Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:16-20 (NIV)
A Pure Heart
I want to be able to pray prayers that you will hear and answer. That is a very good desire that you have in your heart. What do you think I want? I think we both want the same thing. You want me to pray prayers that you can hear and answer. Yes, I do. Have no doubt about that. What might hinder your prayers from being heard and answered? If I were to have an ungrateful and unthankful heart, I doubt that my prayers would be heard and answered. How will you make sure that you don’t have an ungrateful and unthankful heart? I will live a life of offering praise and thanks to you. I will remind myself of your goodness. I will make known your goodness to others. I will offer my testimony of your loving kindness to others. That will be very good.
What might also hinder your prayers from being heard and answered? If I lived a life of prayerlessness, I would not have prayers that are heard and answered. You won’t answer a prayer that is never prayed. So, I will pour out my heart to you. I will make my needs and the needs of others known to you, every day as I come to meet with you in prayer. That will be very good.
Is there anything else that might hinder your prayers from being heard and answered? If I cherished sin in my heart, I am sure that my prayers would go unheard and unanswered. What will you do about that? How can you possibly have a heart that is pure before me? That is a good question. Do you have an answer? Yes, I do. I must leave my old life of sin. I must confess my sins to you. I must turn my life over to you. You will give me a new life to live. You will cleanse me. You will purify me. Only you can make me pure and righteous in your sight. That’s true. Do you have any doubts about my ability to make you pure and righteous in my sight? No, I do not. Why is that? The blood of your Son has paid for my sin and cleansed my unrighteousness. He has made me able to enter your presence. His righteousness is now my righteousness. Now, I can give praise and pray prayers that you will hear and answer. Yes, you can. Will you? Yes, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, forgive my sins and cleanse my unrighteousness. Only you can make my heart pure. Help me to not cherish sin in my heart. Help me to pray prayers you can hear and answer. I will continue to offer prayers and praises to you for your goodness to me. Amen
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