I Prayed have prayed
Father God, Your Word says that only those with clean hands and pure hearts may ascend to the hill of the Lord. Please give me clean hands and a pure heart accordingly, I pray. Keep me from sinning against You, and help me to repent immediately if I do sin.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Do you want to be as close to God as possible? Do you also desire to win every spiritual battle you fight?

If so, the No. 1 most important spiritual warfare strategy in which you will want to specialize is simply this:

Keep clean hands and a pure heart before the Lord.

In Psalm 24, we read that only those with clean hands and a pure heart may ascend into God’s holy place. This beloved passage says:

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Selah (Psalm 24:1-6 NKJV).

What does it mean to have clean hands and a pure heart?

It means that we each, as individuals, must view the most important part of our relationship with God to be personal holiness, purity, and individual obedience to Him. It means that we learn to love righteousness and hate lawlessness as Jesus does:

You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions (Hebrews 1:9 NKJV).

It also means we are careful to repent of our sin as soon as we commit sin.

We don’t have to go around all day sinning; God’s grace empowers us to live holy lives. However, if and when we do sin, and whether that sin seems big or small, we must immediately repent to the Lord. We must change our minds and forsake the sin right away. We must confess those sins to Him, which involves admitting that the thing we did is sin and telling Him that we are genuinely sorry.

As we do, He will forgive us every time:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9 NKJV).

However, remember that repenting does mean to change one’s mind. Therefore, you must actively work to “… not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 NKJV).

What else does keeping clean hands and a pure heart before the Lord look like?

Here are a few ideas:

  • It looks like reading God’s Word, the Bible, and letting His Holy Spirit convict you as you read, showing you every way in which He desires you to change.
  • It looks like asking the Lord to make you good soil into which His Word can run swiftly, bringing forth good fruit—30-, 60-, and 100-fold.
  • It looks like beating your own breast and crying out, “God, change me. Keep me from sinning against You,” rather than pointing the finger at everyone else and telling God to change them.
  • It looks like asking again and again, every day, for the Lord to make you humble—even if you think you don’t have a pride problem. (Read how the Lord convicted me about my pride problem here!) People with clean hands and a pure heart cry out for humility and holiness, just because they know that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV).
  • It looks like forgiving everyone who has ever hurt you, and continuing to forgive them even if they continue to hurt you. (Keep in mind that boundaries are also good. We have to continue forgiving, but we don’t have to continue allowing toxic people so close that they are continuously able to hurt us.)
  • It looks like being more concerned with bearing fruit unto righteousness than you are concerned with how many people know or recognize your name.

Beloved, keeping clean hands and a pure heart means that you take your personal relationship with Jesus personally—and that you take responsibility for it.

We would each be wise not to enter an external spiritual battlefield until the battlefield within ourselves has been subdued under the blood of Jesus.

Every person is engaged in spiritual warfare at some level. But when you begin waging war in the spirit on broader fronts, you catch the attention of the demons of hell. If you’re going to do that, you can win in the name of Jesus every time—but not if you’re not truly submitted to Jesus. Remember the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed (Acts 19:13-20 NKJV).

The seven sons of Sceva were trying to wage war in the name of Jesus, using His name as a tool without actual relationship with Christ.

And we must still be on guard against that very thing today. If we are not believing believers who read God’s Word and do what it says, we have no business trying to wage war using the name of Jesus as a tool—for we have no relationship with Him.

True spiritual power comes with abiding in Christ, and in His love … and acting like it.

As Jesus said in John 15:4:

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me (John 15:4 NKJV).

And in John 15:9-10, He said:

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:9-10 NKJV).

At the end of days, Jesus is not going to ask us how many people followed us on social media.

He is, however, going to take stock of how much we loved Him and obeyed Him. He is going to take stock of the fruit of our lives—which begins with the fruit of holiness.

You can be saved without changing the world, but you can’t be saved without seeing a change in you. Real salvation, at a minimum, produces fruit in your personal life. If the blood of Jesus is active in you, then your actions, desires, words, and motives will change over time to reflect that.

Obeying God is the fruit of salvation; it is of utmost importance.

Remember Jesus’ words in John 15:14:

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you (John 15:14 NKJV)

And also in John 14:15:

If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15 NKJV).

So beloved, do you desire to fight the good fight of faith today? Begin where you will win: on your knees, purifying your heart before the Lord through confession of sin, repentance, and crying out to Him in sincerity for true heart change. This is the very best “good fight of faith” that we could ever fight, and it is by winning this battle first that we can access Christ’s victory in every other battle.

Are you keeping clean hands and a pure heart before the Lord? Is the Lord speaking to you about returning to your first love for purity and holiness in Him before all other things? If so, leave a comment below!

