Psalm 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

God’s people have a responsibility to keep themselves pure in heart. We must not allow sin and sinful thoughts to take root in our hearts and lives. The word “regard” in verse 18 indicates something that we have knowingly and willingly allowed into our heart.

There is a difference between slipping and sinning in the moment and willingly transgressing against God. Regarding iniquity in your heart will not only cause you to turn your focus further away from the Lord. It will also hinder your prayer life. Sometimes Christians treat the Lord as if He has no choice but to answer our prayers. God the Father ALWAYS has a choice. And He will do as He wills in each case.

Notice the statement in verse 18: It does not say that God “cannot hear”; but that He “will not hear”. Not because he has lost any ability to hear. He knows the thoughts and desires of your heart before they ever enter into your conscious thoughts. He knows what we say in all of our prayers. He knows all things. Understand that there is nothing that God does not know. And there is no prayer that He does not hear with His ears.

However there are prayers that He can refuse to act upon. God is not in any way obligated to give us what we request of Him. He is the sovereign Lord of all creation. He is not required to do anything that doesn’t fall within His perfect will. A Christian must remember to keep their lives and hearts pure from sinfulness. God may very well refuse to listen actively to your petition if it is done in a wrong state of heart and mind.

Jesus said “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God”. If a Christian desires to see God working in his or her life; they must have a pure heart that is not full of sinfulness. Especially habitual sinfulness that becomes a lifestyle. A child of God must not regard iniquity in their heart if they wish to have a strong prayer life. Sinfulness in the heart will erode the Christian’s prayer life.