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Breaks in Our Relationship With God

Sin’s Impact on Prayer

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Scripture
Isa 59:1,2 “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.”

Ps 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”

1 John 3:22 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

James 5: 16 “The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Others
Andrew Gih:
“God’s program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah ‘repaired the alter of Jehovah that was thrown down.’ That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain.... Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless.” Andrew Gih

S D Gordon:
“If I am holding something in my life that the Master does not like, if I am failing to obey when His voice has spoken, that to me is sin. It may be wrong in itself. It may not be wrong in itself. It may not be wrong for another....If that faithful quiet inner voice has spoken and I know what the Master would prefer and I fail to keep in line, that to me is sin. Then prayer is useless; sheer waste of breath.” S D Gordon, Quiet Talks on Prayer

D L Moody:
“If we are regarding iniquity in our hearts, or living on a mere empty profession, we have no claim to expect that our prayers will be answered. There is not one solitary promise for us. I sometimes tremble when I hear people quote promises, and say that God is bound to fulfill those promises to them, when all the time there is something in their own lives which they are not willing to give up. It is well for us to search our hearts, and find out why it is that our prayers are not answered.” D L Moody, Prevailing Prayer

George Müller
“I am not conscious of having yielded to any sin, for ‘if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’ when I call (Ps 66: 18).” George Müller, Narratives

Andrew Murray:
“The great reason why we have not had power in faith to pray prevailingly... (is) our life was not as it should have been: simple downright obedience, abiding fruitfulness, were not its chief marks. And with our whole heart we approve of the Divine appointment: men to whom God is to give such influence in the rule of the world, as at their request to do what otherwise would not have taken place, men whose will is to guide the path in which God’s will is to work, must be men who have themselves learned obedience, whose loyalty and submission to authority must be above all suspicions.... Let the first thought be: I belong to the Master. Every moment and every movement I must act as His property, as a part of Himself, as one who only seeks to know and do His will.” Andrew Murray, With Christ in the School of Prayer, (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1979), pp. 130, 131.

Charles Spurgeon:
“If you do not do Christ’s will, He will not do your will.... If anyone should tell me of a man whom God greatly answered in prayer and then inform me that he lived in gross sin, I would not believe it. It is impossible for God to patronize a guilty professor of religion by giving him success in prayer.” Charles Spurgeon Prayer in the Believer’s Life, (Lynnwood, WA: Emerald Books, 1993), p.161.

Ellen White:
“If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions.” Ellen White, Steps to Christ, p. 95.

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