14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” – English Standard Version (ESV)
I was recently in a situation where people were praying for things that I couldn’t be comfortable with because they were so self-focused, wanting results pointed to only good for themselves with no evidence pointing to a real desire to glorify God.
Not that I can ever claim to know anyone’s heart, only their fruit, but I do consider myself a student of the Word, convicted of errors as much as anyone, and in this day and age we live in, when the return of Christ seems to be drawing closer and closer, shouldn’t I be focused on what God wants above all things? I want to have the confidence that if I am praying for what God’s will is, I can be sure that, as the scripture above promises, it will come to pass.
So then, what is God’s Will? A secret whispered in the quiet night? A sudden inspiration when facing something insurmountable? Or, perhaps, it is as simple as knowing that God’s Will can be found in knowing His Word. Not that knowing the Word is simple. It takes time, and effort and a lot of going back to re-examine what was read and compare it to other scripture so that the complete picture is seen, and that I am not guilty of my human nature wanting something bad enough I’ll grab at any scripture I tell myself will justify my need to get my way.
God is God. He’s in control. Sometimes what He plans is far beyond our comprehension, and it could look harsh, even unkind, because we can’t see what He sees, know what He knows. But in His love, He gives us verses like Romans 8:28 to reassure us that even if our world seems to have derailed in the craziest of ways, things are working out for good for those who are called according to His purpose. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.- ESV
There are so many scripture verses relating to prayer. We have the Holy Spirit that intervenes for us when we don’t know what to pray. We have scripture that points the need for repentance that leads to salvation and we know we are to pray for the lost. We know to pray for those who minister. All these things bring glory to God and fulfill His purpose. And this is just a tiny sampling of the richness of the topic of prayer in the Bible.
I also believe we can pray for ourselves, as long as we aren’t praying as if God is supposed to hand over the debit card for whatever we want in order to gratify our selfish desires. That said, I also think, like a Father, sometimes God gives us gifts to remind us that He loves us and is not a mean taskmaster. The God we serve is far more complex than we will ever know. If you have trouble accepting that, look at the universe, the solar system, and all the detail found here on the Earth. Look at the many differences found in the human race. Complex doesn’t come close to describing Him.
So, I’ve been considering prayer, and if I do it effectively. Oh, how I want to. I want to be pleasing to Him, to be in His will. I see the chaos in this world, the things I never ever imagined would be happening, that would be deemed acceptable, and my heart cries out to Him, and I can understand more and more the old song with the words “burden my heart Lord with that which burdens Yours.”
I want to continue to grow in my knowledge of all the Word tells me about prayer so that I can pray with understanding. To continually mature in what I know, in my walk with Him, in prayer, in studying, and in faith.
The first scripture I ever memorized started, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done . . .”
Best prayer ever.
So, a few thoughts on what is on my heart today. I know different people have different views on how to walk out their faith, and that’s why I always want to clarify that these are my thoughts. Today. As God continues to grow me and prepare me for that day I can stand before Him and hear Him tell me that I have been a good and faithful servant.
Blessings – Vicki