Prayer & God
Psalm 66:18-19, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer."
This passage is a great reminder to the believer that our heart needs to be right if we desire God to hear our prayers. I think everyone who prays wants their prayers to be heard and heeded by the Lord, but for that to happen we need to be right with Him. The Bible is filled with passages that place conditions on answered prayer and one of them is before us in this passage. To "regard" means to see and perceive, yet so many people disregard sin, they intentionally ignore its presence, even though they know it is in their lives. You must first deal with the sin in your heart before you can live with an expectation of God hearing and answering your prayers.
I am encouraged by the fact that the Psalmist had confidence in the fact that God not only heard his prayers but gave attention to his prayers. "But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer." (vs. 19)
Often people neglect praying until they need or want something. Certainly, prayer is not designed to be an avenue whereby the only thing we do is bring a wish list to God. Prayer should be practiced as a Christian discipline primarily because you want to know God and you desire to experience His power and His will.
Prayer should be comprised of four key elements:
A – Adoration: the act of paying honor to God, it is worshipping Him.
C – Confession: the act of agreeing with God about the sin in our life, and making it right.
T – Thanksgiving: the act of expressing gratitude to God for His favor, blessings, mercy, etc.
S – Supplication: this is making humble and earnest petition to God to make up our deficiencies
Why don’t we see our prayers answered? Notice some of the possibilities according to Scripture:
Maybe because we aren’t diligent and consistent in our prayer life – James 4:2
Maybe because we aren’t desiring God’s will – James 4:3
If we regard iniquity in our hearts – Psalm 66:18
If a man fails to honor his wife – 1 Peter 3:7
Take note of the condition of your heart and the conditions established in the Word of God to determine if your heart is right with God and in agreement with Him. Then you can have the confidence of the Psalmist as stated in Psalm 66:19.
Your Friend and HIS,
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. What does it mean to regard iniquity in your heart?
2. What should we immediately do when we realize there is sin in us?
3. What are some of the things listed above that could hinder our prayer life?
4. Will you make a commitment to faithfully pray on a daily basis?