“There is no true prayer without confession. As long as we have unconfessed sin in our soul, we are not going to have power with God in prayer. He says if we regard iniquity in our hearts, He will not hear us, much less answer. As long as we are living in any known sin, we have no power in prayer. God is not going to hear it.”
“I firmly believe a great many prayers are not answered because we are not willing to forgive someone.”
We’re working through barrier #6 in our series today.
#6 Unconfessed sin…your own sin or the sins of others against you.
Unconfessed sin robs us of joy, minimizes our understanding of grace, and can exhaust our spirit. In our exhausted state, we easily buy in to Satan’s lies that we are too guilty to confess, “It’s been too long since you last confessed to God. He’s not going to forgive you now…you’ve finally gone too far this time and now God has reached His limit. I can’t believe you’re asking for God’s forgiveness for that AGAIN!” Satan is the great accuser and the father of lies. His ultimate success is getting us to give up, and thereby fail. He will stop at nothing to have your sin keep you ineffective and riddled with guilt. So, what do we do with this?
Let’s throw off the sin that so easily entangles us and run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let’s fix our gaze to the One who saves us from ourselves and has taken away our guilt and shame permanently, nailing it to the cross! (Heb. 12:1-2)
Is there still sin in your life that you’re holding on to? Do you wonder why you feel as though God is very distant and doesn’t seem to answer you when you pray? Confess such sin with an open and contrite heart and He will not despise or forsake you. He promises to answer us when we call (Ps. 51:17, 4:1-3; Lam. 3:57).
What if others sin against us? Can this still harm our intimacy with the Father? Matthew 5:23 states that it does. If our brother or sister in Christ has something against us and we realize it, we are to go to them and make amends with them and THEN come back to the Lord to offer our gifts. Similarly, if someone sins against me, I cannot let unforgiveness and a resentful spirit control me. Harboring bitterness and resentment distances us from God.
We are commanded to forgive as the Lord forgave us (Eph 4:32). The tricky part of this is when someone sins against us and never comes to us to ask for our forgiveness. What are we to do then? We are still called to go and be reconciled to our brother. If he doesn’t want to hear it, for whatever reason, we still have the ability and are called to embody a spirit of forgiveness toward him, no matter his reaction, from a vertical (God) and horizontal (others) relationship standpoint.
This shines light on one reason having a healthy team dynamic in European missions is so important. If team members don’t know how to handle conflict in their personal lives, rest assured it will be that much more difficult dealing with conflict as part of a team of missionaries in a foreign land. Confessing sin to one another plays a vital role in effective team communication. Our missionaries work day in and day out in close proximity to one another, so if conflict arises that isn’t taken care of in quick order, the team suffers, directly affecting the gospel witness in the country where they serve. Please be in diligent prayer for KM’s international teams!
Whether it’s your own unconfessed sin or the sin of another against you, it all directly and negatively affects your relationship with the Lord. So, go to the Father today, broken and just as you are. Maybe you’ve become distrusting or skeptical of whether God actually answers prayer or not. If this is so, my guess is the reason for such distrust and distance from the Lord has more to do with unconfessed sin or a broken relationship, rather than wondering if God really grants your requests. Confess and draw near to God! Do it now!!
Clayton J. Elliott, Kontaktmission USA
Pastoral Ministries and Prayer
clay@GoKMUSA.org (731) 217-1741
Here are two of this month’s prayer requests from KM missionaries in the field.
Peter and Olga Vogel. (Project Leader for Central Russia and Central Asia) based in Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, Germany. “We are thankful and amazed over all God accomplished during the summer. Especially impressive was the baptism of a immigrant woman during a retreat in Orenburg. At the beginning of September school starts in Russia and central Asia, along with a new year of activity in congregations and missions. Please pray that the contacts established during the summer will continue to develop and that during the course of the year people will come to God and to his churches.”
A KM missionary team based in Cape Town, South Africa have the following request. “Our team is returning from a mission trip to Liberia, where we went with members from our congregation to strengthen the local church. Please pray for a safe trip home and that their work will be of great benefit to the Christians in Liberia.”