September 4

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. Psalm 66:18

Enemies of prayer IV: Sin
Spiritual life is a life of contrasts. Holiness is being close to God; sin is getting as far away from Him as possible. Sin is the opposite of all that is good, and as such it is the opposite of love, faith, peace and joy. Some weird individuals spend hours devising computer viruses that will wreak havoc via the internet, and vast sums of money are spent trying to protect computer systems from their harmful effects. Sin is the spiritual virus that makes everything dysfunctional. It makes our hearts deaf to God, and blocks out contact between God and us. Sin means pushing God away, cancelling His promises, weakening His influence, robbing His Word of power. Prayer is the open door in our lives to God and His life-giving Spirit; sin is an open door to darkness and all the gloom that Satan spreads. To pray while harbouring secret sins is the greatest folly of all. Sin, of course, takes many forms, and the worst form is pride and selfishness. The proud person does not admit to needing God; the selfish person will take all the help they can get, as long as they get what they want! The only answer to sin is to confess it. This does not mean merely accepting that we are sinners, but humbling ourselves before God and seeking His mercy and grace. As sin has blocked God out, so the repentant heart will not be satisfied until the channels of communication are open once more. Sin is a wrong attitude to God; prayer is the development of an inner attitude that pleases God. No matter how long it takes to form, there is no greater joy in life than finding the place of prayer. No matter how many tears we may shed over sin, there is no comparison with the depths of joy known to the person who finds God.