“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer” (Psalm 66:18-19).
Recently when I was confronted with a list of twenty sin-identifying Scripture texts, I at first thought, “My heart is clean before God. I don’t have anything to confess.” But I went through the list anyway, and to my amazement I found five areas of sin that needed to be dealt with. So I clearly identified what was offensive to God, confessed those things, and claimed God’s forgiving grace. Through that I again discovered complete freedom in prayer. We can’t have the privilege of prayer without purity of heart. Not only does sin hinder prayer; prayer hinders sin. The two are always opposed. The more careless we are about sin, the less we will pray. The more we pray, the less careless we will be about sin. Both sin and prayer are powerful forces. Which one is moving you?
Father, the struggle to stay away from sin is a daily battle. Please examine my heart continually and convict me of anything that keeps my prayers from being heard.
Pray that the unsaved around you will see such a difference in your God-honoring values that they will leave materialistic life-styles to take up their cross and follow Jesus. Ask God to continue the fulfillment of his promise to Abraham through you (Gen. 12:2-3).
Pray that people will be convinced of the folly of living for this world’s toys. Ask God to give his people the selfless perspective to seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.