Solomon’s prayer dedicating the temple to the Lord in 1 King’s 8:22-53 is full of requests for conditional blessings. He prays: “If we pray, acknowledge, and turn from sin, THEN God hears and forgives.” “If we turn our hearts, repent with all our minds, and pray, THEN God hears, forgives and grants compassion.”
Solomon also makes it abundantly clear in verse 46 that every person sins against the Lord.
“If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—”(46)
Solomon didn’t just ask for blessings but made repentance a precursor to the blessing.
There is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no repentance without a desire to replace sinful habits and actions with God-honouring ones. And nothing changes until God grants the desire to pursue Him and the Holy Spirit transforms a heart.
How often do we pray for blessing and rescue but are unwilling to address our heart issues and repent? How often do we ask God for things, perhaps even good things—but still fail to repent of the actions, thoughts, and sin that prevent his blessing? I don’t know about you, but these questions are a timely heart check for me.
Oh, how I need to repent of the sin that prevents God’s power in my life! Oh, how I need to examine my choices.
- What hobby or activity do I pursue more than Him?
- What desire do I long for more than time in the Word?
- What television program or novel pulls me from prayer?
- What action do I KNOW I am called to act upon but have put off because of laziness, fear, or simple disobedience?
Oh God, open our eyes to hidden sin and misplaced priorities. I desire a closeness between us that will not tolerate sin or give it an opportunity to root. I want a soft heart so that as You reveal areas in need of surrender I will willingly release them.
It is not comfortable or easy to invite the Holy Spirit to expose our continual need for the gospel. But, it is good.
*from the archives