Some people think that they can get away with disobeying God. They think that if nobody knows about it, then no harm can be done. They also reason that because God is merciful, He won’t hold their disobedience against them. But what these people fail to realize is that their own hearts will start to condemn them. And once that happens, although they may speak faith—filled words when they pray, they will be filled with doubts and fears that will prevent their prayers from being answered.
Obedience, on the other hand, is the key to receiving answers to your prayers. When you are obedient to God and His Word, you become bold in your prayer life and faith walk. That boldness gives you confidence that people who are trying to get away with sin don’t have. Your confidence allows you to go before God without fear, guilt or condemnation and receive answers to your prayers.
First John 3:21–22 says, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” Your obedience is pleasing to God, and when you please Him, He gives you your heart’s desire. But learning to hear from God and making a commitment to instantly obey Him requires work on your part.
You must spend time reading and studying the Word. When you do, you will begin to clearly discern the voice behind the Word. God will speak directly to you concerning your situation and will give you specific instructions to follow. When He tells you to do something, do it (James 1:22). Your confidence will grow each time you obey Him, and as you confidently approach Him and make your requests known to Him in prayer, He will answer you.
Hearing and then obeying God also positions you for shalom, or wholeness in every area of your life. In 2 Kings 5:1–14, Naaman, a captain in the Syrian army who suffered from leprosy, went to the prophet Elisha for healing. Elisha sent a…