Have you ever felt that God was not answering your prayers? In Psalm 66:18 David writes “If I regard iniquity in m heart, the Lord will not hear me” (KJV). I translate it this way, “If I allow evil, sin, or injustice in my life, the Lord will not hear my prayers.” If Christians want God to answer their prayers, God must first hear their prayers. This means that Christians must learn how truly to repent of the evil, sins, and injustice in their lives. I have found that most Christians do not know how to repent. Repentance has five steps.
First, you must acknowledge that you are wrong. You must acknowledge that you have actually been disobedient in what God desires for you. More often than not, this has to do with our thoughts and motives. Remember, God is always more concerned about the motive than the act, the opposite is true with humankind. Second, you must acknowledge that you are sorry, sorry for what you have done, not that you have been caught. Most people today are only sorry that they have been found out, and it would do us all well to remember that the Bible teaches that every Christian will one day be known as God know each heart. Third, you must ask for forgiveness. You must actually say, “Lord, I was wrong. Lord, I am sorry. Lord, forgives me.” Unfortunately, this is where most Christians stop, but you should always move on to steps four and five. The fourth step is that you must ask for cleansing. When my sons were growing up, I would occasionally find their rooms cluttered. They would usually acknowledge that they were wrong, tell me they were sorry, and ask for my forgiveness. However, the room was still cluttered and in need of being cleaned. This is how it is with repentance. The first three steps do not clean our lives. This is why you must move on to the fifth step, you must ask for empowerment. My boys usually need my help in cleaning their rooms. They needed a “power” that they did not possess. Sometimes it was equipment like a vacuum, or cleaning supplies they could not afford, and other times my sons needed my physical strength to move the furniture. They need power that could only come from the father. Likewise, Christians need power greater than their own, power from the Father.
So, if you find your prayers are not being answered, and you believe it is because your sin has closed God's ears to your prayers, look inward…..
….. as you find sin, tell God you are wrong.
….. tell God you are sorry.
….. ask God to forgive you.
….. ask God to cleanse you.
….. ask God to empower you.
As you fully repent, going through all five steps, you will find you life transforming and God hearing your prayers once again. AS you are cleansed and empowered, you will break the vicious circle of sin in your life.
That's my thoughts for today; I would live to hear yours. My coffee cup is empty, and I must go to get another cup. Life is always better when you enjoy a cup of coffee with God!