We hinder our own prayers when we live blind to our own sin.
Every once in a while it will occur to me that I am living in sin. It’s an ugly phrase, and is often used as a condemnation or judgement on someone else. So what does it really mean to be “living in sin”? Simply put, it is when you deliberately refuse to repent about something, and basically pretend God will forget about it. By extension, I (wrongly) expect my prayers to be answered my way and give no thought to what God might want for me.
For instance, time theft from work; gossiping about a friend; choosing not to forgive someone. Without a regular examination of my conscience, it is easy to overlook these things, and conveniently forget that as a child of God I am to live a life set apart for the Gospel.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking you get blessings and answered prayers because you examine your conscience. God owes us nothing. What he wants is for us to turn toward him in love and fear.
He can be trusted to heal us, however he chooses to do it
Like a good Father, he knows exactly what I need and when I need it. And sometimes what I need is for my prayers to be rejected.
“You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, You are my servant, I have chosen you, and have not cast you away. Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
How to pray so that God hears us
Confessing our sins shouldn’t be something to avoid or dread. In fact, it is freeing. The way to get God’s attention and tell him we are serious, is to let go. Let go of whatever secret sin you are hiding away. God already knows everything, but he wants to hear it from your lips, and he delights and cherishes a contrite heart.
- Ask Jesus to reveal any sins that would keep him from hearing your prayers. Repent of each one. (Ps 66:18 & Isaiah 59:2)
- Pray to have you thoughts bound up so you can hear the Lord (2 Cor 10:5)
- Thank and Praise the Lord (Ps 100:4)
- Listen to what the Spirit guides you into praying for, and don’t stop praying until the Spirit leads you to stop.