How Do You Get Your Prayers Answered – Part 2, Praying the Will of God
Last month we learned that the only way to have access to God is through Jesus Christ. Once you have established this relationship with God every promise that He makes in His word to His children belongs to you. Your prayers will be answered according to His promises and His will. When we receive the Holy Spirit within us He illuminates the word of God and brings understanding to us of the will of God.Romans 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…
There are several requirements to consider before your prayers will be answered:
- You have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:16)
- You have confessed all sins in your life (Psalm 66:18)
- You are praying the will of God (1 John 5:14)
God will not go against His will which is found in His word.
We also need to have key ingredients activated in our lives in order to have our prayers answered. Hebrews 10:35-36 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
We need to wait expectantly on the answer. We need to be obedient. We need to have patience.
So many times we want the answer right away. We are “fast food Christians”. We want it now but God wants us to continue to seek Him so that if we are asking anything that is not according to His will He will reveal this to us over time and change our prayer request.
Have you ever prayed for something and God said “No” only to discover later that you are happy He did not give you what you wanted? Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. The Lord will give to you what is good.
So how do you find God’s will?
The simple answer is you need to read the bible. The second thing you need to do is pray to God for direction in finding His will for your specific situation. God has given us instructions for every need or desire we have in His word. God does not keep secrets from His children. All you have to do is ask Him.
Matthew 7:7-10 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. For what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Sometimes His answer is “No”. Sometimes the answer is “Yes” and at other times it is “Yes, but wait”.
There are also times when we genuinely believe that God has said “Yes” only to discover that we were wrong. How does this happen? Our motive. We can be motivated to discern the answer incorrectly by:
When we have a big decision to make God usually sends the answer in portions over a period of time. When we find ourselves rushed to make a decision we should proceed with caution. When we are sure that we have the “Yes” answer from God we need to ask ourselves these questions “Am I doing this because I am afraid of something?” or, “Am I doing this because of my Pride?” or, “Did I “help God out” to make sure that His answer was Yes?” Only God can reveal this. Therefore you need to seek Him with an open heart and ask Him to search your heart. Go through Psalm 26 and ask God to reveal the motives of your heart.
Here is an actual example of these factors at work. I once prayed for a friend who was sure that God was telling her to sell her house. She said in accordance with His word to be a good steward of His money she needed to downsize to a smaller and less expensive house to save money. Sounds good right? Well, as we prayed through this from week to week she would get a “yes” answer one week and then “no” the next week. She was sure that God would expect her to sell the house so she went ahead and put it on the market.
By this time very many people in our circle of friends had heard that God had directed her to sell her house. Everyone started to give her advice. Another good lesson here is to not tell everyone when you are waiting on the Lord for direction. People usually tell you what they would do instead of advising you on how to hear from God yourself. As the months rolled by she became more confused. She would get offers on her house and they would fall through. She would find houses that she liked and they wouldn’t work out either. Satan was having a field day with keeping her confused.
God is not a God of confusion.
Everything came to a head as she was sitting in her driveway with a truck packed with the contents of her house and having what I call Pseudo Peace. She found a new house, had a buyer for her home everything appeared to be going well on the outside but she knew in her heart that something was not right.
The next thing she did was the best thing she did.
This courageous woman unpacked the contents back into her house and decided that she was not moving. This is when she finally had the peace of God. True peace did not come until she purposed in her heart that she was not moving.
As an intercessor I was very curious to know how we end up in these situations where we are so sure that we heard from God but in fact we didn’t. I asked her to go back to the very beginning of when she thought God told her she should move. She remembers that she had lost her job and she needed to downsize because she was afraid she would no longer be able to afford her house.
And there it was, fear. God did not tell her to move, fear told her to move.
I also want to point out that she moved back into the house and did not allow her pride to stop her from telling her Christian friends
that she had made a mistake. She had to face many people, including her realtor who invested months showing her houses, to tell them that she was wrong.
A few weeks later a hurricane came through our area and trees fell into the driveway of the very house that she was going to move into. The house had no garage so both cars would have been damaged. God is so good! He protects us when we obey Him. You’ll be happy to know that she got another job and is still living in her house today. She still can’t afford the house but has not made one payment late nearly two and a half years later. God provides!
She could have allowed her pride to take over and move into the house anyway. Afterall, all signs on the outside appeared to be from God.
No one would know, except God.
We always have to lay ourselves bare before the Lord and ask Him to reveal the motives of our heart…and He will.
So here are some questions that we need to ask ourselves before we act on the answer:
- Does this line up with the word of God?
- Will this honor God?
- Does this fit the path that God has shown me for my life?
- Will this decision hurt others?
- Is this decision being motivate by Pride or Fear?
Romans 8:28-29 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Here is a prayer for you “Abba Father help us to submit our will and our desires to Yours. Cleanse our mind, thoughts, speech and hands with Your blood Jesus from all of our unrighteousness. Lord we want nothing standing in the way of hearing from You. We want to know Your perfect will for our lives. Let us not be overcome with fear, pride or a manipulative spirit but lead us into Your truth by Your word. Lord open our eyes, our ears and our hearts to understanding Your will for us. We love you Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen”
Here are some other articles that you may find useful on this topic:
Praying the Scriptures