by Dr. Charles Stanley
Sunday February 13, 2005
Requirements For Answered Prayer
The young family had stepped outside of the will of God several months earlier. They stopped attending church regularly, stopped tithing altogether, and gradually decreased in service as their interest in prayer and reading the Bible slowly waned. But then slowly the husband started noticing changes.
Things seemed to wear out more easily, including their bodies. Colds and infections were more frequent. So were trips to the mechanic as the cars continued to have nagging problems. The couple's investments lagged, even lost ground, as the rest of the economy boomed. Trying to fill the void, they began making unwise financial decisions that further increased their problems, and their marriage started to strain under the duress.
Finally, the young couple realized what went wrong, who they were leaving out: God.
If there is sustained, habitual sin in our lives, it will affect God's response to our prayers. If He continued to answer all of our prayers despite our sinful conduct, He in effect would be condoning our actions, and a Holy God cannot sanction sin. One of the ways God gets our attention is by withholding blessings when there is sin in our lives.
We should always consider it God's gracious gift, a warning system He has put in place to steer us back within His will.
For resources related to this topic and many more, visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. www.intouch.org/exploring
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