Jamie Rohrbaugh is the founder and CEO of From His Presence. She is the author of Victory In the Camp of the Lord Volume 1: Healing from Fear. Her resources have been published by YouVersion Bible Plans, Charisma Magazine, The Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, and various other ministry outlets. You can find free mentoring on her podcast, Take Your Territory with Jamie Rohrbaugh, which is available through your favorite podcast streaming app. Download her free prayer tool, Praying the Names of God: 555 Biblical Names of God and How to Use Them in Prayer and Worship, here.

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Ron Glenn Deere
August 10, 2023

I have been trying to give ALL of myself to Christ. This worked really well until about 10 years ago. I do not discern any difference in my lifestyle. How would you counsel me?

August 2, 2023

I am grateful to always see when it’s time to fight for spiritual justice!

Nelida Torres
July 31, 2023

This is so refreshing to read.

Victoria Z
July 29, 2023

We live in a society where we instant gratification abounds, fast food, easy entertainment at our fingertips, we want to see instant results but the the last part of the verse about ascending into the holy hill of God says: This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face. Selah (Psalm 24:1-6 NKJV). Recalling Jacob, he is the one who wrestled with the Angel of God, and in the end the Angel told him: “You have wrestled with God and man and prevailed”. Jacib may have had quick success in tricking Essau of his birthright in a single day, but this wrestling match with the angel happened after working 7 years for Rachel then being tricked into marrying Leah and 7 additional years of labor for Rachel, and having his wages changed several times. He wrestled until daybreak with the angel and did not give up. I belive that is a key to having clean hands and a pure heart, that we will have testings with men and will have to wrestle in prayer without giving up. Jacob’s testing were 14 years, we shouldn’t expect overnight success, or even think at some point we have arrived, as even Paul said he didn’t arrive, that he kept pressing on. Most of the stories in the Bible show us a long process…Joseph in prison before the palace, David serving Saul before fulfilling Samuel’s prophecy over him to become King. Abraham and Sarah waited many years for the promise of Issac to be fulfilled. We look around and sometimes it seems like others are having instant success with God, prophesying or teaching, writing books, and we get tempted to wonder if we missed God somehow. I think patient endurance in the wait, in worship, and in testing is the biggest key to prevailing, and keeping our eyes in the WORD and being mindful of the many years and testing the patriarchs endured instead of watching modern day believers who seem to overnight successes. We will always be growing more in grace, but at every step we have to be striving to be faithful to what we know and have been given before we get more. Clean hands and a pure heart is possible for a new believer as well as every step along the way even though it may look a bit different at different points in our life. The wheeling dealing deceitful Jacob who tricked Essau out of his birthright is the same Jacob who later successfully endured 14 years of deceitful tricks from Laban. We grow, we mature over time from faithful endurance, we shouldn’t lose heart when we face our failures but repent and press on as the article mentions. Paul says he fought the good fight. It WILL be a fight, a wrestle.

Father, thank you for your word for the examples of the patriarchs, help us to stay clean, pure and faithful while we patiently endure knowing that you are worth the wait, THANK YOU.

Peter Idusogie
July 29, 2023

Awesome work here Jamie, I read it with baited breath. Thank you for expatiating on the word.

July 28, 2023

Stuff like this always worries me. I am not heartily sorry for every sin I commit. I do not feel tremendous remorse every time I look at a woman improperly, or say the ‘s’ word when something momentarily alarms me. Some sins do create a potent feeling of conviction, others less so. Does this mean I’m not saved?!?

I pray about stuff like this all the time, and I ask for God’s forgiveness on a daily basis. But, I varying degrees of regret for each sin. Some, much less so, some more so, but I ask for His forgiveness nonetheless. I also add in that my contrition would improve, but beyond these things, I don’t know what else to do.

YES… I read (or listen) to God’s word every day. Not every other day, not once per week. Every day. I do the same with my devotional prayers. I am more conscious than ever about my life as a Christian, and about my sinfulness. I am unsure, however, what else to do to make myself look like this article.

    Peter Idusogie
    July 29, 2023

    Your humility speaks volumes about you and is very attractive to God and his spirit. This same God you worship would help you get rid of anything in you that your desire to get rid of but are struggling to overcome. Millions of men go through what you mentioned. This does not in anyway nullify your salvation because you did not earn it nor pay for it. It is the finished work in Christ Jesus that has made him call you an ambassador of Christ. Yes reading Gods word would him. Don’t you know it is the enemy within you or the sin that most easily besets you that causes you to sin. Devoted Fasting and prayer at any given time can turn the tables supernaturally in our favor. God Bless You

    July 29, 2023

    Abou 90% of Christian’s like you and me Keith told ourselves after reading the headline part about clean hands and pure hearts told ourselves,
    whether we admit or not, that counts me out.

