I’m old enough to remember the “Good old days,” when the radio at our house was always on. From listening to radio serials every night at specific times: Tom Mix, Captain Midnight, Gabriel Heatter and the News (my parents’ choice), just to mention a few. And of course, there was the music. I grew up listening to my parents love of music: Guy Lombardo on New Year’s Eve, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, the Big Band sounds.
In my teenage years, the radio continued to influence my taste. Although the styles had changed, my desire to listen had not: Rock & Roll, Folk music, Surfer music, Motown. Whatever was popular in the music world, I had turned the radio on to listen where ever I was–in the car, at home, or at the beach.
And remembering how the RADIO effected my life growing up, coincidentally, I was watching a documentary on TV recently, regarding air traffic over our country today. It pointed out in detail, that if there wasn’t an Emergency FREQUENCY (also known as GUARD) available to pilots and air traffic controllers, it would be a disaster waiting to happen. By turning on the TRANSPONDER to 7700–locator frequency, the device automatically receives the radio signal.
GUARD is a frequency used on the aircraft band that is reserved for EMERGENCY communications for aircraft in distress or an emergency, and in addition used by air traffic control to warn aircraft flying into restricted or prohibited airspace. The frequency is 121.5 MHz for civilian aircraft [*See Footnote [i] ].
As Christians, we have access to the emergency frequency that responds to our concerns in PRAYER. Being not tuned in may lead you into an unplanned nosedive in your circumstance–a crash landing, so to speak.
Turn Your RADIO on!
The prophet Jeremiah shows us that God gives incredible directions when we call upon Him.
JEREMIAH 33:1-3 (Amplified Bible):
 MOREOVER, THE word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard, saying,
 Thus says the Lord Who made [the earth], the Lord Who formed it to establish it–the Lord is His name:
 Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).
Jeremiah wrote these words as a prisoner (v. 1). So much wickedness in the land existed among the people and God said, destruction was on the horizon!
Neither Jeremiah nor the kingdom of Judah could stop the Babylonian army. Yet God says to call Him, and He will answer and do incredible things. It was His PROMISE in the middle of their trouble and despair.
The Bible is full with PROMISES of prayer:
Psalm 50:15 – “And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
Matthew 21:22 – “And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive.”
John 16:24 – “Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as representing all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete.”
So why have so many given up on asking in PRAYING?
“Oh, I haven’t really given up on prayer. I just don’t pray unless someone ask me to pray for them or somebody else. You know, like at church.”
Just maybe, we need a better understanding on how we can use the emergency FREQUENCY on our radios before we give up on PRAYER.
If you don’t know how to dial in the FREQUENCY, nothing will happen!
If you don’t push the POWER button on your car radio, nothing will happen!
Jeremiah 33:3 provides us with a KNEEBOARD (pilot’s accessory) synopsis of PRAYER:
- CALL to Him.
- He will answer
- He will tell us of things we do not know.
“CALL” to the Lord sounds easy enough.
The Hebrew root word for “CALL” means to call out after you encounter someone. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says, “Calling” in this sense constitutes a PRAYER prompted by recognize need and directed to One who is able and willing to respond (Psalm 145:18; Isaiah 55:6).”
When using 121.5 MHz on the radio,the pilot is expected to state the nature of the problem. The pilot will also be asked if he wants to declare an emergency. The declaration ranges from stating you have a “problem”, not to serious, to “mayday-mayday-mayday”, life threatening.
The Lord wants us to CALL, regardless of how serious the need.
- When lacking something–CALL on Jehovah-Jireh; the LORD provides (Gen. 22:13).
- When hurting–CALL on Jehovah-Rapha; the LORD our healer (Exodus 15:26).
- When in the valley of the shadow of death–CALL on Jehovah-Rohi; the LORD is our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1).
- When troubled or distressed–CALL on Jehovah-Shalom; the LORD is peace (Judges 6:24).
Did you know, Jesus’ disciples never asked Him to teach them to SING, to PREACH, or how to WITNESS. Rather, they asked Him: “Lord, teach us to PRAY” (Luke 11:1).
When we CALL, we must be sincere in our requests–not as hypocrites. We can’t pray “Hallowed be Thy Name”–then cuss at our neighbor.
Nor can we say piously, “Thy will be done”–then continue to live as we please.
“Give us daily bread”–cannot be followed by hoarding & selfish gain.
