Friday, December 10, 2010

Praying Effectively

"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him." I John 3:21-22

I wanted to share what my pastor taught on during our prayer night this week.  Can disobedience hinder our prayers? 

Think of this, if your child comes to you and asks for a special favor such as having a friend over or going out for ice cream or whatever it is they like to do, are you likely to grant the favor if they have been disobedient all day?  Chances are you will tell them no.  But if your child comes to you and asks a favor after being respectful and obedient then you will probably say yes or at least consider it.   

The same goes for God.  When we, His children, ask something of Him even though we have been disobedient, He is more likely to not answer.  Maybe we are asking God to give us a raise at work, yet we are not paying our tithe and we spend our money foolishly.  Perhaps we are asking God to restore our marriage, yet we are being rude and disrespectful to our spouse.  Maybe we are asking God to bless our lives but every time He tells us to witness to the neighbor, we ignore Him.  

Disobedience is not just stealing, drinking, or cheating.  Disobedience is anything that does not line up with the Word of God.

Now does this mean every time a prayer is not answered we are being disobedient?  Not necessarily.  God answers prayer three ways: yes, no, and not yet.  He sees what we do not.  So maybe we are praying about taking out a small loan to do some remodeling on the house, but God knows in four months your job is transferring you to a new state.  So not every unanswered prayer is our disobedience, but when we are not getting an answer, we need to stop and look at our lives.  We need to double check that we are walking according to God's plan.

Is there a limit placed on prayer?  Yes there is.  It is called God's will. 

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us -whatever we ask- we know that we have what we asked of Him."  I John 5: 14-15

When we are fully serving God and doing our best to walk in obedience, then our desires become His desires.  We start to want what God wants.  We deeply desire to be in His will. 

So, how can we pray effectively?  First, we need to walk in obedience and fully serve God.  Second, pray according to His will, not your own.  Prayer is effective when offered by an obedient heart.  Have a blessed weekend friends. 

Sweet Blessings~

12 comments:

  1. All I want is to be in God's will in everything I do. I pray: Lord, help me to walk in obedience and serve you completely. Not just to have prayers answered but because you gave your life for me and I love you. Amen.

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  2. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Thankful that according to God we are 100% righteous in Him (Romans)...so our prayers are powerful and effective because we are in obedience to Him and His will for us...Thanks for the reminder

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  3. As always Jenifer, you've started my morning with wonderful thoughts on how I can serve God today. It's funny, but some of what you're discussing reminded me of a Garth Brooks song called "Unanswered Prayers" that I always thought was quite appropriate, and actually hit the mark in many respects. Thank you so much for sharing your Pastor's wisdom, and for this reminder! Have a Blessed Day!

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  4. Thank you for a wonderful post. If we are walking in God's will we will always seek His will in our prayers. God sees all while we see in part. Thanks again.

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  5. That's really something to think about and I really liked your analogy. I am more inclined to answer my children's requests when they have been obedient. God is our loving Father.
    Thanks for sharing this :)

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  6. I really enjoyed when Pastor taught about this Wednesday. I love your analogy about our children's requests. You're so right, thank you for this post!

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  7. Amen... "When we are fully serving God and doing our best to walk in obedience, then our desires become His desires. We start to want what God wants. We deeply desire to be in His will." Reminds me of Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!" Wonderful post :)
    Blessings,
    Heidi

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  8. Such a wonderful reminder and it lines up perfectly with some of the truths I've been sharing with my youth group. Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog. I hope you'll come again!

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  9. Well written!
    I was just talking to a relative of mine last night about being obedient to Christ. I'm going to post a link to your post on my blog. Well said.

    Ck

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  10. Ck, thank you! :)

    Bryan, I enjoyed your blog. I tried to follow and could not find the place to do so. But I did bookmark the page, so I'll be back! :)

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  11. I found you from weekend wander and am glad I did...so nice to find christian bloggers! May you have a blessed rest of your weekend. I will be back to read more later because I am your newest follower!!! :)

    melody-mae.blogspot.com

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  12. Thank you for stopping by Melody Mae!

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