (Isaiah 59:2 NLT).
Some years ago I was leading a Holy Land tour. We also went to modern-day Turkey to visit the biblical Ephesus, where people once worshiped the goddess Diana. So I bought a little statue of this goddess at a local souvenir stand to illustrate one of my messages.
Afterward, I threw the statue in my backpack and thought nothing more of it. But a little later in the tour, two of my granddaughters came across that little statue and started playing with it.
I said, “Girls, give that to me.” Then I left the room with it and threw it away.
The Bible tells us, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21 NKJV). We might think of idols as images like the little Diana statues from Ephesus. And they are, of course. But idols also can be other things.
An idol can be something that you drive. It can be something that you hold. Or, it can be some passion you have in life that’s more important to you than God Himself. An idol is anyone or anything that takes the place of the true and living God in your life. And if we allow things like these to crowd out God, it can bring our prayer lives to a halt.
Also, in Isaiah 59 we read, “Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (verses 1-2 NLT).
God cannot forgive the sins we won’t confess.
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