“Likewise, ye husbands,
dwell with them according to knowledge,
giving honour unto the wife,
as unto the weaker vessel,
and as being heirs together of the grace of life;
that your prayers be not hindered*”
Religion has a way of isolating a man’s walk from his relationship with God. Truth, on the other hand, brings linkage and accountability. Truth connects the authenticity of my actions, thoughts, and interactions with others in relationship to my Heavenly Father. The above verse when properly translated states “…that your prayers be not *cut off” (see note below)! The severity of this ought to bring a re-evaluation of the importance of our daily life. The effectiveness and acceptability of our prayers unto God can actually depend upon how a man treats his wife. May God grant us the ability to consider our ways and give us a desire to acquaint ourselves with the truth of the New Testament. Religion infers that it does not matter how we conduct ourselves; God will ALWAYS hear us. Religion has a way of anesthetizing our conscience; truth makes our conscience tender to the things of God. A religious prayer has little or no power or faith for it does not proceed from a life of confidence. It is not anchored in a life that is compatible with God. The power of such a prayer is offered on the basis of a teaching or a religious concept. In contrast the prayer offered by a righteousness man avails much; it is founded upon the ministration of faith, the only medium by which a true and real righteousness can be experienced. Peter goes on to say…
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,
and his ears are open unto their prayers:
but the face of the Lord
is against them that do evil”
Righteousness in the New Testament is more than a legal term; it is a life empowered by a living FAITH. The righteousness which is the result of faith cannot be manufactured by human strength. It is a life that NEEDS the strength and power of God Himself in our hearts. Our need for Grace is proportional to our desire to walk in righteousness. It is by this very ministration of Faith that our prayers will be effectual and fervent.
“The effectual fervent prayer
of a righteous man availeth much”
It is essential that we (as God’s people) begin to link righteousness and faith to our relationship with a Holy God. Failure to comprehend this is what produces weak and ineffectual prayers. Unbelief infiltrates the people of God because of unanswered prayers. The result is an increase of a powerless and impotent religion.
We must see that the order and power of God in the home is the womb of power and reality in the true Church of God. Peter sets before us the atmosphere and beauty of how a Christian home should be…
*(SEE Note Below)
“Do not let your adorning be external—
the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold,
or the putting on of clothing—
but let your adorning be
the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty
of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.
For this is how the holy women
who hoped in God
used to adorn themselves,
by submitting to their husbands,
as Sarah obeyed Abraham,
calling him lord.
And you are her children,
if you do good and do not fear
anything that is frightening.
live with your wives
in an understanding way,
showing honor to the woman
as the weaker vessel,
since they are heirs with you
of the grace of life,
so that your prayers
may not be hindered (not cut off)”
To ignore the Word of God is to nullify the means by which His Power is made evident in the lives of His people. Religion mocks the promises of God as did Ishmael the child of promise. It is in taking heed to His Word that we will see the power of God restored in this day. Righteousness must start in the home, in the workplace, and in the secret places of our hearts. It is a day for us to…
“…search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD.
Let us lift up our heart
with our hands unto God in the heavens”
The way to powerful and effectual prayers is by the ministration of truth being embraced by the people of God. The birthing of such effectual prayers lies with men and women who have known the need for repentance and change in their own lives. Prayers uttered from such lives well know the grace of God, the Love of God and the Power of God to change circumstances and hearts for they have experienced those very things. The righteousness by faith produces broken and contrite hearts and frees us from a religion that would seek to isolate how we live from the power and authenticity of our prayer life. The latter days are upon us and it is a time for us to reconsider how we live that we may draw upon the God of all Mercy His promises to us concerning this day.
“When thou art in tribulation,
and all these things are come upon thee,
even in the latter days,
if thou turn to the LORD thy God,
and shalt be obedient unto his voice;
(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;)
he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee,
nor forget the covenant of thy fathers
which he sware unto them”
*NOTE: Greek Word G1581. ἐκκόπτω ekkoptō; fut. ekkopsō, from ek (G1537), out, and koptō (G2875), to cut. To cut off or out, as a branch from a tree (Rom. 11:22, 24 making the verb parallel with ekklaō (G1575), to break off, in Rom. 11:17, 19, 20). To cut down a tree (Matt. 3:10; 7:19; Luke 3:9; 13:7, 9); the right hand (Matt. 5:30; 18:8; Sept.: Jer. 6:6; 22:7); one’s hand or foot (Matt. 18:8). Metaphorically, to cut out or off, meaning to remove (2 Cor. 11:12); in 1 Pet. 3:7 (TR), “that your prayers be not cut off” (a.t.) or rendered fruitless.
*NOTE: These scriptures along with many others are considered “legalistic” by a large segment of the church in our day, but what people fail to realize is that this description of how men and women should conduct themselves is the FRUIT of the indwelling Spirit of God not a carnal conformity to the teachings of men. Religion has a way of nullifying and robbing God’s Word of its power in terms of people’s experiential reality. People who outwardly conform to a “code” of religious conduct without the inward reality actually negate the beauty and power of all that God intended. Likewise those who mock and ignore these Words of God have already robbed themselves of the power of the LIFE of God revealed in them.
“Making the word of God of none effect
through your tradition,
which ye have delivered:
and many such like things do ye”
Peter is not describing a legal requirement for spiritual attainment; he is setting forth the revelation of what the Spirit of God produces in lives that are governed by Him. Effectual prayers arise from the hearts of those who are faithful to yield themselves to the Law of HIS LIFE (Romans 8:2) in Christ Jesus.