The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise. – Psalm 51:17
Saul had never offered prayer of the kind which the Lord can accept. He knew the letter of the truth according to the ceremonial law; but he did not know the spirit of it as it is embodied in Jesus. He had been going about to establish his own righteousness, but he had not submitted himself to the righteousness of Christ; and therefore in his prayer he had not been traversing the road which led to the heart of God…Saul had never made mention of the name of Jesus. There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved; there is none other name by which we can hopefully approach the mercy seat. Saul had rejected that name, and had come in his own.
Real prayer cannot come from men whose characters are contrary to the mind of God. Their lives have effectually pleaded against their lips. Saul of Tarsus was opposed to the Son of God; how could he be in favour with God Himself? If we set ourselves in opposition to His gospel, while we pretend to be knocking at heaven’s gate we are turning the key against ourselves…Friend, if you are living an ungodly life, I do not care how regularly you bend your knee in seeming devotion, there is nothing in it. ~ C.H. Spurgeon