A Possible Hindrance to Prayer

One morning my husband called from San Francisco and asked me to deliver a message to his secretary. I promised I would, thought about it once during the day, decided to wait until later, and that evening realized I had failed to follow through on his request. Soon he would be calling and what would I say? I hated to admit that I had not called.

Suddenly a verse I had been studying had new meaning. "We have confidence...because we obey his commands" (1 John 3:21, 22).

John was speaking of having confidence in prayer, and I understood that to go before the Lord I would have to obey His commands. The context for these verses leaves no doubt about which commands He meant. It was the command to love each other.

Jesus asks that we be channels of His love by guarding our thoughts and words and saying and thinking only what we know is acceptable to Him. If we provide the right words and thoughts, He'll provide the love. Love comes from God when our habits and attitudes please Him.

Our confidence that God will answer our prayers will depend, at least partly, on our attention to our personal relationships.

Thank You, Jesus, that Your commands are so reasonable!

"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).