Dear brothers and sisters,
It can become a very frustrating, repetitive cycle. First, we grow slack in our obedience, becoming lazy in our Christian walk. We neglect the Scriptures, toy around with pet sins, avoid opportunities to be with the body of Christ, etc. It then follows that, since we are neglecting the means of growth, we don’t pray for the right things. Hence, those prayers don’t get answered. We then get frustrated that God isn’t answering our prayers, tempted to blame others or even Him for our lack. Not a good place to remain.
When this happens, what we need to do is get back to preaching the gospel to ourselves, being reminded of the complete forgiveness and imputed righteousness we have in Christ. It’s time to open and meditate on the Word of God, rejoicing in His great and precious promises to us (2 Peter 1:4). Also, be with other Christians a lot. They will sharpen, strengthen, and encourage you. Don’t fly solo! If you do, you’ll end up in a worse place than where you started.As we slowly, albeit weakly, get back to the normal means of growth, we will begin to please the Lord by obeying His precepts. It may not look like a lot at first, but obedience will be present. We will be more self-controlled, more forgiving, and we will start to humble ourselves in sacrificial service to others.
The Book of James says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” John is showing full agreement in this passage with what James has to say about prayer. We don’t simply obey God just so that He will answer our prayers and give us what we want. We obey God out of gratitude for who He is, and what He’s done in saving us, and then over time He graciously conforms our will to His will when we pray. Now, let’s obey Him by seeking Him above all things! Then pray, and trust Him for His answers.
God bless, Jamie
1 John 3:16-24