WHAT KEEPS MY PRAYERS FROM BEING ANSWERED?

I PETER 3:10-12: “For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” NLT
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OBSERVATION: What keeps my prayers from being answered? Have you ever felt like God was listening to everyone else’s prayers but not yours? How can I experience a breakthrough in my prayer life knowing that God is truly listening and attending to my prayers?

In this day of digital everything, most young people do not even know what a transistor radio is. As a young boy growing up it was the greatest invention I had ever seen! Imagine, a small, battery-powered box, the size of my hand, being able to go anywhere and play music from a radio station. Suddenly, I was able to take my tunes wherever I wanted. You could listen to your favorite music while playing basketball or when you went to the beach. What could be better than this?

These small marvels were great until they faced their one deadly foe – static! Everyone who owned a transistor radio will remember turning the dial to tune in the station and remove the static. Sometimes it was as simple as turning the dial. Other times it was because you had moved outside of the radio signal of the station you were listening to. Either way – static ruined your music experience. The luxury of satellite streaming radio would be decades in the future!

Sometimes I have felt that my prayer life is like my old transistor radio. When I pray, many times I feel the presence of God and know that He is listening to my prayers. Other times I have felt like my prayer life was lost in the static and God seemed very far away. As I have grown in my faith, and as I have meditated on God’s Word over the years, I realize this one important truth.

GOD NEVER MOVES – I DO!

Sometimes the static is merely the stress of everyday life. I do not take the quality time I need to quiet my heart before the Lord and truly listen to His voice. I allow the static of life to drown out the still small voice of the Lord. I have found that if I do not start my day in meditation and prayer the static only builds as I go through the day. If I wait until I am exhausted from the day to spend time in the Word and prayer, the static never seems to go away.

Another type of static is when there is sin in my life. It may be a sin that I am aware of or a sin that I am unaware of. In either case, God always wants to deal with the sin in our life. He wants to reveal it so that we can bring it to the cross and be cleansed and forgiven. Our Heavenly Father is always trying to keep our line of communication open. We must develop a sensitive ear to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repent when He prompts us to!

Peter reminds us,

  • “For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

There are two exhortations in these verses. The first is the call to turn away from evil and do good. This is more than simply coming to the Lord each day for His cleansing and forgiveness. It is also the redirection of our life in seeking His righteousness and pursuing what is good. Jesus said, “…Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9). To do good is to seek the Kingdom of God and to be a peacemaker. It is to walk in God’s forgiveness and to extend this same forgiveness to others!

The second exhortation is a reminder of God’s promise. God is always attentive to the heart that is seeking Him. To seek the Lord is more than just shooting a prayer toward heaven. It is tuning our hearts and lives with His. It is removing the static from our lives so that we can hear His voice. When we do this we are assured that He is listening. His heart is always attentive to our prayers.

Of course, the opposite is also true. We can either remove the static from our lives or choose to live in the static. If we continue in sin, if we harbor unforgiveness toward others, if there is discord in our marriage or relationships, we are turning up the static. It is not that God cannot hear us. The truth of the matter is that we cannot hear Him! God is waiting for our repentance so that He can restore us. We have to turn the dial of our hearts away from our sin and back to Him!

  • “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” ‭‭I John‬ ‭1:8-9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Lord, this morning, allow me to hear Your still small voice. Search me, know me Oh Lord. If there is anything in my life that would hinder me from hearing Your voice, reveal that to me and forgive me anew through the blood of Jesus Christ my Lord. Tune my heart to Yours. Remove the static from my life!

In Jesus Name!

About Kirk's Devotional Journal

Kirk L. Zehnder is the Founder of Resurrection Christian Outreach. RCO is a ministry that promotes the growth and vitality of the local church through speaking engagements, seminars, various media tools, and written curriculum and books. This ministry was started over 35 years ago by Kirk as a means to strengthen the church that he was pastoring. It grew as Kirk began to share these tools with other churches. Today many of the materials are being used by local churches both nationally and internationally. Kirk's Devotional Journal is a result of struggling with Bible reading programs that never seemed to work. Kirk feels the Lord helped him discover an easy-to-follow program to Read, Reflect, Pray, and Journal through the Bible in one year. This program is called L.I.F.E. Unlike other programs there are no dates to follow. You can miss a day and still complete your reading. You never feel like the dates and verses you missed are chasing you. You are free to enjoy your daily Biblical journey and listen to the voice of The Lord. For more information on the L.I.F.E. plan, send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com. Kirk is also available for speaking engagements, seminars, and retreats. With over 40 years of professional business and pastoral ministry experience, Kirk brings a unique combination of practical wisdom, humor, and Biblical insight. If you would like Kirk to speak at your church, school, or ministry, please send an email to rcoutreach@aol.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your opportunity.
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