Psalms 66:18

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me

Have you ever heard someone say, “He has selective hearing” or “He hears just what he wants to hear”? Has there ever been a time when you were so involved in reading a book, playing a game or some other intense activity that you didn’t hear someone call your name? There have been times I must confess that I sadly have fallen into that category; I’ve been reading a book or listening to something and totally miss hearing when my wife is talking to me. You know, us men are so often accused of having nothing between the ears, “it just goes in one ear and out the other.”

But seriously though, thank God our Heavenly Father is not that way! God never turns a deaf ear to His children, ignoring their pleas for help or words of thanksgiving. Repeatedly throughout the Psalms we read passages such as:

Psalms 34:4

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. …and…

Psalms 34:6

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

Thank God for His love, mercy and grace!

And yet my friend, there is a verse that informs us that there are times when God will not hear you and that is:

Psalms 66:18

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

What a sobering reminder, that if there is still the love of wickedness in your heart; if you have any immorality which you are not willing to forsake; if there is any sin, no matter how insignificant it may appear, which you are not willing to forsake, God will not hear your prayers. The only prayer God hears of the sinner is the prayer of repentance. Friends, there are many other passages we could have looked at to solidify this truth, such as;

Proverbs 15:8

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

Proverbs 28:9

He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

As Adam Clark so clearly states it, “When they regard iniquity in their heart when they wish to be saved, and yet abide in their sins-when they will not separate themselves from the workers and works of iniquity. In all these cases, God heareth not sinners.”

Barnes’ writes “All prayer, to be acceptable to God, MUST be connected with a purpose to forsake all sin.”

Heavenly Father, I pray with the Psalmist, search me, know me, try me and see if there be any wicked way in me…lead me O God, in the way of righteousness, may I ever be true to you. Father, my desire is to be pleasing and obedient to you, that I may hear Your words when this life is over, “Welcome home thou good and faithful servant!” Amen.