The bible teaches that one of the greatest hindrances to our prayer life is broken or damaged relationships. Psalm 66:18 tells us…
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; (Psalm 66:18)
Holding iniquity (sin) in our hearts blocks our prayers from reaching God’s ears. It is as if we were standing alone in a giant coliseum with a dome over our heads. We call out to God for help, but our prayers are blocked by the ceiling of sin and iniquity. Yet, when we repent and restore our relationship with God, the dome rolls back revealing a loving Father who desires to hear our every cry.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches…
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24)
Jesus is saying that our relationship with our brother or sister takes priority over giving Him any of our gifts and talents. In fact, He is saying that the gift is unclean or impure until we have removed the sin of a broken relationship with a brother or sister. Only after we restore the broken relationship will Jesus accept our offering.
The bottom line is this: If our prayer lives are to be effective, we must confess any and all iniquity that is stored in our hearts prior to engaging in prayer to our Heavenly Father.
This is truly a battle of the heart, and the battle for our heart is God’s fight. However, we must engage and fully participate so that through the power of the Holy Spirit, He can reveal and remove our transgressions.
Associate Pastor, Sam Bennett