And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
Now let’s get a couple of things clear first. When you enter into prayer you need to be prepared to enter His courts before you begin your petitions. Remember this scripture…
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
We don’t need anything to hinder us in our prayers- so we must make sure to take prayer seriously. Now we’re not doing this for show or to be religious by any means. We take this seriously because we are showing the sincerity of our hearts. Roy Porter, a good pastor friend of mine, said something in a message recently that I really liked. He spoke about Abraham building altars everywhere he went to pray. He said prayer should take time and have a commitment made to it.
I started thinking about this. When Abraham got ready to pray, it wasn’t just jump in the car and talk along the way, though I do this sometimes and that’s fine- he had to prepare. It took something from him to pray. It took a commitment. He had to lug rocks into one place and build them up to form an altar. Most of us after all that work would think “Man, I’m tired- time for a glass of tea.” But it was part of the process- to carry rocks into one place, form them into an altar, then to make petition to God. He was showing him he was serious about what he was doing. Now I’m not saying to get out in your yard and start piling rocks together, but at least prepare yourself to be presentable before the Holy God before entering into prayer. We’re His children, but even children have to show respect and honor their fathers. How much more honor is our Father in heaven deserve from His earthly children?
So we love Him by showing Him the honor He deserves in our preparation for prayer. Reminding Him of His word which shows we understand the foundation of His word that we stand on.
‘Lord, you said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me“– so Lord remember thy word “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) So Lord as I prepare myself to enter into your presence prepare me with your forgiveness- so that you can hear me according to your word.’
Now we are showing God we are serious about our requests and petitions and about Who He is. Do you think this sounds too heavy? Unreasonable? Look at the priests of the time during the Ark of the Covenant. They had to tie a rope around the priest’s leg before entering the Vail where the Ark was. If they had sin upon them, they would drop dead. They had bells on the bottom of their robes and if the bells quit ringing, they would yank them out with the rope and ask the next priest if he was ready to go in. Still want to be in ministry? Has this changed today? Well, many of us have prayed, or been singing in service, or trying to worship and God had pulled our rope as soon as we entered the door. We’re clapping, singing, even shouting but no presence of God. Has your rope been pulled? Prepare to enter His presence and don’t take it lightly. God honors those whose heart is sincere and who has shown up to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Wow, I’m going to have to continue on this part tomorrow…
For The Kingdom!