March 23: “One Reason Why Repentance Is So Important”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

Numbers 36:1 – Deuteronomy 1:46
Luke 5:29-6:11
Psalm 66:1-20
Proverbs 11:24-26

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 66:18-19 (NLT): “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

One of the truths that we believe about God is His omnipresence. That means that He is completely everywhere at all times. The Psalmist acknowledged this attribute of God in Psalm 139:7-12.

In believing this about our God, we also come to some other logical conclusions: since God is everywhere, He hears everything that is said. Even in the deepest, darkest parts of the universe, there is no place that someone can whisper a word that God doesn’t hear it.

Yet, in our verses for today, we are told of a scenario in which we can speak, and God won’t listen. Notice that it doesn’t say that He doesn’t hear our prayer – it’s just that He’s not listening. He hears the words, but He is not going to do anything about it.

Question: What would cause God to ignore our prayers? 

Answer: The awareness of unconfessed sin!

If we desire to have a prayer life in which God hears and answers, one of the stipulations is that we stay “confessed up.” When we sin, we run to the cross, fall on our knees, and repent (which means that we admit our sin and resolve not to do it again).

I’m definitely a work in progress. I certainly have sin struggles, but I also desire to stay “confessed up.” As a result, God periodically answers my prayers.

A few years ago, my oldest son showed signs of fatigue. Between school, his obligations to the high school band and academic team, his part-time job at Wendy’s, and a few other things, he was burning the candle at both ends. So, one particularly stressful day, I prayed with him before he drove to work. I asked that if God desired it, that business would be slow, and Zach could come home early. (That rarely ever happened.) He was supposed to work until 10PM, but he walked in the door at 8:30 PM that evening. When I said, “Zach, this is what we prayed for!” he smiled because he knew that God had answered our prayer.

If you want God to hear and answer your prayers, you don’t need to be perfect. If that were the standard, no one would ever receive an answer to prayer. You just need to be pursuing holiness and staying “confessed up.”

If you haven’t been praying as you ought, why not renew your passion for praying to the God who listens and answers.

Psalm 66:18-19 (NLT): “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.”


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Ben White 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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