2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
-A healthy prayer life with God is the most vital aspect of our lives- physically, mentally, and spiritually. No matter what part of life is in question, prayer is the single greatest thing we can do to impact our circumstances. The Bible discusses a multitude of things that can hinder prayer, but these few verses do a great job covering the problems that keep us from having an effective prayer life. I want to look at the three ideas contained in these verses separately. 1) We don’t have because we don’t ask; 2) We don’t have because we ask for the wrong reasons; 3) We don’t have because we regard iniquity in our heart.
3) We don’t have because we regard iniquity in our heart– This one should be obvious, and I think it is to most of us. The problem comes from not realizing how absolute God’s zero-tolerance for sin really is. We harbor secret sins and don’t think God will mind or we let little things slip and we don’t even really think about it ourselves. But God doesn’t have grey areas or middle ground, and nothing escapes His notice. In speaking of those who displease Him, God says in Isaiah 65:5, “these are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.” Imagine trying to carry on a conversation with someone who was constantly blowing smoke in your face; you would seek to turn away, gag, and put some distance between you and the other person. That’s what it’s like for God when we approach Him while holding onto our sin because He is “of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.” (Habakkuk 1:13) He can’t help but turn away in disgust and distance Himself from us.