What is the ultimate requirement for answered prayer?

More about obedience from E. M. Bound. E. M. Bounds makes a strong case for obedience as a requirement for answered prayer.

I wasn’t going to write any more about obedience but it’s such an important part of our prayer life. Plus, I have just had some experience with this myself.

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“Obedience can ask with boldness at the throne of grace, and those who exercise it are the only ones who can ask. The disobedient folk are timid in their approach and hesitant in their supplication. The requesting yet obedient child comes into the presence of his father with confidence and boldness. His very conscious of obedience gives him courage and frees him from the dread born of disobedience.

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; and 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 must have an earnest desire to learn how to do God’s will.

God put the emphasis upon obedience to his commands. Obedience to them brings blessings. Obedient men (and women) always have been the closest to God.

Always, God puts the emphasis upon obedience to his commands.

An obedient life is a great help to prayer. In fact, an obedient life is a necessity to prayer. The absence of an obedient life makes prayer an empty performance.

Obedience to God helps faith as no other attribute possibly can. Obedience to God makes it easy to believe and trust God.

The lack of obedience in our lives breaks down our praying.”

MY UNDERSTANDING

Again, hard words to hear but I couldn’t agree more. I read a chapter or two every day from the Old Testament in conjunction with my other Bible reading. If there is one word that is prominent and one idea that continues to be a constant theme, it is that of obedience.

Therefore, it can be confidently said, based on scripture, that God places a great emphasis on obedience. Every disastrous outcome in scripture is always tied to disobedience.

However, the question then becomes, do we always know when we are being disobedient?

I think we do IF we are walking close to God and that depends, of course, on our Bible study, prayer life, and our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. It is my personal opinion, that for the most part, we have that “niggling” feeling inside when we are walking outside of God’s will. We just know.

But if we don’t immediately confess our disobedience and start to make it right, the next time we hear that niggling, we may not notice it. After a while, it will become so soft that we lose all sensitivity. It becomes harder for God to get through to us and when he finally does, the process of turning around and getting back on track, will only take us longer.

Again, there is a lot of evidence in Scripture. Just for one think about the Israelites wandering in the desert for a trip that was supposed to take eleven days! And that’s just one of many stories.

So I guess it boils down to this: which is better? Obeying in the first place or taking forty years to get it right?