God… and our prayers.
The little verse of Psalm 66:18 teaches us a whole lot about God – and prayer. Just in this tiny verse we see:
“If I regard wickedness in my heart,
The Lord will not hear”
Here it is – said in several different ways (versions):
Psalm 66:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
If I regard sin and baseness in my heart
[that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it],
The Lord will not hear [me];
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me
He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins.
Psalm 66:18 Good News Translation (GNT)
If I had ignored my sins, the Lord would not have listened to me.
Give him the glory he deserves!
Enter His gates with thanksgiving [a a thank offering]
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
The Lord will not hear;
19 But certainly God has heard;
He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God,
Who has not turned away my prayer
Nor His lovingkindness from me.
As a follower of Christ, every day in every way — I will act like
- Get rid of sin in my life,
- Prove I really am a follower of Christ by actually actively doing and obeying God’s Way,
- Examine the Bible to know it well – and then actively be faithful to run my life by it.
19 Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];
20 for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us].
21 So get rid of all uncleanness and [e]all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth].
23 For if anyone only listens to the word [f]without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets [g]what he looked like.
25 But he who looks carefully into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and faithfully abides by it, not having become a [careless] listener who forgets but [h]an active doer [who obeys], he will be blessed and favored by God in what he does [in his life of obedience].
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious [scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith], and does not control his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless (futile, barren).
27 Pure and unblemished religion [as it is expressed in outward acts] in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit and look after the fatherless and the widows in their distress, and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the [secular] world. – James 1:19-27
Sin affects answers to prayer. – Source: Pray Biblically
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; – Psalm 66:18
But the prayer of the upright is His delight. – Proverbs 15:8
But He hears the prayer of the righteous. – Proverbs 15:29
Even his prayer is an abomination. – Proverbs 28:9
Offer complaint in view of his sins?
40 Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to the Lord.
41 We lift up our heart and hands
Toward God in heaven; – Lamentations 3:39-41
Also: Lamentations 3:8;
Word Study: regard Google Dictionary
- consider or think of (someone or something) in a specified way. “she regarded Omaha as her base”
synonyms: consider, look on, view, see, think of, judge, deem, estimate, assess, reckon, adjudge, rate, gauge. “he regarded her coldly”
- *(of a thing) have relation to or connection with; concern.
“if these things regarded only myself, I could stand it with composure”
archaic: pay attention to; heed. “he talked very wisely, but I regarded him not”
noun: regard; plural noun: regards
- attention to or concern for something.
“the court must have regard to the principle of welfare”; “she has no regard for human life”
synonyms: consideration, care, concern, thought, notice, heed, attention
- best wishes (used to express friendliness in greetings, especially at the end of letters).
“Warm regards, Helen”