hebrews 12.15 (living bible), watch out that no bitterness take root among you for as it springs up among you it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives. bitterness is like a poison, it will eat you alive. you can’t have unforgiveness in your heart and have your prayers answered.
what do you pray every time you pray the LORD’s prayer? “FATHER, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” you’re saying, “GOD, i want you to forgive me as much as i forgive everybody else.” do you really want to pray that? “GOD, YOU forgive me as much as i forgive everybody else.” why? bitterness and resentment will block prayer.
1 peter 3.7 (niv) says why sometimes you haven't had an answer to prayer. peter is talking about marriage.
anyone knows that one of the easiest places to have resentment build up is in families. family members hurt each other’s feelings, husbands hurt wives, wives hurt husbands, parents hurt their children and vice versa. bitterness and resentment are a common experience in family relationships. peter has given the low-down to the women then in verse 7 he starts talking to the husbands. he says, husbands, in the same way [just like he’s talked to the wives in the previous verses] be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect.... so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
did you know that the bible says that disharmony in the home blocks answers to prayer? that’s why some people don’t have answers to prayer. in fact the scripture says how you treat your spouse influences your prayer life. that’s pretty strong.
in the scriptures, when it lists the qualifications that a pastor must have in his life in order to be a pastor and the qualifications for a deacon, one of the qualifications of being a deacon or a pastor is he has to have a happy, peaceful home life. why? because if you’re in tension at home, the prayers of those leaders of the church will be totally ineffective – according to scripture.
sometimes there’s been something i’ve really wanted to talk to the LORD about in prayer and i’ve just had an argument with margaret. i know i’ve got to get that right before GOD’s going to hear the prayer. it’s a nice motivation to get harmony restored.
how do you have answers to prayer? five conditions: one, have an honest relationship to GOD. two, have a forgiving attitude toward other people.
just a thought from the front porch…