Hello, Brother Van Gelderen!
What are your thoughts on whether a Christian must be completely right before God before he can come to God in prayer on behalf of others? That is, if I have not had a time of confession yet in my daily prayer time but God brings someone to mind and I pray for them, will God be able to hear and answer that prayer according to Psalm 66:18? My concern is that sometimes God brings people to my mind at work or in passing, and I don’t really have time to sit down and make myself right with God right then, However, if I wait until I have time, then I forget who God prompted me to pray for! Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for your practical question. I appreciate your desire to see God answer prayer.
Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” The word regard conveys the idea to cherish or harbor. When we knowingly cherish and harbor sin, it hinders prayer. But that is not at all what you are describing.
In fact, if God is burdening you to pray by bringing someone to your mind, obviously, He wants you to pray right then. He knows you are already in “praying condition” (not harboring sin). When you are walking in the provision of the Spirit, you can immediately pray in the Spirit.
It is only when we are choosing a path of sin that a time of confession would be appropriate. But if that were the case, the Spirit would likely be convicting us to come clean with God about the sin issue rather than prompting us to intercede for others. Even still, in the Lord’s Prayer, petitions are made before the confession. When our heart is surrendered (as yours is), if there is need for confession, the Spirit who convicts will convict, so we can get honest. We can rest in Him who knows all to show us anything we may need to deal with.
Over concern about our being right with God can quickly turn into striving. We are privileged to walk in our provision in Christ. We have our moments of conscious communing with God, but most or our day is simply walking in our relationship with God as we do our work. If we are about to misstep, the Spirit will check our spirit. As long as we mind the checks, we are still in step. Though we may not always feel spiritual, we really are when we are yielding to the Spirit since we are rightly related to the Spirit.
When the Spirit prompts you to intercede, you may do so immediately. He knows what He is doing. You can simply follow His wise leadership and know that He has led you for a reason.
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