In today’s devotional, we’re going to explore how to keep our connection to God free from obstructions and how to walk in his forgiving grace.
This week we’ve been looking at how God moves in response to our prayer. But did you know that there are things that can block our prayers? In today’s devotional, we’re going to explore how to keep our connection to God free from obstructions and how to walk in his forgiving grace.
My favorite car of all time is the 1965 Ford Mustang. Mine was white with a red interior in the fastback edition with a four-on-the-floor manual transmission. It was great fun to drive and easy to maintain. And I got lots of practice at both.
One particular challenge had to do with the battery system. Cables attached to clamps that attached to posts protruding from the top of the battery. These cables, in turn, connected to the starting system, sending electricity from the battery to start the engine.
Where the clamps connected to the battery posts, corrosion was a constant problem. I actually had to keep a wire brush in the car that I could use to clean off the posts to make sure the car would start.
Otherwise, this incredible car became incredibly dead.
I share this story of my old Mustang as a parable for our souls. When we ask Jesus to become our Savior and Lord, his Spirit comes to live in us as his temple. It’s his Spirit that gives us the power to be his witnesses to the entire world. And we can then speak as the Spirit leads us and pray in his power and with his guidance.
But there’s a problem. Like the corrosion that blocks the power of a battery, sin blocks the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Spirit.” It’s so important for us to pray from hearts that are cleansed of sin and right with our Father. Isaiah 59:2 says, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”
The idea that God won’t hear us is admittedly uncomfortable to think about, but it’s important for us to unpack what today’s verse teaches us. It says, “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18). It’s not that God wouldn’t want to hear us— it’s that he can’t hear us. Our sins can actually hinder and block the Holy Spirit. They drive a wedge between us and our holy Father.
In Proverbs 28:9, Solomon warned us as well: “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” But it’s not all bad news! Listen to this from 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This is why the spiritual discipline of daily confession is so important. To do that, we need to ask the Lord to show us anything we must confess, then confess all he reveals. We can receive his forgiving grace and continue forward without guilt or shame. His forgiveness and acceptance are immediate and complete. And, as a result, he is able to hear all our prayers and answer according to his will.
Peter assured us in 1 Peter 3:12, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Let us be people who practice daily confession and experience the open ears of God. May we be willing to come before God today with a repentant heart as we spend time in guided prayer.
today’s devotional is written by Jim Denison
1. Ask the Lord to bring to mind anything you need to confess. Feel free to write down what comes to your thoughts in a private journal or note. Be specific and honest.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
2. Now admit each of your sins specifically to your Father. Receive his promise to forgive you and to cleanse your mind and heart today. If you wrote them down, throw away the paper or delete the note and celebrate the grace of God you’ve received.
“I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lᴏʀᴅ,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
3. Go to your Father in prayer, confident that you are heard and welcomed. He is eager to share his love and presence with you right now.
“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16).
Dwight Moody said that he sought to “keep short accounts” with God. He ended every day by reviewing his day with the Lord and confessing anything the Spirit brought to mind. That way, he could sleep peacefully and rise to meet God in the morning with confidence.
“Short accounts” are essential not just for our souls but also for our intercession. 1 Peter 4:7 says that we are to “be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” This is also true for the sake of those we pray for.
Charles Spurgeon shared, “No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.” Whom will you be kind to today?
First Peter 4:7 says that we are to “be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” This is also true for the sake of those we pray for.