Prayer and Obedience, Part 10 (TPMD Bus 2 – #703)

POEM: “Abiding in His Care” by Margaret Cagle

Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is Lamentations 3:8 which reads: “Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.”

Our featured prayer motivator quote is from Joel R. Beeke. He said, “Prayer helps us cling to the altar of God’s promises by which we lay hold of God Himself.”

My personal encouragement for you today is this: Here are three benefits that I have personally received from prayer to God, and that I know you can receive as well. (1) Prayer to God can keep your teenagers on track. (2) Prayer to God will guide you at the many crossroads of life. And (3) Prayer to God will give you wisdom, knowledge, understanding, insight, and discernment, and having these wonderful gifts will save you a lot of trouble, money, and time.

Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND OBEDIENCE” part 10 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.

It is worthy of note that the praying to which such transcendent position is given and from which great results are attributable, is not simply the saying of prayers, but holy praying. It is the “prayers of the saints,” the prayers of the holy men of God. Behind such praying, giving to it energy and flame are the men and women who are wholly devoted to God, who are entirely separated from sin, and fully separated unto God. These are they who always give energy, force and strength to praying.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was preeminent in praying, because He was preeminent in saintliness. An entire dedication to God, a full surrender, which carries with it the whole being, in a flame of holy consecration — all this gives wings to faith and energy to prayer. It opens the door to the throne of grace, and brings strong influence to bear on Almighty God.

The “lifting up of holy hands” is essential to Christly praying. It is not, however, a holiness which only dedicates a closet to God, which sets apart merely an hour to Him, but a consecration which takes hold of the entire man, which dedicates the whole life to God.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners,” had full liberty of approach and ready access to God in prayer. And He had this free and full access because of His unquestioning obedience to His Father. Right through His earthly life His supreme care and desire was to do the will of His Father. And this fact, coupled with another — the consciousness of having so ordered His life — gave Him confidence and assurance, which enabled Him to draw near to the throne of grace with unbounded confidence, born of obedience, and promising acceptance, audience, and answer.

Advertisements

Prayer and Obedience, Part 9 (TPMD Bus 2 – #702)

POEM: “Going to Christ” by Frances Ridley Havergal

Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is Jeremiah 42:7-10 which reads: “And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah. Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, And said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him; If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.”

Our featured prayer motivator quote is from Mark Link. He said, “Keep your prayer simple. Whatever confuses or complicates prayer is probably best forgotten.”

My personal encouragement for you today is this: There is great power through prayer to God. And there are great benefits from God in prayer. You will find as you trail through life that you will need God, and prayer invites God to work in, through, and for your life.

Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND OBEDIENCE” part 9 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.

Everywhere in Holy Scripture God is represented as disapproving of disobedience and condemning sin, and this is as true in the lives of His elect as it is in the lives of sinners. Nowhere does He countenance sin, or excuse disobedience. Always, God puts the emphasis upon obedience to His commands. Obedience to them brings blessing, disobedience meets with disaster. This is true, in the Word of God, from its beginning to its close. It is because of this, that the men of prayer, in Holy Writ, had such influence with God. 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 plead for a religious faith which tolerates sinning, is to cut the ground from under the feet of effectual praying. To excuse sinning by the plea that obedience to God is not possible to unregenerate men, is to discount the character of the new birth, and to place men where effective praying is not possible. At one time Jesus broke out with a very pertinent and personal question, striking right to the core of disobedience, when He said: “Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?”

He who would pray, must obey. He who would get anything out of his prayers, must be in perfect harmony with God. Prayer puts into those who sincerely pray a spirit of obedience, for the spirit of disobedience is not of God and belongs not to God’s praying hosts.

An obedient life is a great help to prayer. In fact, an obedient life is a necessity to prayer, to the sort which accomplishes things. The absence of an obedient life makes prayer an empty performance, a mere misnomer. A penitent sinner seeks pardon and salvation and has an answer to his prayers even with a life stained and debauched with sin. But God’s royal intercessors come before Him with royal lives. Holy living promotes holy praying. God’s intercessors “lift up holy hands,” the symbols of righteous, obedient lives.

Prayer and Obedience, Part 8 (TPMD Bus 2 – #701)

POEM: “Jesus, My Strength, My Hope” by Charles Wesley

Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is Jeremiah 42:1-3 which reads: “Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) That the Lord thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.”

