I do not like it when I send an email to someone and learn later on that it never got through. It happens because I may have typed in an incorrect address, or the recipient has changed their address and not notified me. Either way, a message I created and sent and thought was received did not make it through the invisible pathways of the e-world.
I also get frustrated when I send what I think is an important prayer and it comes back to me. I never get a message from heaven saying, “undeliverable,” but the silence is daunting. James 5:16 says the “prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful and effective.” But sending and receiving an answer to prayer is not always so cut and dried.
We can live in such a way and talk to God with a spirit that our prayer doesn’t get through. Pastor James spoke of praying with wrong motives (James 4:3). The Psalmist described prayers that are not answered because sin is cherished (Psalm 66:18-19).
Consider three prayer blocks that I have encountered that cause the communication channel between God and me to fail:
1. Disobedience: Why should God listen to you if you and I have chosen to plug our ears to His commandments and leadership?
2. Sin (secret or not): Why should God offer a helping hand to you or me when we are holding one of our hands back, clutching at sinful choices?
3. Stubbornness: Why should God give in to you or me when we are refusing to yield to His Lordship? “No, Lord” is an oxymoron because we are acting like a moron before the King of heaven and earth…who is the One who knows what is best for us.
If you had to evaluate your prayer communication status right now (and you do since I am asking you to), which of these prayer blocks is troubling your prayer life today?
Read 1 Samuel 14:24-37.
The writer suggests King Saul is an impulsive man. He had disobeyed God at Gilgal (chapter 13), and did not want to be rebuked by Samuel again. The passage shows the interplay between Saul, his son Jonathan, and Israel’s troops by questioning Saul’s right to make an oath (24-28), Jon’s right to criticize it (29-30), and the troops right to ignore it (31). Saul then offered sacrifices (33-35) and took steps to find out God’s guidance. Verse 37 says that, “God did not answer him.”
The impression I get from this narrative is that Saul is out of touch with God’s will, well meaning, but stumbling along to please God and keep his job. Ultimately the writer asserts that God can give victory to Israel against more powerful enemies, and that Saul’s prayer and leadership achieves little, due to previous prayer blocks.
Grow devotionally. Prayer is a privilege because it allows us access to talk directly with Almighty God. Take advantage of it. Avoid prayer blocks. Prayer is “knee-mail” to God.
Love is a verb,
©2014 by Mike Olejarz