Repentance is the warm up before prayer
Most workout enthusiast encourage you to warm up before exercising because it is crucial to an effective workout. It warms your muscles, increases blood flow to exercising muscles and the heart, which minimizes the risk of injury and increases your energy. The same is true for prayer. There are times we want to jump in COLD and our prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling. We know we have done wrong and we refuse to acknowledge it, we just want to tell God all we need from Him. However, I have learned that REPENTACE melts the frost off our hearts causing the blood of Jesus to flow in our situation. It is arrogant to think that we can just come into the presence of God expecting something without acknowledging that we have done wrong. God is simply not pleased with arrogance. He makes it quite clear that He resist the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). True Repentance requires true humility.
Sometimes we say sorry because we don’t like the consequences of our actions, but would return to that sinful action in a heartbeat if there were no consequences attached; if we knew we would not be caught. This is not true repentance. Repentance is saying God I am sorry and I really mean it. I regret what I have done and I truly want to change. I want to turn from my sinful ways because I know it displeases you. Repentance says I want to turn my back on sin and run forward into the arms of Jesus. It is more than words, it is a shifting of the heart. It is an invitation to Jesus to come in and make right all that is wrong. Yes I prayed that initial prayer when I first came to Christ asking Him to forgive me of my sins, but that was not intended to be my only prayer of repentance. As I go with Christ, His truth shines the light on the parts of me that need to change. I have given up on trying to fix me because the list is long. However when I repent, I am inviting Jesus to shower me with HIS grace to walk in victory. For His strength to turn away from the very thing that displeases Him. It is an ongoing process, but one that brings great FREEDOM!
Is there something that you know you need to repent of so that your prayers will not be hindered? Anger, jealousy, a bad attitude? I encourage you to pour your heart out to Jesus and receive His forgiveness so that you can move forward in your prayers.
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. 1 John 1:8-10 NLT
About the Author
Anika Jones is a speaker and author of the book Lessons Learned Along The Way: A 40 Day Devotional. She blogs about faith and family at LivingForLater.com and posts weekly videos on her YouTube channels, Living For Later (@livingforlater) and Living Life Now (@livinglifenow). Anika loves speaking about developing intimacy with God and understanding who we are in Christ. She serves alongside her husband in ministry. They live in Illinois with their 6 children.