Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Jesus taught that obedience and answered prayer are related:
John 15:7 – If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (NKJV)
Obedience is a word that is known to everyone, whether they are Christian or not. It is a word that we learn from an early age. Parents teach obedience to their small children; as we grow older, it is taught by teachers; and as we enter adulthood, it is a word that applies to the laws of the road and the courts. Through life circumstances, we learn the results of not being obedient, and people are quick to point it out to us.
I have found, at times, that in my walk as a Christian, the concept of obedience is less tangible. For example, prayer is a form of obedience that we follow as Christians. Sometimes, prayer is done with others, but many times, it is done in solitude during the waking or even the sleeping hours. Such was the case for me a few weeks ago. I awakened with such an urgency to pray for a certain individual. I prayed, and at some point, I fell back to sleep. I got up the next day and went about my day; in fact, I even went about my week. Then, I felt prompted to inquire of a friend who is related to the person whom I was awakened to pray for. She shared with me that that person was fine, but his wife had had a serious angina attack, and her heart valves had been compromised, resulting in a procedure to open them. She shared that the surgeon had been amazed that she had not suffered a major heart attack. At first, I was confused as to why I would have been prompted to pray for the husband and not for the wife who'd had the medical concern, but I believe that the following verses shed some light onto this question.
Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV)
Ezekiel 22:30 – I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (NKJV)
It would have been so easy to get caught up in the "why" questions about this, but really, it is all about obedience and trusting. I could have failed to pray and been disobedient to the Lord's prompting, but the fact that I did pray and then left it with Him without seeking answers until I was prompted to, shows me a growth in trust in my walk with the Lord. How many times are we given something within our spirit but go about our day or sleeping hours not heeding the Spirit's prompting? It so easy to question what we are feeling or are being asked to do. Instead, let's just do it and trust it to the Lord.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your Spirit within us Who prompts us to pray. Help us to remain obedient to You in our waking and sleeping. Help us to trust and not always to seek the answers to all situations. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.