“Forgive our sins”–will not work if we then carry grudges to bed at night.
The hypocrite prays “Lead us not into temptation”–but not until the party is over.
Don’t CALL on God’s EMERGENCY frequency on your radio UNLESS…you EXPECT an answer!
Let me give you an ILLUSTRATION:
A tavern owner was being built in a previously dry town (No alcohol here!). Christians began an all-night prayer vigil, asking God to intervene. A bolt of lightning suddenly struck the tavern, burning it to the ground. The owner of the Bar sued the local church for destruction of his establishment. So, the church lawyered up and claimed they were not responsible. The judge said, “It appears the tavern owner believes in prayer & Christians do not.”
Praying with EXPECTATION–God does indeed “ANSWER” Prayer.
Could it possibly be, that when we think that God doesn’t answer OUR prayers, we aren’t praying with EXPECTATION?
How often I’ve heard when people pray, “If it be your will. God.” Do we sometimes need an escape clause when we our praying, especially in group prayer, perhaps covering our EXPECTATION that God probably won’t answer? At least, with an answer that meets our expectation.
Yet, what we ask for is often not as reasonable as we think.
A young school boy was saying his nightly prayer: “Please make Lynden (where I reside) the capital of Washington State.”
His mother asked, “Why did you ask for that?”
The boy replied, “Because that’s what I put down on my test today at school.”
When we ask & then don’t receive, perhaps we’ve asked with the wrong motives. Proverbs 15:29 (AMP):
“The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the [consistently] righteous (the upright, in right standing with Him).”
There is faulty logic to conclude when the Lord hears our prayers that it means He will answer to OUR EXPECTATIONS! We don’t make request, petitions, because we are righteous. but because of the Lord’s MERCY!!
We can be assured that GOD answers EVERY PRAYER in a merciful manner.
ANSWERS can come in 4-Ways: No, Slow, Grow, Go.
Say your daughter asks you if she can have some CANDY. You might say “No” because there’s a reason for not giving her the candy.
I have two daughters that contracted Type I, Diabetes when they were quite young. Many times when other children were receiving candy, they would ask my wife and I for just one piece, not knowing the consequences of their requests.
A “Slow” may be the response if you say, just “one piece.” A “Grow” answer is allowing a piece of candy AFTER she cleans her bedroom. The “Go” reply means help yourself, you’re READY to eat the candy!
In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ tells us, “Ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your JOY (gladness, delight) may be full and complete”
JOY then, can come when we see God’s hand in the ANSWER; when we realize how breathtaking His ANSWER really is!
And not only will God “ANSWER” us, He will answer us of the things we do not know or can imagine (Jeremiah 33:3).
Philip, a disciple, asked Jesus if 8 months wages (about $40) would feed 5000 folks (Mark 6:37). The only answer the disciples saw was 3 barley loaves and 2 small fish. Then Jesus showed them a great and unsearchable thing: 5,000 were fed!
In 1973, a young couple accepted Christ as their Savior a year earlier when they were confronted with a dilemma presented by their pastor’s message one Sunday morning: “To Tithe or Not to Tithe”. With three children, a car payment, a mortgage, and barely getting by financially, there was no way they could take 10% out of the budget and give it to the Lord. “PRAY about it,” they were told. “How do we do that?” the husband asked. “Just simply ask the LORD for help in making the decision, then trust Him in His answer.” Well, the decision was made, or so they thought. “We just can do this right now.” But several months later, a “spiritual light bulb” came on. “We can do this!” And with their faithfulness and trust, they’ve been BLESSED ever since with “things they did not know or could imagine.”
That young family was my family, over 43 years ago, and God is still answering our PRAYERS!
The Lord can answer in bigger and better ways than you can pray. But, you need to turn your radio to the EMERGENCY frequency in times of spiritual failure.
If you need direction and purpose in your life–He will answer you. After all, Jesus says “I came that they [you] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full, till it overflows” (John 10:10 AMP).
If you’re feeling more burdens than you can bear–let Him tell you the answer. Our awesome, omnipotent, loving God will ANSWER Prayers, if you CALL!
Credit & Sources –
Footnote : Wikipedia – Aircraft emergency frequency.
Commentary: Sermon Notes on Jeremiah 33:3 by Tom Doubt. Baptist/Minister.
Photo Credits: Photo Pin/Shutterstock; Google Image Search.
Bible Translations: Amplified Bible (AMP); King James Bible (KJV).