September 17: “One Hindrance to Answered Prayer”

4 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 13
2 Corinthians 6
Ezekiel 20
Psalms 66-67

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 66:18–20 (CSB): “If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. However, God has listened; he has paid attention to the sound of my prayer. Blessed be God! He has not turned away my prayer or turned his faithful love from me.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Prayer is a very strange and powerful thing. It can be a source of utter frustration for the Christian who feels like their words are getting no higher than the ceiling. Yet, the Word of God compares our prayers to the fragrant aroma of Heaven (Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8). It also tells us that our prayers are incredibly powerful (James 5:16-18) because they catch the attention of an infinitely powerful God.

So, since prayer is such a powerful weapon in our spiritual arsenal, we really need to pay attention when God’s Word gives us insights into how to be more effective in prayer. When the Lord gives us principles that enable us to pray in a way that is pleasing to God, that gets things from God, we really need to learn and apply them.

In the verses that I have chosen for today, we observe a principle that I want to briefly highlight.

Psalm 66:18–20 (CSB): “If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. However, God has listened; he has paid attention to the sound of my prayer. Blessed be God! He has not turned away my prayer or turned his faithful love from me.”

Simply put, if there is unconfessed sin in our life, then whatever we pray isn’t going to get Heaven’s attention (Isaiah 59:1-2). Just one particular instance of this is when the Lord spoke through the Apostle Peter to say that if a husband is not treating his wife with the respect she deserves, it would guarantee that God wouldn’t listen to his prayers (1 Peter 3:7).

God cannot reward disobedience. He will not fill a dirty vessel. So, if we want our prayers to be heard on high, we need to be sure that there is no unconfessed sin in our life. There must be nothing in the past or present that is displeasing to God that we haven’t made right through confession and repentance … and taking extra measures if we have wronged someone.

So, friend, what about you? Are you willing to do a thorough cleansing in your life in order to know that every prayer you pray is heard on high? I sure hope so.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I realize that when I received the gift of forgiveness and eternal life, it was my entrance into a relationship with the God of all creation. One of the greatest privileges You have given to me is prayer, the act in which I can enter the very throne room of Heaven with my requests. I want to do whatever is necessary in order to guarantee that every time I pray, You are listening. So, help me as I seek to do a thorough cleansing in my life. I will settle for nothing short of immediate, complete obedience to You. Amen.

Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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