Pondering Prayer and Gods Will...
Pray without ceasing... 1Thessalonians 5:17
There is no inconvenient time
To talk to God in prayer;
The instant that we turn to Him
We can be sure He's there.
What is prayer? Prayer is universal in nature and is found in most all religions. Prayer includes communion, adoration, thanksgiving, confession, petition, intercession and submission. Prayer is our personal time with God. It brings us closer to him and can afford us the experience of the Holy Spirit. For it is "through" the spirit that he receives our prayers. Prayer is a powerful tool in your search for a relationship with God and so many of us forget we have this tool or don't know how to apply it properly. But I am here to tell you, once you know the plan our Father had for prayer and how it works, you will experience miracles.
God has told us that he knows of our needs even before we pray. You might ask if he already knows our needs why doesn't he just go ahead with it? Well, he wants you to ask him, plain and simple. You have to want and choose his help…well actually, to be specific… you have to want and choose his "wil"l. So though he is there with the knowledge and readiness to intercede for our need, he's waiting for us to want him…to choose him…to pray to him and to seek his will in the matter. And just another note, there are stories in the Bible where it seems that trouble was brought about just so the person or people would have to return to him in prayer. He wants to commune with you. So what's keeping you from it?
The first step to a prayerful life is to remember to do it! Ask yourself some questions: Who do you talk to when your stressed or worried? Who do you turn to when you're in need of strength, comfort or aide? How qualified are these people in the knowledge of your life or your problem in order to be able to assist you? My point is that there is no one more capable or ready to help than the Father. He already knows all the information on all the aspects and people involved. He knows all the different choices and all the outcomes of the different choices. But most importantly, he knows his plans for all involved and therefore the choices that "should" be made. There is no greater authority than the Father, nor is there anyone more "powerful" in their assistance. So, the first thought for whom or where to turn to should always be to God, through prayer, whenever you need it. Then, he will provide what or whom is needed. One thing he has taught me is that the more I pray to him, the more he works in my life and the more my life works out.
The second step is to know how to pray. How to pray is covered in Matt. 6:5-15 and Luke 11:1-13. Notice in Matthew (and other places) un-forgiven sins and prayer are spoken of. He warns that our prayer will not be perfect if we have not sought out forgiveness from a brother/sister or given it to those who have sinned against us. Whether we actually get forgiveness or not is not the point, we must seek it. If that person decides not to forgive it is now on their head, our way is clear. Anyway, Jesus did indeed give us our method of prayer, but don't just recite it. Hear it, believe it, agree with it and really "pray" it. Remember whom you are talking to, show reverence and honesty. Don't say what you think he wants to hear but what's in your heart because he knows the truth. And remember what he said about vain (empty) words, it's not the length or the vocabulary, it's the heart that he wants to hear. Last but certainly not least, pray in the name of Jesus John 16:23,24 for he has promised to give us our needs and what ever we ask if we ask it in his name.
The third step is what to pray for. Well, Jesus said whatsoever we ask in his name with faith shall be given for the glory of God. But, you should know as well as I do that to ask for something that is contrary to his will and law is asking for trouble. Praying for God's will "is" the key. Jesus shows a perfect example of this when he prayed in the Garden at Gethsemane Matt 26:36-44. Here, Jesus knew he was going to be tortured and killed and he was...what one might say…afraid. But! Though he prayed out of this dread of what was to come, he still maintained a desire for the will of the Father regardless. This shows us not only a perfect desire for God's will, but why some prayers just shouldn't be answered. What if the Father had granted him leave of the Cross? Where would we be? There are songs out there about "thanking God for unanswered prayers". There should be ones of answered prayers that were later regretted. That old saying "be careful what you wish for" applies to prayer. I've had more than one prayer answered because of much begging and tears that turned against me. Yet, they did teach me how powerful prayer is and how we should respect this power. They also taught how he works everything to his good. You should still be very careful what you ask for though because you might get it. Just make sure that what you pray for is good in his sight and in line with his will and his law. Nowadays I keep my prayers basic and really emphasize that I want his will over anything I might pray for. I learnt my lesson. I just offer up my needs and give them to him to do with as he sees fit. In essence...what you pray for is up to you, just be careful to specify by his will..
One must also be grateful, faithful and abide in his love, his will and his law (which is Love). Abide in his will and law so that he "can" lead you and work with you. This is actually more important than you might think. Anyway, you should never forget to give him thanks, praise and glory for all he is and does. For not a hair on your head is lost without him knowing about it. Showing your appreciation will result in him appreciating you. Remain faithful in that he now holds and is working on whatever you've brought to him in prayer. Let it go and let him do his thing, with faith and patience.
On the subject of his will and law these things are a must for him to be able to work with us. Whether it's a test, a blessing, leading us or answering prayers we must simply walk the walk of a Christian life to get to his will and aid. Now, to ensure us walking the path of his will and accepting it we need only compare our actions and decisions to his law. I know, easier said than done. To do this better you need to read, read, read the Bible! And of course pray for guidance. The more we're reminded of how he wants us to be and of things he wants us to stay away from...the easier it will get.The two main laws he gave us are to Love Him with "all" our heart, mind, body and soul…and to love our brother/sister. All the other laws will simply be natural if we truly practice and feel this love for him and his other children. But we have to watch ourselves, catch ourselves because we're tempted to be selfish in our own needs and wants. And that's what it really all boils down to...sin is putting our needs and wants above him and/or his other children. So continually ask yourself WWJD (What would Jesus do?) and then do it. Forget all this new age self-loving crap and listen to your God instead. His will is for you to be humble, loving and giving. Not worrying about yourself all the time. Trust him to take care of you while you do his work of service and loving to others. Jesus gave us many examples by being a servant himself. His will won't be so hard to abide by once you've gotten rid of yours. Remember, sin will keep us off the path he lays to answer our prayers. So take stock of you life and your sins, address them, repent for them... and try to sin no more. This way his many blessings and answers to prayers can come unhindered.
In summary, remember to take everything to God in prayer for he is the ultimate authority on what you need and how to apply it. And he so loves us and wants to do for us. Make sure your right before him when you offer your prayer and that your prayer is honest and respectful of his will and his ways. Remain ever mindful of what your praying for, "his will" being the ultimate prayer for only through his will can things be made perfect. Be faithful and true to his laws so that you show your love for him and won't hinder his work for you. Remember to ask everything in the name of Jesus and believe with all your heart and faith that he is there for you, he wants to help. Prayer "is" our private line to our maker. The one who loves us the most and has the most ability to help us in our lives. Embrace prayer... embrace your Father.
I pray now that by reading this you may have learned something, and that your own prayer life will increase and bring you closer and closer to the Father. He is truly wondrous...who wouldn't want to speak with him every day?
- Lita Rollins
Read a few scriptures on prayer or click back to the Pondering Pond
Psalm 50:15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Psalm 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Isaiah 30:19 …he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.
Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
John 14:13,14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
John 16:23, 24...Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Take me back to referring paragraph.
1John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1John 5:14,15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye many be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Matt. 6:5-15 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Take me back to referring paragraph.
Matt. 26:36-44 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Take me back to referring paragraph.
Luke 11:1-13 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Take me back to referring paragraph.
Take me back to the "Pondering Pond"