The relationship of responsibility to authority is central to the understanding of prayer. Responsibility is the reason for authority. Christians should not desire authority for its sake alone. We need it only to carry out our God ordained mission on this earth – our responsibility.
Some have difficulty using this authority and feel that praying is “telling God what to do,” or they feel that prayer is in some way “bothering” the Lord. What if they instead realized that faith filled prayers were one way of “releasing” God to do what He wants to do? What if we realized that God, through His own choice and restraint, has decided to act primarily, and sometimes solely, in response to faith and prayer? What if His church realized that His actions and blessings were being hindered, not by some mysterious act of His eternal purpose but by their own lack of faith and effectiveness in prayer? How would we approach prayer? How boldly would we believe and pray? How would we persevere? It really makes one wonder about the possibilities.
We must convince ourselves that prayer is God’s idea, and not Man’s. We must know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God driven need for us to walk in His authority. It is critical that we understand this – that to walk squarely in the middle of His will we must walk fully in His authority. One requires the other. We must see that the exercise of authority through prayer is an indispensable aspect of Man walking in God’s perfect will. Conversely, we must see that walking in God’s perfect will is an indispensable requirement for walking in His authority.
Teaching authority without teaching responsibility is like giving a police officer a gun and not explaining that his mission is to serve and protect. He might have a vague idea on what he is to do and how he is to use his weapon, but that is not sufficient to correctly and boldly use it, without guilt or hesitation. That is why police first receive a thorough education concerning their mission and their responsibility to society, and then training concerning their weapon.
The more we know that we are in his perfect will, and know that we are acting on His behalf, the more we will walk in His power and authority. The understanding of prayer is the understanding of authority, and the understanding of authority is the understanding of responsibility.
Just understanding responsibility is not enough. I must be accepted. We first accept responsibility for what we are supposed to do and then we receive the authority to fulfill that mission. Submission to God’s will and purpose is a prerequisite to all we are, have, and do.