Is There Willful Iniquity in Our Hearts?

Written by: John Sernaque

Dear Reader.


Books / Pr - Prayer (2002) / Chapter 7—Prayer And Obedience

Prayers Amount to Nothing if There Is Willful Iniquity in the Heart—“The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Christ says: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” What do your prayers amount to while you regard iniquity in your hearts? Unless you make a thorough change, you will, not far hence, become weary of reproof, as did the children of Israel; and, like them, you will apostatize from God. Some of you in words acknowledge reproof, but you do not in heart accept it. You go on the same as before, only being less susceptible to the influence of the Spirit of God, becoming more and more blinded, having less wisdom, less self-control, less moral power, and less zeal and relish for religious exercises; and, unless converted, you will finally yield your hold upon God entirely. You have not made decided changes in your life when reproof has come, because you have not seen and realized your defects of character and the great contrast between your life and the life of Christ. It has been your policy to place yourselves in a position where you would not entirely lose the confidence of your brethren.—(Testimonies for the Church 4:332.) {Pr 67.1}


When professed Christians come to God in prayer while holding on to know sins, the words spoken in prayer will fall to the ground and not heard. God will save us from our sins, but not in our sins. God tells us to call sin by its rightful name. We cannot presume on God’s grace thinking that He will forgive our known and premeditated sins. We are to forsake sin, confess, and repent with contrite hearts. Then can we ask for forgiveness and have our petitions heard. Strive for perfection, even as our Father in heaven is perfect.


Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,

We come boldly to Your throne of grace in thanksgiving, praise, and prayer. We thank You for Your loving kindness, grace, and long-suffering. We have made many mistakes in our life. We are truly sorry and humbly repent of our sins. We realize the defects in our character and pray to receive Your character. We strive to reach Your perfection and pray for Your righteousness. We pray for wisdom and understanding that we may sin no more. Please help us overcome, as You also overcame the wiles and temptations from Satan. We know that we may not be exactly where we want to be, but thank You that we are not where we used to be. We pray that You take the stony heart out of our flesh and give us a new heart of flesh. We pray for Your Spirit in us that we may walk in Your statutes and keep Your judgments, and do them. We pray that we may be Your people, and You will be our God. We pray that in Your goodness, kindness, compassion, and mercy that You forgive us of all our sins, the known and the unknown, and wash us clean in the blood of Christ. We pray for all our brethren that none is holding on to known sins. Please help us all be Christians on the inside and not merely have an outward appearance of Christianity. Please help us to build up the waste places, be repairers of the breach. Help us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Help us to make all needed changes to keep us on the path to Your heavenly kingdom. We pray to hear Your voice that tells us the way we should go. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayers, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.


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