Unconfessed sin separates us from God. He is a holy God and hates sin. So when we continue in habitual sin, our prayers are not heard by God.
Remember when you were on the playground as a kid and you got in a fight with a classmate? The teacher separated the two of you and made you apologize. This was followed by the soft whimper of, “I’m sorry.” You were not sorry for the fight; you were just sorry you got caught.
Here is an example from my childhood regarding the need for daily forgiveness. My mother, who is a terrific baker, had just pulled out some homemade chocolate chip cookies from the oven. She set them on a plate to cool. To avoid spoiling my appetite before dinner, she gave me only one cookie. I was instructed to wait for more until after dinner and not to touch them.
She went upstairs for a moment, but I stayed in the kitchen. The cookies were calling my name. I looked around and slowly approached the plate. I hurriedly shoveled a couple of the cookies into my mouth.
They were hot, delicious, and so good; but then my mother returned. She asked me if I had eaten any of the cookies. I looked up at her and softly replied that I hadn’t eaten any—not realizing the crumbs of evidence rested gently on the corners of my mouth. She asked me again, with the look that only mothers can give, and I ashamedly said, “Yes.”
Once I confessed my sins, my communication with my mother was unimpeded. She did not disown me or kick me out of the house. She forgave me for disobeying and then lying to her. (However, there were dire consequences to my bottom, and I never took a cookie without her permission again.)
Nothing damages your prayer life more than unconfessed sin. Confess, repent, and ask God for the strength to turn away from those sins.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from any unrighteousness.
—1 John 1:9
God is faithful in forgiving you; He sees the heart change and that you have turned away from your wrongdoings. This allows the communing with God to continue as you approach him with a clean heart.
This is not about doing Hail Marys or losing your salvation. This is about recognizing the sin in your life, confessing it to God, and turning away from it. These things are necessary to not only converse with God but ensure He hears you.
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