If you’re practicing sin as a Christian, it will bring your prayer life to a screeching halt. One of the reasons our prayers are not answered is because of unconfessed sin.
The psalmist said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18 NKJV). That word regard means “to cling to” or “hold on to.”
And in Isaiah 59, God said, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (verses 1–2 NKJV).
We all sin, and we sin more than we think we do. As 1 John 1:8 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (NKJV).
That is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us,” as frequently as we pray, “Give us today the food we need” (Matthew 6:11–12 NLT).
There’s a difference, however, between Christians who sin and Christians who willfully and habitually sin without remorse, without any plans to stop.
True Christians are miserable when they’re living in sin, and they’ll want to confess that sin. On the other hand, if someone can continue to sin and even plan to sin more without any remorse or pangs of conscience, it would indicate to me that he or she isn’t a child of God (see 1 John 3:8).
Unconfessed sin can hinder our prayers. That is why we want to confess it. And when we do, 1 John 1:9 tells us that God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (NKJV).
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