Monday, April 21, 2008

Prayer of the Week

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear." Psalm 66.18

If only there were a nickel in my pocket for every time that it felt that God did not hear my prayers. There are times when I am sure that I am praying from some sound-proof room. It seems that none of my struggles, none of my petitions reaches much beyond my own shadow. I think there are many reasons for this. Sometimes it is because I do not have the right attitude in praying. I am praying from obligation or responsibility. At other times I believe that my prayers are ineffective because I am praying against the will of God. Unfortunately, sometimes I know that prayer is outside God's will, and yet I pray it nonetheless.

But today, I want to focus on the most important and prevalent obstacle to prayer, SIN. The Bible is very clear that sin will keep God from hearing your prayer. Too many times we ignore our own faults and failures and hope that God will ignore them as well. We justify our actions and hope that God- and everyone else- will not notice. How naive we are. God is perfect, holy and pure. He can have no part in our sin. Be sure that confession is important in our prayers because it is the only way we get the privilege of bringing our other concerns to the Lord.

PRAYER: Lord God, we are not perfect. In fact, often we seem, even to ourselves, to be hypocrites. Forgive us our sins. Make us a holy people, filled with your righteousness. Cover us with your grace and make us the people that you want us to be, now and always. Amen.

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