No Substitutions


The excessively talkative redhead and her less talkative snaggle toothed cat Asher both have a deep hunger for words.  Ever grazing Asher prefers tasty words such as tuna and treat. However,  Asher’s less finicky redhead swirls words, phrases and ideas in her mind like several busy brown hamsters running on their silver exercise wheel.

It happened earlier in the week as the cleaning redhead was dusting around the snaggle toothed cat on top of her desk.  She stumbled upon an A.W. Tozer quote with words so profound the thoughts conveyed by this man caused the rabid hamsters running wildly in the crazed redheads mind to fall out of step, crash out of their wheel and to take some sweet time.

The slowing down redhead took time to sip, not gulp, her strong coffee and to feed Asher his treats and the Holy Spirit Himself helped the hyper focused redhead sort through the powerful words taking shape in her mind.

The quote, more like a paragraph, dealt with the masses praying for revival and the lack of true revival taking place because of, not the lacking of prayer, BUT the lacking of obedience. The quote, though much in reference to revival stated that prayer does not work when we only pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture.

“Prayer will be effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.” – Tozer

Ouch, yelled the pained redhead as the weight of the old man’s words traveled roughly from her brain and down to her heart. It is easy to pray for a thing and then pray some more. We pray for affirmations, direction, wisdom and more but when God gives us those things we pray for some more. It’s easy to look pious and right when we pray. We boast of our fastings and give words of “thus says the Lord,” but often these words are mere words not given by the Lord.

Many people desire to do great things for the Lord and some people do mistake prayer for obedience. The self-absorbed redhead has made this mistake far more than once. It’s far too easy to be swayed off the course. We mistake prayer for obedience and if it goes on unchecked it leads us to the hamster wheel of thoughtless, numbing complacency. When we pray and cease to obey what the Lord tells us in prayer and in His written word our lack of obedience leads not to victory and strength, but it leads us deceptively into weakness and depression and death. We continue to pray but never take the action the Holy Spirit tells us to take, and we become frustrated, discouraged, and hopeless. It’s never long after hopelessness sets in to give up on ourselves, our situations, our family, or even our Lord.

Father God, please forgive us for the times when we mistake prayer for obedience. Father, please, show us when we’ve traded in appearances, complacency, fear or anything else for obeying You. Father, please help us to become people of prayer who follow through in obedience to You. God, You are our living hope and our hearts desire. Help us to boldly and confidently both seek and obey You and to share Your hope with others in word and in deed. Help us Father, to become people of obedience now and help us to be aware and diligent to redeem the time as You would have us to redeem the time individually and as a church family.”  Amen

Sarah Burnette 7/7/22

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