God’s grace is a free gift which we cannot earn or lose due to our own actions. God saves, justifies, blesses, and loves us all because of his undeserved grace. And yet, it seems our obedience and personal effort to be pure are directly related to our spiritual power, especially in prayer. Here are three facts about the biblical connection between prayer and purity.
Impurity Cannot Steal Our Salvation, But It Does Hinder Our Power in Prayer
Sin does not cancel the grace of God. However, sin hinders are experience of God’s grace. When we become a Christian and then we sin, we will never be in jeopardy of losing our salvation. Once we are truly brought into the family of God, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). If, however, we forsake God in word or deed to such a degree that it shows we are not saved, this simply means we were never truly saved to begin with. It does not mean we lost our salvation since this is impossible according to Scripture.
So we can’t lose our salvation, but what we can lose is our experience of God’s presence, our usefulness to God’s kingdom, and the power of God on our behalf in prayer. When Christians sin repeatedly, when we go through seasons of backsliding, or we do not repent with the level of passion required to truly change our sinful behavior, our salvation remains but our relationship with God suffers.
Sin is walking in paths of unrighteousness. But God always leads us “in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3). Therefore to walk in sin is to walk out of fellowship with God.
A lack of purity will greatly affect the power of our prayer life. God will not bless rebellion because he loves us. To bless us in our sin would be unloving because it would cause us to remain where we are. Our experience and relationship with God suffers in prayer due to a lack of purity because God seeks to motivate us to seek him through removing his favor and blessings.
Powerful Prayers Because of Purity Are Still Ultimately Based on God’s Grace
For one, we will never live a pure life without relying totally on the grace of God. Additionally, when we are pure and therefore our prayers do have greater power (James 5:16), we are still not earning this power through our own efforts. God is simply blessing us with undeserved power because he is now free to encourage our course of life.
God’s not giving us power because we earned it through our purity, rather he gives us power to motivate us to continue in the purity we have found through grace for his glory. God’s fellowship and intimacy is still undeserved because apart from Christ we are still imperfect. Jesus deserves for us to be pure and powerful in prayer, not us.
When we are repenting of sin and seeking to live pure in Christ, this is the path God wants us to walk in, so he blesses us with things like power in prayer to encourage and strengthen us to keep moving forward.
Purity Enhances Our Prayers Because Purity Keeps Us Walking in God’s Will
Lastly, God answers prayers that are in accordance to his will (1 John 5:14), he answers prayers that give him glory (John 14:13), and he answers prayers that are prayed with right motives (James 4:3). When we are walking in sin, our hearts will never produce prayers that meet these standards.
Only when we are living a pure life will we pray Christ-centered prayers. Since Christ-centered prayers are always the most powerful prayers, the pure life of seeking Christ always lends itself to power in prayer.