The Necessity of Prayer Ė Lesson XXVII, Prayer and Obedience
To do Godís will is a joy and a privilege to the obedient praying child of God.
He comes to God with clean hands and a pure heart and can therefore pray with confidence.
He will abide in the Fatherís love as Jesus Christ told us in John 15:10,:
If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept my Fatherís commandments, and abide in His love.
An obedient life helps prayer.
It speeds prayer to the throne.
God delights in hearing the prayer of an obedient child.
He always has heard His obedient children when they have prayed.
Unquestioning obedience counts much in the sight of God, at the throne of heavenly grace.
An obedient life is not simply a reformed life.
It is not the old life primed and painted to look fresh and new.
It is not simply a life of church-going.
It is not that which is external, put on to satisfy the dictates of public morality and culture.
But an obedient life is a life where the will is in full conformity to Godís will.
It is a life where the outward life is but a place to display the inward fruit of righteousness.
What a difference there is between the lost and the saved.
The outward of the lost is but to cover up the inward of the lost..
But in the obedient there is no difference between that which is inward and that which is outward.
An obedient life can only come from one who has been born again, one who has been born into the family of God, one who has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit.
An obedient life can only come from one who can avail himself of the grace of God.
Do you desire to be an effective fervent pray-er?
Do you want to pray well? Then you must obey well.
If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a burning desire to obey Him.
If you desire to have boldness in your access to God in prayer, then every obstacle in the nature of sin or disobedience, must be removed.
God delights in the prayers of obedient children.
Prayers coming from his children who delight to do his will bypass the prayers of the disobedient and God delights to answer them with haste and with blessings in abundance.
Everywhere in the scriptures God is shown as disapproving of disobedience and shown condemning sin.
And this is no different in the lives of His elect as it is in the lives of sinners.
Nowhere does He approve sin, or excuse disobedience, not in the sinner, not in the saint.
Always, God puts the emphasis upon obedience to His commands.
Obedience to His commands brings blessing, disobedience meets with disaster.
This is true, in the Word of God, from its beginning to its close.
Obedient men, always, have been the closest to God.
These are they who have prayed well and have received great things from God, who have brought great things to pass.
Obedience to God counts tremendously in the realm of prayer.
This fact cannot be emphasized too much or too often.
To promote a faith which tolerates sinning, is to promote a faith devoid of effective prayer.
Jesus Christ said to the disobedient, Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say? Oxymoron-opposed ideas!
These who call Jesus Christ Lord, should have known better than to have called him Lord, because the scripture clearly tells them that unless they keep his commandments they cannot know him.
You can only call Jesus Christ ďLordĒ if you know Him and obey Him.
John told us this in: I John 2:3-6, And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
He who would pray, must obey.
He who would get anything out of his prayers, must be in harmony with God.
Prayer puts into those who sincerely pray a spirit of obedience, for the spirit of disobedience is not of God and is never found in Godís prayer soldiers.
An obedient life is a necessity to prayer, to prayer which accomplishes things.
The absence of an obedient life makes prayer simply a performance of one, with no audience.
No one is listening.
There is no such thing as a true prayer from one who is disobedient.
He may think it prayer but it is prayer only in his mind.
He is the transmitter and he is also the receiver.
Now God loves to hear a petition from a repentant sinner whose life is stained with sin.
But Godís children must come before him with lives obedient to his word in order to be effective in prayer.
Holy living promotes holy praying.
Godís intercessors ďlift up holy hands,Ē which are the symbols of righteous, obedient lives.
So great results of holy praying come from men and women who are totally devoted to God, men and women who are separated from sin, and fully separated unto God.
Separation from sin and separation unto God are critical to effective prayer.
Jesus Christ said, I and my father are one and because of this he was preeminent in praying.
He and his Father were one because he was separate from sin, he was sinless.
His entire dedication to God, his full surrender opened the door to the throne of Grace.
If prayer is to be effective, hands that are lifted up to God, must be holy hands.
Hands separated unto God are essential if our prayers are to be Christ like.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was holy, he was harmless, he was undefiled and separate from sinners, and therefore could fully approach God in prayer.
And He had this free and full access because of His unquestioning obedience to His Father.
Throughtout His earthly life His total care and desire was to do the will of His Father.
Because of his total dedication, because he had totally given himself to the Father he could draw near to the throne of grace with boldness, with confidence, that was the outcome of his obedience.
He knew that we was about his Fatherís business and because of that he knew that his petitions would be accepted and answered.
Loving obedience puts us where we can ďask anything in His name,Ē with the assurance, that ďHe will do it.Ē
Obedience opens up to us the wealth of Christ and the riches of Godís grace.
Cheerful obedience to God, qualifies us to pray effectually.
Jesus learned obedience in the school of suffering, and, at the same time, He learned prayer in the school of obedience.
Just as it is the prayer of a righteous man which availeth much, so it is righteousness which is obedience to God.
A righteous man is an obedient man who can pray effectually, accomplishing great things in his prayer closet upon his knees.
Prayer is not a mere form of words; it is not just calling upon a Name.
Prayer is obedience.
It does not just consist of saying the Lordís name in sugary and persuasive ways.
Many use the phrase, ďLord, Lord.Ē but the Lord will tell them that he never knew them.
Only those who obey have the key which opens up the heart of God.
For behind the praying must be the doing; and it is the constant doing of Godís will in daily life which gives prayer its power, as Jesus Christ taught in Matt 7:21-23:
ďNot every one which saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name, and in Thy Name have cast out devils? And in Thy Name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that worketh iniquity.Ē
Jesus name is not a magic potion or elixir.
It is not given to license those who are disobedient to his word.
His precious and powerful name will not protect and give efficiency to prayer to those who do not do Godís will.
Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name, and in Thy Name have cast out devils? And in Thy Name done many wonderful works?
Yes you have done these things, but I never knew you.
I have not commissioned those to do anything whom I knew not.
Only those who are mine are commissioned in my name and can pray in my name for they are my body.
Those who are mine will do the Fatherís will and because they are mine and do the Fatherís will whatsoever they ask shall be given.
Obedience to Godís word foreruns the doing of Godís will.
Obedience helps faith as nothing else possibly can.
Obedience to God makes it easy to believe and trust God.
You say you lack faith! Then increase your faith by obedience.
Usually the difficulty is not in faith but in obedience which is the foundation of faith.
And when the foundation is shaky all on the foundation is shaky.
The lack of obedience in our lives breaks down our praying.
When obedience is not king, our lives are in rebellion and this will make praying almost impossible, except for calling on the mercy of God.
Disobedience shuts the door to the heart of God.
Disobedience meets the sentry that guards the way to the Holy of holies.
And the sentry is instructed to receive no prayer from the disobedient.
No man can pray ó really pray ó who does not obey.
The will must be surrendered to God as a primary condition of all successful praying.
There can be no praying in its fullest sense, where the will is not fully surrendered to God.
Unswerving loyalty to God is indispensable to the truest, the most effectual praying.
We have ďsimply got to trust and obey; thereís no other way, to be happy in Jesusóbut to trust, and obey! ď