    BUT every born again Christian filled with the Holy Ghost and truly born again have been cleansed and the heart regenerated…

    Who will ascend to the mountain of GOD?
    The HOLY mountain of GOD is through the CROSS!

    July 29, 2023

    The mountain of GOD is through THE CROSS!
    Everyone who’s been to the cross ascends to the mountain of GOD.

Genie Loghry
July 28, 2023

For me and I hope for all of us your message here is so lovely, extremely powerful but best of all so right on target. I’m so honored and excited to see such power, dominion and authority coming from a wonderful servant of our Lord GOD Almighty. It is extraordinary your love and service for Him on behalf of us all.
With love I thank you.

Margaret Figert
July 28, 2023

Your commentaries are read and appreciated. Keep up the good work. Blessings to you all.

Diane Lemyre
July 27, 2023

I am grateful for IFA and all the resources you provide us so we can be at our individual prayer posts praying for our nation and the world. For our children grandchildren.. because of children we pray so they can be free to come into relationship with Jesus and have a world to live in. These times are desperate but I know we serve a mighty God! Again Thank you!!!

July 27, 2023

I struggle with sin every day, but generally desired to walk with God with clean hands and a pure heart. Thank you for your post on this it is encouraging for me and my relationship with Christ.

Walter Henry - Hoskins
July 27, 2023

The Art Of War. Sun Tzu. If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. Know Jesus, our Commander in Chief.

July 27, 2023

Thank you for your information you gave from what you have learned from the Lord. He speaks to us through the Word and then we can pass on what we learn of Him and through Him to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren…from generation to generation. Praying His names and His Word back to Him delights the Lord. I love to quote His Word to others who comes to me as a lay counselor as He sends them and has sent them to me through the years even as a teen ager. I tell them I only have wisdom that He has given me and He is willing to give the believer His wisdom. Those who come to me for a listening ear, to all who are honest with me and the Lord, know I will pray for them and He will provide. How blessed to be His child as He chooses to live through me and all who are saved by grace through faith that He gives!

Gail Segars Rainey
July 27, 2023

Pastor-Teacher-Evangelist-Writer-Intercessor Jamie Rohrbaugh always speaks with wisdom from the presence of Abba Father! I thank You, Father, for Sister Jamie’s zeal for you in sharing and educating us all and may You bless her ministry and IFA beyond measure! In the Name of Yeshua Hamashiach, amen and amen!

Darlene Estlow
July 27, 2023

Father, this article was so good to read. I have confessed worry and fear and know I am forgiven. And I have asked that I would not fall back into that track by His strength and by His word! Praise his name.

frank testa
July 27, 2023

Good Stuff IFA! May I add a Scripture that is on target with this urgent matter of spiritual warfare: Following 2 Corinthians 6:13-18 getting rid of all compromise, 2 Cor. 7:1 “…let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. “

Linda k Rice
July 27, 2023

Is it reasonable to expect to win every battle we fight? Paul was hindered and opposed in every place.

    Darlene Estlow
    July 27, 2023

    Yes, if we truly are in Christ and it is his will. We may not see it for awhile, but we keep praying. Yes, Paul was hindered and opposed but he won battles by the Holy Spirit.

Joel Addison
July 27, 2023

Father God, lead me into the paths of righteousness for your name’s sake this day. Holy Spirit excavate my heart and bring me into the presence of Jesus to hear the Good Shepherd’s voice. Bring to my attention what needs cleaning up in my life to dwell closer to you. Fill me that I may feel you and your overflowing love and peace that surpasses all understanding. Energize your dunamas, dynamite power so that the Light of life will shine brightly displacing any darkness of sin that would try to trip up my walk of faith or burden me from shining the path for victory, salvation and deliverance to me and anyone that I have contact with. Make my life a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to You so that I may hear,” Well done! My good and faithful servant.” And not” Well done as for the cooking degree that my works of the flesh were burned up trying to please You, oh God!”

Ken Budz
July 27, 2023

Lord please protect my wife and sister, family and friends from the evil of hell. We are all far from perfect but we need You and Your help. These are difficult times with a different society then the one I grew up in. Help us please Lord turn to You daily. Amen.

July 27, 2023

I’m so blessed after reading this article. I pray it blesses others today to read this and understand what having a relationship in Jesus is really all about. May I & others be mindful to have clean hands ever day.

