When Bitterness Hinders Prayers

Did you know that Scripture teaches that God refuses to hear certain prayers?

If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

However, God has listened; He has paid attention to the sound of my prayer.  -Psalm 66:18-19


This verse has an interesting connotation.  What is the difference between having malice in your heart and being aware of having malice in your heart?

Malice is the desire to see harm, suffering, or evil to come upon someone else.  You might attempt to soften your feelings of resentment towards someone by saying that you don’t want evil to come upon them but you simply don’t want to see good come to them.  In reality, if you don’t desire someone to experience good in life, you are actually desiring evil for him or her.  The absence of good is evil.

Are you aware of any malice in your heart?  Is there someone who you desire to experience evil?  Is there someone who you desire not to experience good?


God may not be addressing your prayers because you are not addressing your bitterness.

Spend some time praying for these people with whom you are bitter.  Aware of the malice in your heart, confess that to God and ask for him to change you.

If you can make it a regular habit to pray for those with whom you are bitter, you will eventually be able to see them as God sees them.