I have thought much and often about your word concerning prayer and obedience. This is truth, Brother, and I appreciate your bringing it. "If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear." (ps. 66:18) Many pray and cry out to the Lord day and night, but He is under no obligation to hear us simply because we sacrifice the time and expend the effort. Understand me, prayer is important. (Ps. 116:1-2) "I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live." However, "To obey is better than sacrifice." (1 Sam. 15:22) (Hebrews 3:18) "And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?."
This truth applies to so much of our Christian walk. I have thought on it for a couple of days now, and keep returning to it. It is time we "knew" the Lord and His commands to us, not simply through the scriptures, but personally, one-on-One. This is His desire for us; to know Him.
(1 John 2:3-4) "By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
The one who says, “ I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.."
Obedience is so tied up with knowing Him. How can one pray to a God they do not know? And yet so many do. The Lord God is the All-Purpose Emergency Kit... when your life goes off into a ditch, you think to pray. Why should He hear you, unless you know Him. And we cannot know Him unless we obey Him. And how can we obey Him if we do not read and understand His scriptures? It is all intertwined. The scriptures cannot be cut apart and taken as we please. They must be taken as a whole and understood in their entirety. For instance, one cannot separate the Love of God from the Justice of God.
Jude 1:21 "..keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life."
I could go on, and on, but I will not. I simply wanted to say "Amen," and thank you, Brother!