Red Phone Prayers
This is what the Lord God says: I will respond to the house of Israel and do this for them: I will multiply them in number like a flock. - Ezekiel 36:37 HCSB
When discussing prayer, we often hear about “praying through” and it sounds like we have to punch through some kind of barrier. Another phrase is “the heavens are as brass” or “my prayers aren’t reaching past the ceiling”. While the feeling the person is expressing is understandable and normal, the words are misleading as to how prayer works.
First, our prayers don’t have to reach past the ceiling. It’s not like our prayers are satellite signals and bad weather can mess with heaven’s reception. The Holy Spirit dwells inside us. It’s like having one of those red telephones the fictional mayor of Gotham has to get into direct, immediate contact with Batman. Pick up the phone and help is there. It’s better than 911 because there are no telephone lines that can get cut. 911 in this case is inside you. So when it feels like you’re not making contact, it’s not because of distance.
The second misunderstanding is that God sometimes can’t hear us because of our sins. Listen – God ALWAYS hears you. Sometimes He may choose to say no, but you’re always heard. That feeling you get that you’re not making contact is coming from you, not God. God wants to speak to you. He wants to do wonderful things in your life. He says in Ezekiel that He stands ready to hear and grant requests for blessings.
So what is causes this feeling inside? Perhaps deep in your heart you know that you’ve sinned against someone and it’s interfering because the Holy Spirit is tapping on that part of your life, shaking His head. Perhaps you don’t fully believe that God is there, waiting to answer and do you some good. Perhaps you’re talking too much. Try being quiet for a change; God may want to tell you something – something wonderful and life changing. He may be trying to get your attention so you’ll look at Him instead of yourself. That’s right; sometimes our focus in prayer becomes ourselves instead of God. You end up thinking so much about your problems and your desires that you end up talking to yourself instead of the Lord.
Perhaps you’re putting too much faith in the form of your prayer. Change your environment. Go for a walk and pray while walking. Pace around the room, write your requests on a sheet of paper and then perform some kind of ritual to lay them in God’ hands. Burn the paper; lay it literally on an altar. Do whatever it takes, but realize this: God is there. He’s waiting for you and He wants to bless you. Trust Him to do the right thing and that web of self-deceit and egotism will suddenly yield and you will find yourself on a new plane – a new relationship with the Sovereign Lord.
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