05/12/22 He Paid Attention

READING: Psalms 61-62, 64-67   

I don’t remember where and when it was, but I generally recall the first time I heard someone use this verse in relation to praying: “If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psa 66:18). What I for certain remember is that I first heard this text in light of the fact that our sin hinders our praying—which is an accurate conclusion from the scriptures (see Isa 59:1-2). The speaker presented the text in a negative light dealing with unanswered prayer due to sin. 

A closer look at the text, though, shows a much more positive picture. The psalmist was hardly perfect, and he knew God would not hear his prayers if he had ongoing sin in an unrepentant heart—but that is not where his heart was. The fact that God did listen to the psalmist’s prayers, that “he has paid attention to the sound of my prayer” (Psa 66:19) is an indication that the psalmist was harboring no sin; he was faithful, and God consequently did not turn away from his prayer. 

Disobedience does indeed hinder prayer. At the same time, though, obedience keeps the prayer channel clear. God pays attention to the prayers of His faithful children. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Are you walking fully in obedience today? Or, do you have any ongoing sin in your life?  

TODAY’S PRAYER: “God, show me my heart—and let me walk in a way that is pleasing to You.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Psalms 68-70, 86, 101 

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