It is unfortunate that offenses sometimes arise among otherwise peaceable folk, but it happens just the same.
The relationship of those involved can usually never be just like it ought to be until the guilty and offending party acknowledges his or her mistake and offers an apology. Unless this is done, the offended party may get the distinct and justified impression that the one who offended him is either not sorry for what he did or said, thinks what he did or said should be perfectly acceptable, or both.
It is much this way in our relationship with God. At Isaiah chapter fifty-nine, the prophet noted at verses one and two that God’s hand is not unable to reach us should we call upon Him to save us, nor is His ear unable to hear that earnest petition. Rather, it is our sin that separates us from God, and that hides His face from us so that He will not hear.
There may be a wide range of prayers we want to offer to God, covering a broad scope of petitions. However, if we have offended God by our iniquity, He’ll hear none of this in our prayers until we offer Him the confession of our sins that is due, and the apology He is owed. Then the saving hand of God will reach us more than sufficiently to save us, for then He will have heard in our prayers what should have been there from the time we trespassed against Him; our confession and request for His forgiveness.
I know of no other example that more perfectly illustrates God’s prompt and able response to our cries for forgiveness and redemption than the episode at Matthew fourteen when Jesus walked on the water in the midst of a storm while the disciples watched in fright from a ship. When Jesus identified Himself, Peter asked to walk on the water to come to the Lord, and Jesus granted that he should do so. As Peter proceeded, he began to sink after allowing his faith to weaken in view of the boisterous waves about him. He called upon Jesus to save him, and the text reveals that He immediately stretched forth His hand and caught him.
Are you in need of the Lord to hear what you have to say in prayer? Do you realize a need as an erring Christian to be forgiven? It isn’t that the Lord can’t save. It isn’t that He can’t hear. He awaits your confession, apology, and request for pardon. Then, He’ll both hear and save.