Tozer on Christian Leadership

Prayer: Two Conditions Must Be Met

Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.—1 John 3:21-22

When we go to God with a request that He modify the existing situation for us, that is, that He answer prayer, there are two conditions that we must meet: (1) We must pray in the will of God and (2) we must be on what old-fashioned Christians often call “praying ground”; that is, we must be living lives pleasing to God.

It is futile to beg God to act contrary to His revealed purposes. To pray with confidence the petitioner must be certain that his request falls within the broad will of God for His people.

The second condition is also vitally important. God has not placed Himself under obligation to honor the requests of worldly, carnal or disobedient Christians. He hears and answers the prayers only of those who walk in His way…(1 John 3:21-22; John 15:7)….

The truth is that God always answers the prayer that accords with His will as revealed in the Scriptures, provided the one who prays is obedient and trustful. Further than this we dare not go. Man, the Dwelling Place of God, pp. 86-87

“Lord, in the power of Your Holy Spirit, help me to be obedient today. May everything I think and do be pleasing in Your sight. Amen.”

Reprinted from Tozer on Christian Leadership by A.W. Tozer, copyright © 2001 by Zur Ltd. Used by permission of WingSpread Publishers, a division of Zur Ltd.

Tozer on Christian Leadership

Prayer: A Closed Mouth and Silent Heart

 

My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue….—Psalm 39:3

 

Prayer among evangelical Christians is always in danger of degenerating into a glorified gold rush. Almost every book on prayer deals with the “get” element mainly. How to get things we want from God occupies most of the space. Now, we gladly admit that we may ask for and receive specific gifts and benefits in answer to prayer, but we must never forget that the highest kind of prayer is never the making of requests. Prayer at its holiest moment is the entering into God to a place of such blessed union as makes miracles seem tame and remarkable answers to prayer appear something very far short of wonderful by comparison.

 

Holy men of soberer and quieter times than ours knew well the power of silence. David said, “I was dumb with silence. I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing the fire burned; then spake I with my tongue.” There is a tip here for God’s modern prophets. The heart seldom gets hot while the mouth is open. A closed mouth before God and silent heart are indispensable for the reception of certain kinds of truth. No man is qualified to speak who has not first listened. The Set of the Sail, pp. 14-15

 

“Lord, teach me to close my mouth. I love to preach; You’ve given me opportunities to teach; I’m called on to dispense advice and counsel. But the sitting in silence before You, with my mouth closed—I don’t do nearly enough of that. Amen.”