This is an article that has truly blessed me. I am reprinting it with the permission of Bettie Need, the author. I hope it blesses you as much as it has blessed me! ~Heather
A Frank Talk to Women
By Bettie Need
Our family believes in the power of prayer. My mother and father prayed for us each day. As a child, I saw my parents on their knees daily in their room, praying for me, for my siblings, for the church, and for the world. It is good to pray for our children— this we should do. In a passage about praying for others, the Bible says in James 5:13-20: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
A good example of a father praying for his children is found in the book of Job, chapter 1:1-5: Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
It is our privilege to pray. But does God always hear our prayers? I John 5:14-21: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
But in Psalm 66:18, David says. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. This is also the Word of God!
When we pray, we pray in vain if we regard iniquity or sin in our hearts. God will not hear us. Perhaps you will say, “But we are all sinners!” Psalm 66:18 does not say, If I have sin... David himself was a man who sinned many times, but he did not hide his sin. He repented, confessed his sin, and God forgave him. David states: If I regard iniquity…
The dictionary defines: “regard: v. 1 consider in a particular way. 2 gaze at in a specified fashion. 3 archaic pay attention to. n. I heed or concern: she rescued him without regard for herself. 2 high opinion; esteem. - (regards) best wishes (used especially at the end of letters). 3 a steady look.”
Spurgeon comments on Verse 18:
If I regard iniquity in my heart. If, having seen it to be there, I continue to gaze upon it without aversion; if I cherish it, have a side glance of love toward it, excuse it, and palliate it;
The Lord will not hear me. How can he? Can I desire him to connive at my sin, and accept me while I willfully cling to any evil way? Nothing hinders prayer like iniquity harboured in the breast; as with Cain, so with us, sin lieth at the door, and blocks the passage. If thou listen to the devil, God will not listen to thee. If you refuse to hear God’s commands, he will surely refuse to hear thy prayers. An imperfect petition God will hear for Christ’s sake, but not one which is willfully miswritten by a traitor’s hand. For God to accept our devotions, while we are delighting in sin, would be to make himself the God of hypocrites, which is a fitter name for Satan than for the Holy One of Israel.
How do we regard something? Do we put it in a special place of honor? Do we hide it so no one will see it? Do we refuse to let it go? What is that secret sin we cherish so dearly? Is there an area of disobedience that is hindering our prayers? What idols do we excuse in our lives?
There are many areas of disobedience in all of us, but I would like to point out one particular area that seems insignificant— childbearing. God’s first command to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. How many times have we heard even Christians saying this about their children: “Oh, that one was not planned; that one was a mistake.” How do our children feel when they hear that? They were not wanted. Their parents did not plan to have them. Oh, they were not aborted, but they are nevertheless an inconvenience.
Because our hearts are idolatrous, we are not obedient to God’s commands. We prefer to obey God partly: have one or two children, but plan when it is convenient, and stop when it is convenient to us. (In
Many Christians speak out against abortion, many pray that God would put a stop to it; yet Christians are setting examples of disobedience in limiting their families. The world is watching to see if they can find an honest person, a person who lives what he speaks. Our own children do not hear what we say because they know, more than others, that we live a lie: our God is not the God of creation, but the god of our own desires. We know God’s commands, but we do not obey them, because to obey would cost us things we cherish and regard. Will God answer our prayers for our nation to stop abortion, if we regard the sin of selfishness and lack of trust in God’s provision for families?
The Lord himself tells us:
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psalms 127:3.) Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall he as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of
Let us believe and obey God, that we may see godly offspring in our land and our prayers be heard.