Have you ever thought about the fact that a man's prayer may become sin? This is a startling suggestion, isn't it?
"Many things can turn prayer into sin", writes columnist John R. Gunn. "Insincerity will do it; a false pretense of piety will do it; vanity and pride will do it. The Lord is near those who that are of a broken and contrite spirit, but He despises the pretense of prayer on the part of the haughty ones. There is no question, but that many prayers are altogether in vain. "
Sin, if unrepented and unconfessed, renders prayer ineffectual. Surely many of our so called prayers are an abomination to God's ears, but His ears are always open to true prayer. The Lord is neigh unto all that call upon Him; to all that call upon Him in truth.
We recall the parable of the pharisee and the publican who went to the temple to pray; how the proud pharisee prayed, "I thank thee God that I am not as other men"; how the publican, in deep humility prayed, "God be merciful to me, a sinner" and how Christ evaluated these men when He said, Everyone that exhaulted himself shall be abased and he that humbleth himself shall be exhaulted.
A few years ago a well known Doctor and an essayist on prayer wrote, "It is meaningless to pray in the morning and to live like a barbarian the remainder of the day. True prayer is a way of life; the truest life is literally a way of prayer."
When we make our supplication to God, it would be well to pray first as did the psalmist, Search me O God and know my heart; Try me and know my thoughts.