John 17:17

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

“How’d you play” usually begins with an answer detailing the number of birdies made, the number of pars carded, the length of a longest drive or the length of the longest putt made during the round. No one wants to tarnish a round recap by telling about the number of double bogies, the holes in which the ball went out of bounds, or the missed putt from two feet. We try to make ourselves and our day a little better than it actually was.

Such is the pleasure of the Holy Spirt to act on behalf of believers to make us “look a little better” than we really are. He is our intercessor and quasi-filter to the Heavenly Father. Many times our prayers have sinful elements of selfishness or desires which are against the will of God.

The Holy Spirit is our prayer filter and prevents these petitions from reaching God Almighty. The Puritan preacher Thomas Watson in his book, “All Things For Good” used Ambrose’s descriptions on how Christ takes away the sins of our prayers. “As a child that is willing to present his father with a posy, goes into the garden, and there gathers some flowers and some weeds together, but coming to his mother, she picks out the weeds and binds the flowers, and so it is presented to the father: thus when we have put up our prayers, Christ comes, and picks away the weeds, the sin of our prayer, and presents nothing but flowers to His Father, which are a sweet smelling savour.” Christ “weeds” out the aspects of our prayers which are contrary to the will of God.

How do we know of Christ’s willingness to do this on behalf of all believers? Certainly if Christ is willing to present us as blameless to the Almighty, how much more would He desire a correction of our prayers? Further, Jesus promised that the more of the truth we believe, the more separated from the world we will become. Thus, abiding in the Spirit, praying in the Spirit and studying God’s word as guided by the Spirit is vital to the effectiveness of our prayers. Spurgeon wrote, “the more truth you believe, the more sanctified you will be. The operation of truth upon the mind is to separate a man from the world unto the service of God.” The believer desires this separation as we experience the disappointments grounded upon worldly lusts.

We are capable of no good, but for the work and guiding of the Holy Spirit. It is only through Christ, we are worthy to even approach the throne of God with our prayers. When we accept Him as our Savior, we have access to the Heavenly Father. This truth is why we pray “in Jesus’ name.” The application of His shed blood to our heart washed away our unrighteousness. Any day that we are able to live under His grace and mercy is a good day. Sure, we made a couple bogies and came up a little short in many aspects, but Christ presents our account blameless as it is filtered by His blood. Let us strive to ascertain and desire the will of God for our life. Have you accepted Jesus as both your Lord and Savior? A fruit of our salvation is the desire for His will to be accomplished for our life.

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