Nancy Wrinn
July 27, 2023

Let us pray for all Big Banks that are closing merchants and people’s bank accounts with a stroke of a pen. file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/97/07/772D25E8-D7B1-401E-B86B-E149E79E9DC0/De-bankin.jpg

Denise Wynn
July 27, 2023

Wow! I REALLY needed this today. I have fallen away over the last 6 months due to stress, health issues & unmet expectations. & my relationship w/ Jesus is not what it once was! No wonder there’s no power in my measly “prayer life”! Now more than ever spiritual warfare is required – but only w/ clean hands & heart…!
THANK YOU for these essential keys to an effective prayer life! VICTORY! !

JEANE Whiteside
July 27, 2023

The Lord is bringing me into a deep place of cleansing for myself and my children. And through them their children. Reading and praying through a Courts of Heaven book by Robert Henderson to decree prayers of repentance and cleansing.

July 27, 2023

Is there mercy for me?
Clean hands and a pure heart,
Oh where can I find?
I look upon the earth for you,
But where did you go?
I see you there, in a den of robbers.
You do not even know.
For they lured you in by falsehood,
They took you by the hand, and slowly you walked in.
Oh, where did you go?
Into a masquerade.
“I shall wear a mask” you say
“for now I am covered by a disguise.”
It is time. I have come for you.
You cannot hide.
You ask again, “Is there mercy for me?”
“My hands are not clean and my heart is not pure, I cannot hide anymore.”
“Is there mercy for me?

Carol J Devarenne
July 27, 2023

This word today lands on a grateful heart!

Brian Lynch
July 27, 2023

Thank you, Jamie, for this excellent article. It definitely challenges us to live a clean, pure, spotless life, a lifestyle that we must adopt if we are to be effective, dynamic spiritual warriors. Lord, please, by Your wonderful grace and mercy, teach us to be sensitive to Holy Spirit’s leading to be Your ambassadors in this dark and fallen world. In Jesus’ holy name.

July 27, 2023

This is a great reminder about getting closer to Him and becoming more like Him as we fight the battles in this dark world.

Lillian Oliveira
July 27, 2023

I LOVE THIS! It really resounds with me!

Neil hounshell
July 27, 2023

Thankyou for this message. I pray for myself and for those who know you and don’t know you . What a wonderful refresher message to wake up to.

July 27, 2023

Yes, it is a constant battle and God sends His angels to help us and to fight the battles for us. If we wait upon the Lord, He and His army goes before us and we are just the cleanup crew. Hallelujah!! Amen!

Toris Redding
July 27, 2023

Thank you for this forever timely msg. 💖 I needed this deep reminder and heart check.

Nancy McDuffie
July 27, 2023

Thank you. All you have said is true! Some of the greatest evangelists have forgotten to humble themselves and ask for forgiveness and to get cleansed!

July 27, 2023

Spot on!!! I woke up feeling convicted for need to ask the Lord to forgive me of the junk that I do. I fall for lies the enemy and my flesh does all the time. Regardless of the people doing awful things around me, I still need to have a pure heart and pray for them. We still need to remember that our GOD is in control. It is not my place to be their juror. I need to be on my knees praying for their salvation, and for the Lords will. There is a lot of bad things being exposed that I need to be praying for. The enemy wants us to be complacent. Thats how he gains territory. We as true Christians need to stand up and unit with each other. We need to ask the Lord for wisdom and what he wants us to do.

dave crown
July 27, 2023

Having ‘Clean Hands And A Pure Heart’ Are Very Admirable And Praiseworthy Traits, But Maybe Even Beyond These Righteous Attributes We Should Further Try To Humble Ourselves And Consider These Attributes To Be Just Bare Minimums.

In Our Times, as in Ancient Times, Every One Has Both the Ability and Obligation to Perform Acts Of Selfless Righteousness And Loving Kindness By Going Far Beyond The Letter Of The Law And Trying To Ultimately Fulfil The Spirit Of The Law.

One Example Would Be To Try To Help A Distressed Pregnant Woman Try To Save Her At-Risk PreBorn Baby From An Otherwise Unnecessary Abortion!!!!!

This Example Of A ‘Chesed’ Is Among The Greatest Acts Of Loving Kindness Which One Can Perform In This World.

“Therefore, Adam [from whom all Humanity descended] was Created Singly, to Teach Us that Whoever Destroys a Single Life is Considered by Scripture to Have Destroyed The Entire World and Whoever Saves a Single Life is Considered by Scripture to Have Saved The Entire World.” (Mishnah Sanhedrin, Ch. 4)

May All Your Strengths Always Increase And May The Messiah Please Come Speedily In All Our Days.


Halvor Ronning
July 27, 2023

Thanks to the LORD for the timeliness of this message just now in my 87th year.
I so greatly need to be more deeply aware than I am of the immediate need for repentance when losing a spiritual battle. … the only reliable source of help when the next battle begins
Praise the LORD for this deep reminder


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