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Question:
If a Christian is under bondage of a particular sin, does that mean all his prayers will go unanswered? Sometimes one struggles with a particular sin and sins impulsively and compulsively. I am now free but I would like to know if my acts of service and charity during the period I was under bondage were a waste.

Answer:

First, a Christian is not “under bondage to sin”. Salvation looses us from the slave chains of sin (Rom 6.6). Christians still struggle with sin because they have not appropriated in full every power and blessing that God provides in our salvation… we choose our sin because it still feels good to our flesh.

Do some of our prayers go answered because of sin? I believe that answer is an obvious yes though I also believe that God is always just one true prayer of repentance away before the prayer line is open again. Some reasons why prayers can go unheard:

  • Sin must be confessed (2Chron 6.26; Psa 66.18; James 5.1; Prov 1.28)
  • Unforgiveness must not be present (Mark 11.25)
  • We must be asking for the right reasons (1John 5.13-15; James 4.3)
  • We have to have faith in Christ (John 15.7)
  • We ask in Jesus name for His glory (John 14.14)
  • We have to be obedient (1John 3.22)
  • We must ask God in belief (Mark 11.24)
  • You must be treating your spouse in a Godly manner (1Pet 3.7)

    Unheard prayers become heard by God when we pray on God’s terms, faith being first and foremost.

  • Are acts of charity and service a “waste” if they are done during times of struggle with sin? Hardly.

    They still benefit the recipients; God is still glorified through the benevolence and Christ is glorified no matter what our own personal motives or state of fellowship (ie, Phil 1.15-18).

    Jesus understands our every weakness and temption (Heb 4.15) and the Lord is merciful, patient and forgiving. No service done for Him is a “waste” even when done by imperfect saints struggling with sin.

    It is not the struggle with sin that will negate good works. It is doing them for personal gain, pride or self promotion that turns gold into burned up stubble (1 Cor 3.12).

    Let me remind you that as a Christian, you are not in bondage or slavery to your sin. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. God gives you all you need to live a holy life. You can have victory over sin by the power of the Holy Spirit, prayer, fasting, discipline, knowing the Word and worship. But that’s a whole other question.

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