Our featured prayer motivator quote is from O. Hallesby. He said, “I do not think that we should look upon… painful experiences too pessimistically. Surely they are more profitable than we think at the time we are going through the anguish connected with them. But if they are to be of any benefit to us, we must, in the first place, be truthful and not begin to practice deception, that is, excuse and defend our slovenly prayer life. We must admit our weakness in prayer, admit that we are faced with a problem which cannot be solved by our own efforts.”

My personal encouragement for you today is this: God is not going to make you pray, but you ought to pray. God does not make you pray. But if you want to see souls saved in your ministry, if you want to see revival, if you want to see God bless your family and your children, if you want to see all of your needs met, then it is best for you to pray, it behooves you to pray—you ought to pray.

Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND OBEDIENCE” part 8 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.

One who has been disobedient may pray. He may pray for pardoning mercy and the peace of his soul. He may come to God’s footstool with tears, with confession, with penitent heart, and God will hear him and answer his prayer. But this kind of praying does not belong to the child of God, but to the penitent sinner, who has no other way by which to approach God. It is the possession of the unjustified soul, not of him who has been saved and reconciled to God.

An obedient life helps prayer. It speeds prayer to the throne. God cannot help 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. It acts like the confluent tides of many rivers, and gives volume and fulness of flow as well as power to the prayer chamber. An obedient life is not simply a reformed life. It is not the old life primed and painted anew nor a church-going life, nor a good veneering of activities. Neither is it an external conformation to the dictates of public morality. Far more than all this is combined in a truly obedient Christian, God-fearing life.

A life of full obedience; a life settled on the most intimate terms with God; where the will is in full conformity to God’s will; where the outward life shows the fruit of righteousness — such a life offers no bar to the inner chamber but rather, like Aaron and Hur, it lifts up and sustains the hands of prayer.

If you have an earnest desire to pray well, you must learn how to obey well. If you have a desire to learn to pray, then you must have an earnest desire to learn how to do God’s will. If you desire to pray to God, you must first have a consuming desire to obey Him. If you would have free 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. Requests coming from the lips of those who delight to do His will, reach His ears with great celerity, and incline Him to answer them with promptitude and abundance. In themselves, tears are not meritorious. Yet they have their uses in prayer. Tears should baptize our place of supplication. He who has never wept concerning his sins, has never really prayed over his sins. Tears, sometimes, is a penitent’s only plea. But tears are for the past, for the sin and the wrongdoing. There is another step and stage, waiting to be taken. It is that of unquestioning obedience, and until it is taken, prayer for blessing and continued sustenance, will be of no avail.

Prayer and Obedience, Part 7 (TPMD Bus 2 – #700)

POEM: “Never Give Up” by Daniella Whyte

Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is Zechariah 4:6 which reads: “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Our featured prayer motivator quote is from Erroll Hulse. He said, “Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God for the things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, by the help of His Spirit, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.”

My personal encouragement for you today is this: You need to let your children see you pray. Your children need to see you pray through the good times and the bad times. They need to see you pray constantly. They need to see you pray without ceasing. Not only should your children see you pray, let them hear you pray. In other words, pray out loud. Let them hear you call out their names in prayer. Pray for them and with them. Yes, indeed, men, women, boys, and girls ought to pray because we need God in our lives to help us do what He wants done in the world.

Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND OBEDIENCE” part 7 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.

Seeing that the keeping of God’s commandments is here set forth as the reason why He answers prayer, it is to be reasonably assumed that we can keep God’s commandments, can do those things which are pleasing to Him. Would God make the keeping of His commandments a condition of effectual prayer, think you, if He knew we could not keep His statutes? Surely, surely not!

Obedience can ask with boldness at the Throne of grace, and those who exercise it are the only ones who can ask, after that fashion. The disobedient folk are timid in their approach and hesitant in their supplication. They are halted by reason of their wrong-doing. The requesting yet obedient child comes into the presence of his father with confidence and boldness. His very consciousness of obedience gives him courage and frees him from the dread born of disobedience.

To do God’s will without demur, is the joy as it is the privilege of the successful praying-man. It is he who has clean hands and a pure heart, that can pray with confidence. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

“Not every one that 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.”

To this great deliverance may be added another:

“If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.”

“The Christian’s trade,” says Luther, “is prayer.” But the Christian has another trade to learn, before he proceeds to learn the secrets of the trade of prayer. He must learn well the trade of perfect obedience to the Father’s will. Obedience follows love, and prayer follows obedience. The business of real observance of God’s commandments inseparably accompanies the business of real praying.

