ANSWERED PRAYER DEPENDS UPON . . …. 15.01.19
I Kings 8:25,26
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
With Christ in The School of Prayer, Andrew Murray, Bridge-Logos, 1999.
Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby, Broadman & Holman, 1998.
When we live in obedience, when we walk in the Spirit, walking in The Word, in intimacy with our Lord and Saviour, only then are our prayers are aligned with God’s will. And when our prayers are aligned with God’s will, we will receive what we ask. “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you”(John 15:7). So many busily “claim” the hind part of this passage, without noticing the preconditions of the front-end. “My prayer depends on my life. Whatever God’s words are to me and in me will determine what my words will be to God and in God. If I do what God says, God will do what I ask” (Murray, p.179). Precisely.
There has always been continuity between our walk with God, following His Word, and answered prayer; from ancient times to modern times, the pattern remains. “The Old Testament saints understood this connection between God’s words and ours quite well. Their prayer really was a loving response to what they had heard God speak” (Murray, p.180). “So now, my Lord Adonai, confirm the word that You have spoken concerning Your servant and his house forever, and do as You have promised” (2 Sam.7:25). Notice, there is no imposition of David’s will on God; he is simply reiterating what he had previously heard from the Lord. “So now let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, to continue forever before You. For You, my Lord Adonai, have spoken, and with Your blessing Your servant’s house will be blessed forever”(2 Sam. 7:29). He asked for no more than that which the Lord had already promised. That is why praying God’s Word is most effective. Praying within the framework of God’s Word by its very intrinsic meaning, assures us of praying within His will, and thus receiving what we asked.
“Now therefore, Adonai, God of Israel, keep with Your servant David my father what You have promised him, saying: ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before Me on the throne of Israel, if only your children watch their way, walking before Me as you have walked before Me.’ Now therefore, God of Israel, please, let Your word be confirmed, which You spoke to Your servant my father David”(I Kings 8:25,26). Solomon is reminding God to keep the promises made to his father, King David. Jesus/Yeshua’s prayer in John 17 mirrors some of this, as He reminds the Father of His obedience. He had taught His disciples, keeping the ones the Father assigned to Him, as He was instructed to: “I have made Your name known to the men of this world that You gave Me. They were Yours; You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You. The words, which You gave Me, I have given to them. They received them and truly understood that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me” (John 17:6-8,11). These are models for God’s people to follow; they will never be outdated.
Our prayers are reflective of our relationship with the Father. They serve as mirrors, reflecting our walk with Christ, revealing our level of intimacy with the Father. If we are close, we always desire to come closer, to acquire still more understanding of our Lord and Father. If we are truly yearning to know Him, to please Him, to love Him, to serve Him, to honour Him with our lives, our prayers take on a God-focus, leaving behind the childish me/me/me, gimme/gimme/gimme self-focus. Paul, who was so intimate with the Lord, always wanted to come closer, for he said, “My aim is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the sharing of His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death— if somehow I might arrive at the resurrection from among the dead” (Phil.3:10,11). Praying for spiritual acquisition was always Paul’s priority, and the lack of such prayer may account for the failure of “the perfection of the saints” (Eph.4:12) amongst God’s people today. When Paul prayed for his people, he was always praying for spiritual growth and development: “that the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, our glorious Father, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in knowing Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened”(Eph.1:17,18). May God’s people be moved to follow such models, praying for spiritual growth, and gifts, rather than earthly, carnal and selfish things.
All excuses for unanswered prayers aside, “the real reason has been that our own feeble lives have been the cause of our feeble prayers. Nothing can make Christians strong but the Word coming from God’s mouth. By that we must live. The Word of Christ makes us one with Him and fits us spiritually for touching and taking hold of God. We must love and live in that Word, letting it abide in and become part of us” (Murray, p.181). “God has always been speaking to His people. . . . will use the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and other believers to speak to you. The method, however, is not the key to knowing God’s voice. You learn to know the voice of God through an intimate love relationship that He has initiated. God may choose to speak to you in a way that is unique to you. . . . When God speaks to you, He will do so with purpose” (Blackaby, p.181). And whatever that purpose is, it will serve God’s will to be incorporated in prayer.
A Word from God can often be a call to pray through a particular situation needing attention. “If you do not have clear instructions from God in a matter, pray and wait. Learn patience. Depend on God’s timing. His timing is always right and best. Don’t get in a hurry. He may be withholding directions to cause you to seek Him more intently. Don’t try to skip over the relationship to get on with doing. God is more interested in a love relationship with you than He is in what you can do for Him” (Blackaby, p.150). “When God speaks to you by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church, you will know it is God; and you will know what He is saying. When God speaks to you, that is an encounter with God” (Blackaby, p.135). Attendance to God’s voice; obedience to what we hear; and praying in accordance – these are central to relationship as well as to answered prayer.
Copyright © 2015, revised 2016, 2017, 2nd ed., 2017, by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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