Prayer, Truth for Today

263 – What Does God Want?

Comments Off on 263 – What Does God Want? 22 February 2013

When we pray many of our petitions have to do with what we want. “Give us,” “Do for us,” “Bless us by,” are often repeated phrases in Christian’s prayers. We wonder why our prayers are not always answered as we ask them. How many of the requests are asked in God’s will? The key to successful praying is to be sure that we are asking from God exactly what He wants to give to us or do through us. Answerable prayer is prayer in the will of God. John said it like this, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 Jn. 5:14 NIV). If you want your prayer answered, ask it in the will of God. If you do, John said, you can have confidence that it will be heard. In order to do that you have to do three things. We will look at them here.

To know the will of God you must discover it. Jesus taught us to pray, “We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10 LB). The purpose of praying for God’s will to be done is not to get our will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on the earth. That means that we have to allow Him to change our wills to His will. In order to do that we have to discover what His will is. That means we have to seek it, search for it, learn to understand it. Much of His will is clear in His Word. We have to be willing to do what we already understand of His will for Him to want to reveal more of His will specifically to us. For example, we will not find the name of a particular company or practice or firm mentioned in the Bible. But, there are specific teachings about seeking and finding work that can be applied and that will lead us to discern what one of those places may be a place God wants to put us in. God is not trying to limit us, He is trying to lead us into a more fruitful way through our discovering His will for us. It is not always what we want, but it is always what we need and more than we need!

To know the will of God you must discern it. Once you discover what you think is His will, you need to discern what it means for your and your life. Paul said, “Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works” (Col. 1:9 The Message). It is possible for you to know God’s will and to understand its application to your daily life. God wants you to know His will. He is not trying to hide it. We talk about “finding God’s will” as if God were trying to hide it behind a rock somewhere. God makes the meaning of His will clear through the Scripture. If you need direction on any decision that is one of the first places you should look. Ask God to lead you to a passage that relates to your need. The Bible is always in sync with God’s will. James said, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it” (James 1:5 The Message). Ask God for His wisdom to discern His will. In addition, pray to discern God’s will. He will lead you in the quest. His Spirit will bear witness with your spirit when you are on to His plan for you. God also speaks through the counsel of Christian friends. He speaks through everyday ordinary circumstances. God is willing for you to discern His will so you can do His will.

To know the will of God you must do it. If you are not already doing what you know of His will, or if you are unwilling to do what He leads you to do, why should He bother revealing it to you? He will not. How do I know that? “If any of you really determines to do God’s will, then you will certainly know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own” (Jn. 7:17 LB). If you are out of God’s will in other areas He will not show you His will in the sought after area. God is looking for submissive Christians on which to shower His blessings! God does not lay His will on a smorgasbord so we can choose to do what He desires in some areas but not in others. If you choose to follow God’s plan you will receive God’s more from His bounty rather than your meager from your bankruptcy. Do these three things, and you can then be certain that your will is in God’s will. “And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours” (1 Jn. 5:15 The Message). God wants us to want what He wants!

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