I John 3.21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
Too often we come before God with reasons why he shouldn't answer our prayers ringing in our ears. Often this is Satan's work of condemnation even as we approach the very throne of God. he knows that if he can errode our confidence and boldness we will be hesitant to ask for what we do not deserve. And of course, we do not deserve anything good- hence the concept of grace.
But there is another aspect to this lack of confidence in our approach to God. It is the voice of our own conscience condemning us for half hearted obediences and lazy pursuit of the holiness of God. The context of the verse above is the role of sin in the life of the believer. We are too often lazy in walking out God's holiness. Don't get me wrong, God is not demanding perfection. We will always need to lean upon his grace in our approach to God. But when we come before the Lord we must remember these things...
1) Jesus is our advocate. The finished work of Christ alone makes us worthy of approach to the throne of God. And we should approach with a holy boldness.
2) We are living for Jesus! This promise of "whatever we ask" is not for the half hearted , fairweather beleivers. It is for those whose heart does not condemn them. This is the definition of praying in faith!
3) Our obedience is never perfect but it is growing into a habitual pleasing of God.
Knowing the grace of God, knowing our lifestyle of faith, knowing the willingness of the Lord to hear our petitions... Let us approach with faith.