TEXT: PSALM 34: 13-15

Special prayers to mark the beginning of a new year have become a common practice by most worshippers of God in our world. This is good and highly commendable. There could be no better way to start a journey to a blank or unknown future than to commit it into the hands of the one who knows the end from the beginning. However, it is important to note that God will refuse to answer the prayers of those worshippers who are selfishly ambitious, love pleasure at the expense of obeying God. Also, those who desire honour, power and riches for self-glory.

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 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. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James’s 4:1-3) KJV. “And even when you ask (pray or request) you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong – you want only what will give you pleasure” (NLT). 

The scripture tells us God accepts only the prayers of the following people. 
– Those who have accepted his righteousness through faith in Christ. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21) KJV. “For Good made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (NLT).

Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:13-15) KJV. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Ps. 66: 18) KJV. God has promised to hear and answer the prayers of those who call upon Him in truth. “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth (Psalm 145:18) KJV. 
“The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth” (NLT). God will accept the prayers of the genuinely repentant and humble. “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed… I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18: 10-14) KJV.

We have the assurance of Scripture that those who ask anything according to his will, will get attention. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15) KJV. “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for” (NLT).

May the Lord hear you and accept your prayers as you seek His face in this new year. May he grant your heart desires according to his will and purpose for your life. Have a blessed and prosperous new year in the Lord.

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