At church last Sunday, an associate pastor was preaching about II Chronicles 7, in which King Solomon of Israel is dedicating the Temple. Solomon says that, when people sin, they can come to the Temple and pray. The preacher said: “When is a good time to pray? When you have sinned!” When you botch things up, that is the time to pray.
I needed that message that day. And the sermon went on and on, such that the person in front of me fell asleep, and his wife said to him, “Shame on you! This is church!” But I liked that the sermon went on and on. In times of inner desolation, being barraged with a good sermon is what I need!
And others there may have felt the same way. When the associate pastor asked people to stand if they felt a desire to go deeper in their prayer lives, a lot of people stood. And they were not just doing so to be polite, for a lot of other people, myself included, did not stand. Those who stood must have felt impacted by this particular sermon.
When you sin, or botch things up, and feel inadequate and distant from God, that is the time to pray.