Psalm 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
Have you ever talked on the phone and struggled to hear what the other person was saying because of poor reception? Whenever we have poor reception, its said that we have “static in the line.” In other words, we are struggling to communicate because something is causing interference between the two phones. “Static in the line” can be very frustrating as we try to communicate with others. Sometimes when we pray, we may feel the same way with God. We are trying to communicate, but our prayers don’t seem to be reaching Him and He doesn’t seem to be answering back. If this continues, we tend to give up on prayer because we feel that God is not hearing anyway. We could say that static exists in the line between us and God. What do we do when we sense this?
The first thing we should not do is blame God. The Bible states in a number of places that God graciously welcomes us before His throne. He desires to converse with us anytime & anywhere. The problem isn’t on God’s end, we must understand that. The problem actually lies on our end. In our text, God identifies the problem, iniquity (or sin). Sin will very quickly disrupt our communication with God. Isaiah 59:1-2 states, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that is cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” If we want the “static” removed from our line with God, then we must be ruthlessly honest about our sin through personal confession. God will abundantly forgive if we willingly come clean. But if we choose to retain sin in our hearts, our prayers won’t go any higher then the ceiling. May God help us remove the “static” out of the line between us and Him!
Isaiah 64:4 – For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
Many Christians struggle with their prayer life for a variety of reasons. One reason centers on the fact that God often requires that we “wait” for the answer. In our society, the idea of waiting does not sit well with the average individual. As a result, we, who are tainted with that mentality, get disillusioned with prayer because nothing seems to be happening or worse, what we are praying for seems less likely to be obtained. We want answers and we want them right now. However, that isn’t how God works. All over the scriptures God commands His people to wait patiently as He works in ways often unseen by us. Unfortunately, sometimes Christians get discouraged and just give up on prayer. As a result, victories are not obtained that could have happened.
The Bible tells us that we will be blessed if we wait on the Lord to answer. Waiting, though difficult at times, is designed to test and strengthen our faith. The longer we wait, the great the faith needed to see the blessing at the end. Our text verse indicates we have yet to see all that God has for us and certainly that includes the prayers that He’ll answer. The Bible says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” We can’t even begin to dream what God can do in answered prayer. To see those extra special blessings, we have to be willing to wait and persevere in prayer till the answer comes. Too often, we may have stopped too soon and missed God answering our prayers. God has promised to answer our prayers and if the answer hasn’t been obtained yet, just keep praying until the answer is known. God’s best blessings come to those who wait on Him. May God help us to embrace that truth as we seek answers to our prayers.
Matthew 21:21-22 – Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Sometimes we face daunting obstacles that appear impossible to move. These obstacles seem so overwhelmingly difficult that we sense our abilities and available resources are far from adequate to overcome them. Sadly, we often get discouraged, defeated and simply give up and just settle for “this is just the way its going to be.” We don’t recognize the great power our God possesses and the fact that we can petition God to use some of that power. We fail to understand that He can step into the most difficult of circumstances and make the impossible, possible.
In our text, Jesus states that if we have faith, we’ll in essence be able to “move mountains.” Mountains are symbolic in scripture of difficult and insurmountable odds against us. They are obstacles and challenges that cannot be moved unless God moves them. Only His supernatural strength can do so. Jesus here is trying to communicate our prayer’s potential in the fact it can “remove mountains” that we cannot do ourselves. When we pray, we see the arm of God move things for us we couldn’t do ourselves. So often, our unbelief limits God and we don’t diligently seek and wait for the Lord to fulfill His promise. But what would happen if we got serious with God about an obstacle in our lives and diligently prayed until the “mountain” was removed? Verse 22 says we shall have it. What obstacle are you facing? Can I encourage you today to making it the Lord’s business to remove your mountains? We don’t have to settle for anything less then that. God help us to believe and pray for those “mountains” to be removed!