The STSA month of prayer continues and each week, we’re focusing on a different aspect of prayer. The first week, we focused on “prayerless praying” – praying with one’s mouth but not with one’s heart. The second week we focused on “powerful praying” – reminding ourselves that the same God who parted the Red Sea and healed so many is the same God to whom we are praying today.
This week our focus is on “PRAYER AND CHARACTER.”
Prayer is based on character. What we are with God gauges our influence with him. It was the inner character, not the outward bearing, of such men as Abraham, Job, David, Moses, and all others, who had such great influence with God in the days of old. And, today, it is not so much our words, as what we really are, which weighs with God.
Bad living means bad praying and, in the end, no praying at all. We pray feebly because we live feebly. The stream of prayer cannot rise higher than the fountain of living. The force of the inner chamber is made up of the energy which flows from the confluent streams of living. And the weakness of living grows out of the shallowness and shoddiness of character. On Prayer, E.M. Bounds
Wow! Powerful stuff! It’s something that we don’t often think about it, but it makes perfect sense. And that is this: prayer is only as strong as the character of the one praying it.
What made the prayers of Abraham so powerful was the character of Abraham. Same with Job and David and Moses and all the great saints who have preceded us. That’s because prayer cannot be taken in a vacuum apart from the rest of one’s life. As Bounds said “what we are with God gauges our influence with Him” and even more succinctly, “BAD LIVING MEANS BAD PRAYING.”