Daily D – Isaiah 59:1-2
Indeed, the LORD’s arm is not too weak to save, and his ear is not too deaf to hear. But your iniquities are separating you from your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not listen.
ISAIAH 59:1-2 (CSB)
A university student has lived with us this summer. He serves as a youth intern at the church we attend. He is a delightful young man and so full of joy. He leaves to go back to school in a few days. Precisely when depends on the condition of his car. Every time he prepares for a long journey, something goes wrong with his ride.
He is taking his car to a local repair shop Monday morning. They promise they can have any issues diagnosed within a couple of hours. Necessary repairs can begin shortly thereafter.
An old friend and I drifted apart and stayed that way for over a decade. He was struggling with some issues in prayer without peace. He called me one day out of the blue to seek my forgiveness. The only problem with this tender moment on the telephone was that he had to initiate it. I should have done that years before.
From time to time, and now and again, we experience something akin to a prayer blockage. Pray as earnestly as we might, as intensely as we know how, it feels like God is not listening. There could be any number of reasons why our prayers are not answered. This text points out one significant one, sin.
Unconfessed sin is a prayer blocker. Sin we are uninterested in turning away from interferes with prayer delivery and reception. Is there a sin you cherish? Is there a sin you prefer not to agree on with God? Is there a sin you excuse because you don’t think it’s any big deal in this day and age?
If nothing comes to mind, take time to pray what King David prayed in several of his noteworthy prayers:
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns.
See if there is any offensive way in me;
lead me in the everlasting way.
(Psalm 139:23, 24)
This is prayer diagnostics at its best. This leads to seeing ourselves and our sins from God’s perspective so that we may agree with him and turn away from them to his better, life-giving choices.
Do not fear praying this kind of prayer. Our Father in heaven points out problems not to humiliate us or to make us feel bad. He points them out so that we may be reconciled with him and with others. He wants to restore our relationships with him and with others. He wants to say Yes to our prayers.
Let’s give him every opportunity to do so by getting out of our own way. God always listens to those who want to experience forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation, and renewal.
Our Father, search me. Know my heart. Test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me. Lead me in the everlasting way. Amen.
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John 5:19 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, the Son is not able to do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son likewise does these things. (CSB)
Ezra 3:12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and family heads, who had seen the first temple, wept loudly when they saw the foundation of this temple, but many others shouted joyfully. (CSB)