Obedience and Prayer

John 15:16

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

James 5:16

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

The Quest for Fruit 

We have looked at several passages where God promises us anything that we ask of him.  This passage is much the same, but the context should be observed.  God is looking for fruit in our lives.  Then He will give whatever we ask in his name.  Likewise, James tells us that the power of prayer comes from a person who is righteous.  Every Christian is made righteous in God’s eyes through the atonement of Christ.  James, however, is talking about living a righteous life and ultimately the bearing of fruit.

David writes in Psalm 18:23-24: “I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.”

We know the life of David was not always in obedience to God.  Likewise, we will not always be in obedience to God’s will.  However, David sought after God’s heart.  It was David’s attitude that was most important.  His life bore fruit even though he was not capable of 100% obedience all the time.

Obedience and Faith

Andrew Murray writes,

“Obedience and faith are simply two parts of one act – surrender to God and His will.  As faith strengthens itself in order to be obedient, it is in turn strengthened by obedience.  Faith is made perfect by works.” 

Once again we are left with a repeating cycle.  Faith leads to obedience, but obedience strengthens faith.  At times we don’t obey because we don’t have enough faith.  Then when we pray, our prayers don’t get answered because we failed to obey.

For an example, we say we trust God to take care of us but we worry about our finances.  We do not obey God when he asks us to trust him and not worry about this.  Should we expect God to answer a prayer regarding our finances when we haven’t obeyed what He has told us about money?  When we pray about this, have we really placed our faith in Him that he will provide and obeyed Him by trusting?

What do you believe God can not do in regards to your church?

If this sounds like a trick question and your answer is, “God can do anything” then the question must be asked, “Why haven’t you asked God then or why hasn’t he responded?”

Do we really believe in what we ask God for?  Are we willing to obey when God calls us to be part of the answer to that prayer?

Adapted from With Christ in the School of Prayer

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