One of the keys to prayer is to pray God’s will. God is God and we’re not, so ultimately His will is what matters most. But what does it mean to pray God’s will? I know that I’ve ended many prayers by saying, “but let Your will be done…” There were two basic thing I meant when I’ve prayed this.
1) I don’t know what God’s will is in this situation.
2) Whatever happens must be God’s will.
Has anyone else ever prayed that way? What if I told you that in many, maybe even most, situations we can know what God’s will is and that not everything that happens is God’s will?
I’ve come to believe that the Church as a whole has become to accepting of things that are not God’s will. I’m not necessarily talking about the shifting view on sin that we see in our culture either. What I mean is that there are some things that are clearly not God’s will and we tend to just accept them as God’s will. We accept them as:
“This is just how it is…”
“There’s not really anything we can do…”
God has a will about all most things, we can know His will, and we should pray according to His will. Knowing what His will is and is not should motivate us to pray boldly and specifically about these things. Let’s start with praying for someone to be saved? Scripture gives us some descriptive phrases about those who don’t know Jesus.
People Enslaved To Sin. “Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.’” John 8:34 (NKJV) Jesus is pretty straightforward here. A person who commits what the Bible calls sin is a slave to their sin. This is
Chances are you know people who are enslaved to sin. It’s easy to look at situations like this and conclude “This is just how it is..” or “There’s not really anything we can do…” despite the fact that these things are not God’s will. How can I be so certain it’s not God’s will?
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8 (NKJV)
Jesus came to free people from being enslaved by sin. Therefore, we can rightly conclude It’s NEVER God’s Will For Someone To Be Enslaved By Sin. When we pray for someone to be delivered from slavery to sin, we are always praying according to God’s will. This should make us bold, confident and passionate in our prayers.
People Deceived By Satan. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV) If someone doesn’t see their personal need for Jesus, then that person is blinded by Satan (deceived), and perishing.
With the plurality of religions in our culture, the variety of ways that people seek to be spiritual, and the general interest in the occult that’s ever growing around us, it’s easy to conclude “This is just how it is..” or “There’s not really anything we can do…” despite the fact that these things are not God’s will. How can I be so certain it’s not God’s will?
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4 (NKJV)
It is ALWAYS God’s will for people to know the truth. Jesus is the truth. Therefore, we can rightly conclude It’s NEVER God’s Will For Someone To Be Deceived By Satan. When we pray for someone to be freed from Satan’s deception and know the truth about Jesus, eternal life, and salvation, we are always praying according to God’s will. This should make us bold, confident and passionate in our prayers.
Once you know what God’s will is in a given situation, pray boldly. Pray passionately. Pray confidently.
Tomorrow I’ll write about praying God’s will for those who are crushed by the cares of life.