September 17 2021
Today, Friday September 17
What's Keeping You From Praying 1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
During my first years at Lynchburg Baptist College (now Liberty University), we heard Dr. Jerry Falwell make a statement over and over again; “Nothing of eternal value ever happens apart from prayer.” He encouraged us to read books on prayer by Andrew Murray such as “With Christ in the School of Prayer” and “Intercessory Prayer”. He introduced us to other books on prayer written by E.M. Bounds, Watchman Nee, Oswald Chambers and others. And it was obvious that Dr. Falwell was himself a man of prayer and faith! I had a great example of what it means to pray without ceasing!
We need to ask the questions, why don’t I pray more or why don’t I spend any time in prayer at all? What keeps me from praying? Does prayer really make a difference? What does it mean to pray? The Bible is full of encouragements and examples of prayer. The disciples of Jesus never asked Him to teach them to preach or how to be a church leader or administrator, but they did ask Him to teach them to pray! (Luke 11:1)
It appears that most of our praying today is motivated by trying to get out of mess we are in! This is ok but if we really are going to understand the real purpose of prayer and have confidence that our prayers will be answer we need to know that there are conditions we must meet.
First, we must have a heart that does not condemn us. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:21-22). When we are not being “obedient children” we lose our confidence that God is going to hear and answer our prayers.
Unconfessed sin is a serious obstacle to answered prayer. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (Psalm 66:18). Is there any unconfessed sin in your life today? If there is, remember 1 John 1: 9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Unless we are abiding in Christ, in love and obedience, our prayers will not be answered. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7) Prayer is communion with God, spending time with Him, listening to His heart, seeking His will, and letting Him know that you love and need Him!
Today, we need to have confident hearts, confess our sins and make sure we are abiding in Christ! Then prayer will take on new meaning and have a consistent place in our lives!