I Peter 3:1,7
There is surely something wrong when we sow much in prayer and bring in little reward, Let us note (II.Cor.13:5) “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? “
We must Love the Lord with all our might, “Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psa. 37. 4).
Let usdelight not in just earthly possessions, enjoyments, and features but in God, in knowing him, in loving, and worshiping him, and enjoying his love. Let us delight, to meditate, to devout, to praise him is to be spiritually-minded, like the inhabitants of heaven who qualified for their happiness, (Rev.19:9 “And he said to me, Put in the book, Happy are the guests at the bride-feast of the Lamb.”
The question we must ask, is ours heart right with God ? (Ps. 51:2,3) “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”
David stated that his sin was ever before him. Sorrow for sin transcens sorrow for suffering, in the continuance and durableness thereof:
My sins, saith David, are ever before me; so also is the sorrow for sin in the soul of ever person,
Morning, evening, day, night, when sick, when sound, fasting, at home, abroad, ever within him.
It is the nature of love to seek Himself, and to those who love Him, (J.h 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Delight also in His Word, if your petitions are to be unshackled in their approach to the Lord (Jh 15:7) “ If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (Jh. 15:7).
Let us see that we confess sin, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Ps. 66:18).
Many regard iniquity in their heart, For getting the omniscient of God
Many regard iniquity in the heart, who entertain and indulge the desire of sin, yet they dare not carry them into execution.
Many regard iniquity in their heart, who reflect upon past sins with delight, or without sincere humiliation of mind.
Many regard iniquity in their heart, who look upon the sins of others with approval; or, indeed, who can behold them without grief, (Ps.50:17) “Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.”
Sin discovered in the heart, and unconfessed before God, remains a barrier to prayer.
The fatal sign, the coming end of a persons sin is, Hating to be taught and Hating what is taught. All this will bring about pride, comtempt, indifference to truth, atheism at heart and deadness of conscience.
Such sins hides His face from you that He will not hear (Isa. 59:1,2).
The Lord looketh upon the heart, and there must be no secret controversy there with Him-no traitor in the camp.
It is not a question as to what others may think of me.
If we regard iniquity, then we must deal with it, if we prevail with God.
We must put away all our idols, (Ezek.14:3) “Son of man, these men have taken their false gods into their hearts and put before their faces the sin which is the cause of their fall: am I to give ear when they come to me for directions?”
An idol is anything that is set up in the forefront of our affections, taking the place of God, seen or unseen by men, it is erected before His face.
It may take the form of Pleasure, Fashion, Friends, Business, Sin, or Self.
There is no room in the heart for an idol and the Holy Spirit.
The heart must be cleansed if the spirit of prayer is to prevail.
We must see that we deny self “Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your pleasures“ (Ja. 4.:3).
The desire after our own personal pleasure hinders multitudes of prayers.
The petitions are right in themselves when we plead for wisdom, power, grace, or the salvation of our friends; but if our motive is our own pleasure, we ask amiss. Has not our Lord said, “If any man would come after Me (in prayer), let him deny himself ? ”
God still hides many things from such “wise and prudent” self-seekers.
We must See that we are steadfast, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth, let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord” (Ja. 6:7).
There is no stability about a wave; it is utterly purposeless, being driven about with the wind, a creature of mere circumstances, “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever”. (Jude1:11,12).
The prayer of persevering faith storms the fort of blessing. A prayer may be like a wave tossed up against the throne of God, through the force of some tempestuous trial, but this is not a wavering prayer. “All things, whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”