#DailyDevotion Are your sins hindering your prayers?
Read Is 58:1—59:3, 14–21
Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; (2) but 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. (3) For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness… (20) “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the LORD. (21) “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.”
Sometimes we may wonder why our prayers don’t get answered. Believe it or not, sometimes the fault is ours. God does not hear our prayers because they are not prayers. A prayer must have faith in Jesus for it to be a prayer. Our sins and iniquities place a barrier between us and God our Father. Our lips are speaking lies and uttering wickedness. We are simply mumbling fanciful wishes to a God we do not trust.
But God does not want to leave us there. He wants to receive our prayers and answer them. So the Father sends to us an intercessor. Jesus the Son of God, becomes flesh and in that flesh removes from us our sins and our iniquities. He gives us the Holy Spirit that we might speak blessings and intercede for others rather than using them to curse and speak wickedness.
Jesus has put on righteousness as a breastplate and the helmet of salvation and in his zeal won salvation for us. He has defeated our enemies: sin, death and the devil. Jesus has made his covenant with us with his very own body and blood and has us participate in that in his Supper. With this Supper he affirms his covenant and puts his words in our mouth and upon our lips that our prayers may be heard. His Spirit intercedes for us with groaning to deep for words. Indeed, Christ Jesus himself intercedes for us at the right hand of God.
Because of this we shall fear the name of the Lord and glorify in Jesus’ name from East to West forevermore. His name we place before the Father so he will not look at our sins, our guilt, our shame, our wickedness or our iniquities. Instead, the Father will only see the righteousness of Jesus when we pray. It will be the voice of his Son and his Spirit when we open our mouths. Then the prayers which we utter will not be sin but the praise and glory of the name of Jesus and they will be heard.
Lord Jesus Christ, ever give us your Holy Spirit so that when we pray, we may pray the prayer of faith and be heard by your Father in heaven. Amen.