Just a quick thought the Lord impressed upon my heart last night....I am sure it is nothing new to many of you but it was just one of those things I "knew" and yet didn't "know" or at least didn't apply to my life as I should.
I was reading about hindrances to prayer and of course hitting the top of that list is sin. One reason we do not get answers to our prayers is because we have sins that are hindering/stopping our prayers from getting any further than the ceiling. God hears but can't answer...much like I hear my littles asking me something but I cannot give them what they desire when they have/are disobedient. Do I want to??? oh yes!!! But can I reward them when they have clearly disobeyed?? No!
Inorder to get real answers to prayer we must have "nothing between my soul and the Saviour." A real answer to prayer is asking and then receiving exactly what you asked for. I say "real" answers because the Lord "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45) and is "kind unto the unthankful" (Luke 6:35). He may give you many things not in answer to your prayer but because of His tender mercies which "are poured out even upon the vilest sinners." Taken from the book I am studying, John R. Rice puts it this way..."the God who still gives breath to the murderer, still gives food to the man who never prays, the God who gives all the bounties of nature to a sinning, Christ-rejecting race- that God still loves and cares for His children even when they live in sin and grieve His heart. So perhaps what God has been doing for you when you prayed was not at all the answers to your prayers but just such mercies as His infinite love and goodness provide for the most wicked of His creatures." Food for thought, eh?
Still not my thought though! :)
1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
To get "real" answers to my prayers I must therefore confess my sins before God and clear anything that may be between my soul and the Saviour. BUT there is more to it than just kneeling down in prayer and pouring everything out to the Lord. Unforgiveness grieves God and hinders prayers. Ephesians 4:32 says ".....forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Do I forgive others? Do I have ought against a brother? Am I offended? holding a grudge? Is there any root of bitterness in my heart?? It is one thing to confess my sins to God and expect Him to forgive me but I must also forgive others even when they haven't asked for it. Matt.6:14,15 tell me that.
Still not my thought!!! :D
OK.....here it is..here is what made me sit up and reread and reread! not only must I confess my sins to God...not only must I forgive others BUT I must FORGET!!!!!! How often I have said in my heart "well I will forgive her, but I won't forget" or "I will forgive but I am never going to be her friend again.." How would I like it if God said that to me, "Well, I will forgive your sins; but I never want anything to do with you again"? Ouch! Such forgiveness is no forgiveness at all. When God forgives, you can be sure He forgets..."As far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our transgressions from us." God forgets! and holds nothing against me again.
Mark 11:26 "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Excuse me as I do some more soul-searching today!
I guess it wasn't as "quick" as I intended but my heart is still soo warm....isn't God a great God?!