Pray with a Clear Conscience

Helen Brownson

READ : 1 John 3:18-24

“If our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God” (v. 21).

“If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18).

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25).

Approaching God in prayer requires a willingness to confess our sins and to forgive those who offend us.

God knows that hidden evils and refusals to forgive only destroy us, causing us to become selfish and sick. “I still hold so much anger toward my wife’s family because of the way her family has abandoned her,” said one devoted husband recently. He hoped his arthritis didn’t represent his stored anger. He found it hard to pray. An elder hadn’t spoken to his sister in 15 years, and they were in the same church. He still bore a grudge because she had received a family inheritance. He felt troubled. A devoted wife became ill because she locked up her anger toward the boss when he fired her husband.

We all have wrestled with deep, bitter feelings in our own lives. God knows what is best for us when He encourages us to examine our hearts, to risk confrontation, and to mend walls before we come to Him in prayer. He wants us well and cleansed.

PRAYER

Thank You, Lord, that we can bring all our bitterness, anger, and sin to You and know Your forgiving love.