13I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
14Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
15I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
16Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
17I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
19But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
20Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
Sin and Prayer
What is the relationship between sin and prayer? The psalmist certainly alludes to it in Psalm 66 when he says,
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.
Could it be that the same relationship between sin and prayer exists for us, as Christian teens today? During those times in which it seems as though our prayers just bounce off the ceiling, it would be good for us to have a time of self-examination.
It is not always easy for us to be honest with ourselves, as we are prone to excuse our thoughts and actions based upon our circumstances or compared to other teens. However, it is important that we remember that we are not comparing ourselves to other people, but are comparing ourselves with God. We must ask ourselves whether our thoughts and actions are acceptable to a righteous and holy God who cannot even look upon sin.
The Old Testament is ripe with illustrations of both God's blessing and curses upon His own people. In times when the people of Judah were faithful to God, even armies of 300,000 were no match for the people of God. Yet, when Judah fell into apostasy, their own huge army was no match for the small armies of their enemies.
We must always remember that we serve the same God today, and the same relationship between sin and prayer exists in our own personal lives, as well as in the lives of the nations.
When we see our countries, especially those which were once faithful to God, fall into great sin and disobedience against the Word of God, we are right to tremble. It is certainly not politically correct or even acceptable among religious circles to equate natural disasters with God's displeasure with a country, however it is a doctrine taught extensively in Scripture.
Psalm 66 ends with the wonderful assurance that God does bless His people and answer their prayers.
But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
We can go, then, understanding the relationship between sin and prayer. If we find ourselves straying from the Word of God, we must fall before Him in repentance, knowing that He will forgive. Then, we can go to God, being assured that He will answer our prayers.
What an amazing God we serve! He loves His people so much!
God Bless You,