Prayer and Obedience, Part 6 (TPMD Bus 2 – #699)

POEM: “Lord of My Life!”

Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is Jeremiah 11:14 which reads: “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.”

Our featured prayer motivator quote is from William Gurnall. He said, “Prayer is nothing but the promise reversed, or God’s Word formed into an argument, and retorted by faith upon God again.”

My personal encouragement for you today is this: You may ask me, Why do I need to pray more? My friend, isn’t it strange how that when God pours out His blessings upon us, instead of our getting more on fire for the Lord, we get cooler and cooler? And so, therefore, even with God’s blessings, you need to pray more. You need to understand that you don’t have the power to manage your life successfully. You need God’s direction, you need God’s power; you need His leadership in your life. No matter how much Bible you know, no matter how many Bible schools you have attended, you had better open your mouth and pray to God.

Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND OBEDIENCE” part 6 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.

There is one important consideration those who declare it to be impossible to keep God’s commandments strangely overlook, and that is the vital truth, which declares that through prayer and faith, man’s nature is changed, and made partaker of the Divine nature; that there is taken out of him all reluctance to obey God, and that his natural inability to keep God’s commandments, growing out of his fallen and helpless state, is gloriously removed. By this radical change which is wrought in his moral nature, a man receives power to obey God in every way, and to yield full and glad allegiance. Then he can say, “I delight to do Thy will, O my God.” Not only is the rebellion incident to the natural man removed, but a heart which gladly obeys God’s Word, blessedly received.

If it be claimed, that the unrenewed man, with all the disabilities of the Fall upon him, cannot obey God, there will be no denial. But to declare that, after one is renewed by the Holy Spirit, has received a new nature, and become a child of the King, he cannot obey God, is to assume a ridiculous attitude, and to display, moreover, a lamentable ignorance of the work and implications of the Atonement.

Implicit and perfect obedience is the state to which the man of prayer is called. “Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,” is the condition of obedient praying. Here inward fidelity and love, together with outward cleanness are put down as concomitants of acceptable praying.

John gives the reason for answered prayer in the passage previously quoted: “And whatsoever we ask we receive of Him because we keep His commandments and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.”

Prayer and Obedience, Part 5 (TPMD Bus 2 – #698)

POEM: “Continue to Pray” by Donna Hendrix

Our prayer motivator passage from the Word of God today is Jeremiah 7:16 which reads: “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.”

Our featured prayer motivator quote is from Paul E. Miller. He said, “When confronted with suffering that won’t go away or with even a minor problem, we instinctively focus on what is missing,…not on the Master’s hand. Often when you think everything has gone wrong, it’s just that you’re in the middle of a story. If you watch the stories God is weaving in your life, you… will begin to see the patterns. You’ll become a poet, sensitive to your Father’s voice.”

My personal encouragement for you today is this: The only discipline of the Christian faith that we are told to do “without ceasing” in I Thessalonians 5:17. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, esteemed this matter of prayer very highly. Allow me to remind you that on one occasion Jesus got up a great while before day and prayed. Mark 1:35 states, “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” If Jesus Christ had to pray so earnestly, there is no doubt that we, His followers, ought to pray as well.

Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND OBEDIENCE” part 5 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.

God’s commandments are righteous and founded in justice and wisdom. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” “Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.” God’s commandments, then, can be obeyed by all who seek supplies of grace which enable them to obey. These commandments must be obeyed. God’s government is at stake. God’s children are under obligation to obey Him; disobedience cannot be permitted. The spirit of rebellion is the very essence of sin. It is repudiation of God’s authority, which God cannot tolerate. He never has done so, and a declaration of His attitude was part of the reason the Son of the Highest was made manifest among men:

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

If any should complain that humanity, under the fall, is too weak and helpless to obey these high commands of God, the reply is in order that, through the atonement of Christ, man is enabled to obey. The Atonement is God’s Enabling Act. That which God works in us, in regeneration and through the agency of the Holy Spirit, bestows enabling grace sufficient for all that is required of us, under the Atonement. This grace is furnished without measure, in answer to prayer. So that, while God commands, He, at the same time, stands pledged to give us all necessary strength of will and grace of soul to meet His demands. This being true, man is without excuse for his disobedience and eminently censurable for refusing, or failing, to secure requisite grace, whereby he may serve the Lord with reverence, and with godly fear.