Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. Lamentations 3:41-42 NIV
It was painfully, shocking to read and my instant interpretation was God doesn’t forgive sin and He doesn’t even hear our prayer! How can this be?! But when I dug a little deeper and reflected a bit more I saw a better meaning to Lamentations 3:42-44.
We all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23 NIV). However, we need to acknowledge areas of sin and waywardness in our lives and bring them to God so He can make us new. If we continue in our same sins, walk in darkness and do not confess our hard hearts to our Father, He can not help us. Of course He knows what we’ve done, but part of an honest, healthy relationship is being able to talk about the hard things. God wants us to come to Him with the unpleasant things. Continuing to hide from Him only creates barriers in our relationship.
Have you ever prayed, prayed and prayed about something and you seem to get nowhere? There’s quiet and God doesn’t seem to answer or even acknowledge that you’ve spoken to Him? It’s happened to me too and it’s frustrating!
Then I see this verse and I’m stopped in my tracks. “You have covered Yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through.” Lamentations 3:44 NIV. It’s hard to think about, let alone say, but it seems that if we don’t confess our sin and rebellion then God will close His Holy ears to our prayer. Ouch!
There is another reminder in Psalm 66:18 NIV, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” He does taken sin very, very seriously and wants us to repent of it before we come to Him with prayers of petition. God doesn’t want us dragged down by the worry of sin when we come to Him in prayer. It’s important that we present our hearts to Him as purely and not distracted as we can. He deserves our best and we need to offer Him that out of love and respect for Him and His holiness!
The easy thing would be for God to let us keep going about our business, ruining our lives, souls and bodies and not intervene and is that really what we want? We do want Someone who knows and loves us better than anyone else to ‘tough love’ us back toward righteousness.
God longs to hear our prayer and answer us. He doesn’t want to shut His ears and not forgive. But Scripture tells us He will unless we confess and allow Him to bring about in us the person He wants us to be.
Who are you going to be in Christ today? What confessions can you bring before Him that will cleanse you and help you be free and closer to the God Who loves you more than you know?
Heavenly Father, You know my heart, my present, my past and my future. Nothing is hidden from You. That gives me fear and freedom at the same time! But God, I know You love me (because Your Word says it and Jesus died for me) and I could never do anything to make You not love me. Please cleanse me of sin and bring me into right relationship with You so when I come to You in prayer I can come knowing my heart is in the right place. Thank You God for Your redeeming love! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!