Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 1 of “Compelled – Living the Value of Persistent Prayer” (LISTEN HERE).
1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
How do you know the will of God?
If God’s promise given here is true, “…that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” wouldn’t you want to always ask according to his will?
I would think so.
Knowing the will of God connects prayer with the Word of God. God’s Word forms the input into our hearts and our prayer life that aligns our requests with the known will of God. For example, when you put thoughts of Scripture into prayer, we can be sure that the Word of God IS the will of God, and as the word of God is a key component of our prayer, we can be confident we are praying the will of God.
For example, you may be reading 1 Timothy 2
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
You may follow it with a prayer:
Lord, I pray for our President and other leaders that they recognize their authority comes from you and that they would use that authority to allow us to live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. I also pray Lord for all who don’t know you that they would come to a knowledge of your truth and trust you as their God and Savior. Amen.
Is that prayer in line with God’s will? Yes, because it captures the words of God which communicate the will of God.
To be sure, not every prayer has a direct connection to Scripture. When we pray for physical healing, or tangible blessing, we may end our prayers with “Not my will, but yours be done.” This takes the demand out of our prayer and puts our trust that the will of God is always what is best for our lives.
We can have the same confidence as the hymn writer:
What God ordains is always good; His will abideth holy.
As He directs my life for me, I follow meek and lowly.
God indeed in every need Doth well know how to shield me;
To Him, then, I will yield me.
To be a persistent pray’er is also to be a persistent Bible reader. Prayer and Bible reading close the loop of two-way communication. God talks to us and reveals his will in his Word; we respond and talk to God through our prayers.
So a great way to enhance your time of prayer and expand the things for which you pray is to read a section of Scripture and then “pray through it.” This will naturally incorporate the will of God in your prayers to God.
Apply: Try reading a Psalm and then after reading turn it into a prayer. What content did you find yourself praying about that you probably wouldn’t have if you didn’t read Scripture before praying?
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for giving me your Word to reveal your will to me. Encourage me to always let my prayers be flavored by your Word, thus aligning my prayers to your will. AMEN.