|Guest Blogger, Cindy Arrowhead Price|
That truth gives rise to a question, and hopefully a revelation, so dynamic as to produce genuine confession, followed by true repentance.
The question has undoubtedly been posed to every follower of Christ having experienced frustration in prayer; “what is hindering my walk with God?” We ask ourselves and probably our pastors, mentors and teachers of the Word why our prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling. Why do our prayers seem to go unanswered?
Each is a legitimate question. Every believer has pondered his relationship with the Lord at some point.
Never, in my many years of walking with the Lord, have I met a fellow believer who had not questioned her prayer life from time to time. It is so common within the Christian faith that performing a Google search using the words “hindered prayer” produced about 1,140,000 in 0.10 seconds.
That staggering number, dear reader, is one search from one web browser, in one language. My mathematical ability (or inability) and cause of that figure is shocking to me.
How can that be?
Having never been outside of North America where there is a church on every corner and easy access to the Scriptures, it is foreign that so many people are searching for solutions to “hindered prayer.”
Without getting any more technical (my technical ability does succeed my mathematical but not by much), perhaps I should get to my point. Yes, I do have one.
Google cannot give you the answer your seek. Sure, it will point you to some links that, with the click of the mouse, you open pages of reputable sites containing Scripture, blogs full of opinions and insights, etc. That is likely how you found this blog.
There are innumerable places to find truth, simple as it is. The truth is that hindered prayers are not uncommon for many reasons. Here, I will discuss but one; unconfessed sin. The Psalmist wrote in chapter 66, verse 18 “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
If your prayers are not being answered it is time for a heart examination. Take an honest look inside your heart, asking yourself if there is anything hiding there that would not be pleasing to the Lord.
Every human occupies space on this earth is a sinner. Even those of us who have given out hearts to the Lord are sinners. A heart that belongs to the Lord is forgiven, but each heart dwells in a body of flesh that who's propensity is toward sin. That sinful nature continues within the believer, but the Holy Spirit places conviction over us that compels us to look within, find the barrier between ourselves and our Savior and remove it to regain the fellowship that we cannot live without.
How can I commit sin and remain confident that the Lord hears my prayers? I cannot. God reminded me of this basic lesson recently as I was enjoying my morning walk with my dog.
While I love to write, without a venue with which to do that, I talk or think out loud. That was what I did when God reminded me of a simple truth that literally stopped me in my tracks.
“Why am I still struggling with ________.”? God answered me immediately and clearly. There was unconfessed sin in my life.
God is perfect and His presence cannot be found where sin remains.. He cannot look upon sin. When we have sin in our lives that we have not confessed, been forgiven of and repented from, we are literally unable to get to God. We are kept from His presence because He cannot look at us. The more time we allow sin to dwell within us the more distance we create between ourselves and the Lord. That distance hardens the heart and, given enough time, will wreck all kinds of havoc in the spirit and even the body of the believer.
Confession closes that gap and places us back in fellowship with the Lord. That is why we must always have our hearts open for the Holy Spirit to search freely to bring the conviction that leads to repentance. Peace immediately comes with confession and repentance. Prayers are no longer hindered.
My walk was long and reviving that particular morning. My Lord and I had much to discuss. More accurately, He had much to say and I was eager to listen. Just to hear Him speak to me....
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) NIV