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Prayer That Leads To Obedience

(Family Prayer Based Upon Scripture)

By Kim Butts

    Rhonda Hughey, in her book, Desperate for His Presence, stated, "We cannot be hungry for God if we are being satisfied with other things.  Because the Church constantly ‘nibbles’ on ‘junk food’ from the world, she has lost her appetite for God." Why is it that we seem to come to God in dependence or desperation only when we have nowhere else to go rather than coming to Him in the kind of desperation that is birthed from deep desire? How can we lead our families in such a way that they will long to feast upon and drink deeply of the truths of the Lord rather than be tempted to spoil their appetites for God by snacking on the things of the world?

    It is often the case that we are better at knowing the Word of God than putting it into obedient action. Spending time getting to know the Word is crucial to our walk, because it gives us insight about the nature and character of God and His Son, Jesus Christ, the One we are to love and obey and emulate. How is your family doing with the Word of God? Are you training your children to love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength? Do they obey their parents willingly and respectfully because they honor, respect and obey their heavenly Father? Is your family so desperate for His Presence in your lives that you are willing to take that powerful leap from knowing the Word to putting it into action?

    Help your family to make a deep connection between reading the Scripture and obedience to it. How? Teach them to pray as they read and study God’s Word. My husband and I train people to pray with their Bibles and eyes open! What a rich wealth of insight can be gained as you ask the Father to pour understanding of His Word into your heart and spirit. As you pray through the Word, you will all be energized and empowered to do the Word.

    There are many ways to pray through the Word. I am going to describe two of them, and give you several examples of how to follow through with one plan. Please don’t limit yourselves to these, but ask the Father to show you how His Word can be living and active in you and your family day by day. One powerful way to allow the Holy Spirit to teach you how to be obedient to the Word is to read carefully through it, praying as you go. Take an entire chapter and spend whatever time is necessary to glean its truths and to understand what God is asking you individually and as a family to do! Ask Him to give you the strength and the desire to obey each command and each perfect act of the Lord Jesus! Do you want to know His perfect plan and purpose and will for your lives? "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2).

    You can pray any way you, as individuals and as a family, feel led. Perhaps you will want to pray this verse exactly as it is written, but apply it to you directly. You may wish to change some of the wording if you have young children who don’t understand the meaning of larger words. For example: Father, Your Word says that we should not conform any longer to the pattern of this world So, help us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Then, Father, Your Word says we can test and approve what Your good, pleasing and perfect will is. Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful promise. Help us to understand Your will for us individually and as a family. (An example for younger children: God, Your Word says that I should not copy what people who don’t believe in Jesus do. Help me to be changed by helping my mind to understand what You want me to do. God, Your Word says that You will help my family and me to understand what You want us to do with our lives. Thanks, Lord! We don’t know how to do that by ourselves.)

    You can also pray from your hearts as you read through this verse. For example: Father, we have allowed the ways of the world to creep up on us! Keep us from being sucked into the way the world does things. It can be so tempting. Show us how to be transformed by the renewing of our minds! Make it clear what we should change or even give up in order to obey You and follow You with all of our hearts! We want to know and to do Your will and not try to do things our own way. Thank You for Your good, pleasing and perfect will! We know that it is not our will but Yours that will allow us to live in such a way that Your Kingdom is advanced on this earth. Show us how to walk within Your will at all times!

    I would suggest memorizing Romans 12 as a family and challenge one another to behave as living sacrifices who truly understand the depth of the meaning of love. It may take you weeks just to get through this one chapter together, but you will reap a harvest of righteousness that comes from submitting to the way of the Lord!

    Another way to pray through the Word of God is to do word studies. For example, since this article involves obedience to the Word of God, I used a concordance to look up Scriptures about obedience. There are many more than I am going to share with you; however, it will give you a taste of how to pray powerfully through the Word. Try reading a Scripture out loud, giving everyone in the family opportunities to do this. You may want to give an example from your experience or someone else’s that will illustrate the verse or passage. Then, begin to learn how to pray about what you have read! You can pray the exact passage back to the Father, or use your own words. Pray about how you will respond to the verse or passage. Ask questions of one another. Spend some time quietly letting the Word speak to your hearts and then talk with each other about what you sense the Lord saying. Perhaps He will have some specific instructions for you, or will bring a person or situation to mind that He wants you to do something about.

    God is limitless! You will be thrilled as you allow Him to speak to you as a family, and He will be honored and glorified through your obedient responses to His Word. Don’t forget to thank Him as He teaches you how to obey His Word as He transforms you by the renewing of your minds! I will give you one complete example and then let you pray through the rest of the Scriptures on your own:

Help Us to Obey the Word When We Hear It!

    "He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it’" (Luke 11:28).

    A young boy was hunting with his father in the jungle. Suddenly, his father told the boy to freeze where he was. The boy did exactly what his father told him. Had he disobeyed, he would have stepped into the path of a deadly snake. How often do we, as God’s children, make excuses for why we don’t obey His commands? Sometimes we obey, but not the first time…and sometimes we take a long time to get around to being obedient! Was this boy blessed because he obeyed? Absolutely! He was thankful for his very life! Can you think of a time in your life where you missed a blessing from someone else because you did not obey? Now, can you think of a time when you missed a blessing from God for the same reason? God promises to bless when we hear His Word and obey it!

    Pray: Lord, help our family to hear Your word and then obey it! You have promised that we will be blessed when we obey, so we claim that promise now in Jesus’ name! Give us the strength and courage to obey everything You tell us to do! We want to obey You the first time You ask. Help us to help each other to learn how to obey You. Make us good examples to other families.

Help Us to Show Our Love for Jesus by Obeying Him!

    "If you love Me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15).

    "Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him" (John 14:21).

    "Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me’" (John 14:23-24).

    "If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love" (John 15:10).

    "This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome…" (1 John 5:3).

    "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love" (2 John 1:6).

Help Us to Obey the Truth!

    "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?" (Galatians 5:7).

    "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22).

    "For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the Gospel of God?" (1 Peter 4:17).

Help Us to Obey His Word  So That God’s Love Will Truly Be Made Complete in Us!

    "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His Word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 2:1-6).

Help Us to Believe in the Name of Jesus and to Love One Another as He Commanded Us!

    "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him. And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us. Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us" (1 John 3:21-24).

Help Us to Remain Obediently Faithful to the End!

    "This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, ‘Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’

    "‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them’" (Revelation 14:12-13).