Did you know that un-confessed sin could keep God from hearing your prayers? It's not that He doesn't want to hear us; it's just that God, in His perfect holiness, cannot come near to sin. The sin must first be removed.
David prayed in Psalm 66:18, "If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." In other words, if we practice sin habitually without repentance, God will not hear us. Of all the promises for answered prayer, here's a promise for God not to answer prayer.
Sin is serious business to God, and therefore should be serious business to us. If there's anything clogging the channel of prayer in our lives then we need to come to the Lord, confess our sins, and receive forgiveness. Throughout Scripture, sin is described as a disease that produces spiritual death. It is no wonder, then, that the psalmist cried out, "Wash me thoroughly God!" When we are honest about our own sinfulness, we will crave God's cleansing ways.
There may be some of you who are thinking, "I would be an absolute hypocrite to pray. I've gone too far and done too much to receive forgiveness." Let me remind you that there is rejoicing in heaven when one sinner repents. We can forever come to the Father because of what Christ has done for us. We have been changed and cleansed and set on the path of everlasting communion with God.
It's time to quit beating yourself down and get away from your guilt. Make today the day to repent of your sin and respond to the forgiveness made possible through Christ. Today, ask God to search your heart and reveal any sin that may be a barrier between your prayers and Him.
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Find peace, purpose and strength with Jesus in prayer.