No one ever said as much about prayer as Jesus. And, no one can impact our lives more to pray and be heard by our Father in Heaven — than Jesus.
No one else but Jesus can put through our prayers to be heard by our Father in Heaven. Jesus is the intercessor, the operator that connects us, and puts our calls through.
This morning Jesus warns us that there are some prayers He can’t put through for us. Please open with me to Matthew 6.5-15.
Prayers are like phone calls, both are about talking to someone you believe is there but you just can’t see them. The telephone, invented in 1877, by Scottish born inventor — Alexander Graham Bell, was a big hit. Today in America there are 194 million land-line phones, 140 million cell phones and in the world there are many hundreds of millions more phones.
In the olden days, many years ago, long before cell phones, wireless handsets, and a phone in every room, were the days of telephone operators. These ladies (did you ever get a man back then?) would say “Operator” and then you would say “I would like to place a call to …” and then they would proceeded to try put that connection in place.
Some of the most dreaded words back then for all of us helpless and dependent telephone users were, “I am sorry I can’t put that call through for you”. Then would come the reasons – we had given an incorrect sequence of numbers, or the lines there were not functioning, or the party was not answering, or that party was not even accepting calls, or we had not been able to settle the whole matter of paying for this event.
But back to the dreadful words, “I am sorry, I can’t put that call through for you.”
When you and I pray we always go through the One and ONLY OPERATOR. He always answers the call, but doesn’t always put that call through for us. This morning we need to consider why our Operator Jesus Christ the Son of God would ever have to say — “I am sorry, I can’t put that call through for you.” And if you listen carefully to Him speak through His word, you will never have to get those dreadful words again. The rules for placing a call, and being put through are VERY CLEAR, right here in the COMMUNICATIONS GUIDE that Jesus our OPERATOR left us.
Lets listen to Jesus in Matthew 6 and then go from cover to cover and see all the calls that won’t go through and why! So what stops and or hinders prayers from getting put through to our Heavenly Father?
- COMPASSIONLESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Proverbs 21:13 whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard.
- UNCONFESSEDLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Isaiah 59:1-2 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
- IDOLATROUSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Ezekiel 14:3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?
- UNHUMBLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is hypocritical there is no response from the Lord. Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
- HEARTLESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is mechanical there is no response from the Lord. Matthew 6:7 and when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
- UNFASTINGLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Mark 9:29 so He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Acts 13:2-3 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
- BITTERNESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Mark 11:25-26 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
- SELFISHLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: John 5:30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
- NAMELESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: John 14:13-14 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
- LOOSELY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
- SPIRITLESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
- THANKLESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; If you can’t thank the Lord for what is happening in your life – be it chastening for sin, refining for greater good, or blessing from above – then you can’t really pray!
- UNBELIEVINGLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is offered in unbelief there is no response from the Lord. James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
- UNPETITIONINGLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is neglected there is no response from the Lord. James 4:2b yet you do not have because you do not ask.
- FLESHLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is fleshly there is no response from the Lord. James 4:3 you ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
- UNHARMONIOUSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: When prayer is offered in an ungodly marriage there is no response from the Lord. 1 Peter 3:7-9 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. 8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
- FAITHLESSLY PRAYING IS NOT PUT THROUGH: 1 John 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.