1 John 5:14-15 ESV
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
How do we know if we are praying according to the will of God? Well, we learn the will of God via reading the Scriptures, and not just the Scriptures on the subject of prayer, but all the teachings that are for us to learn from and to follow as followers of Jesus Christ. But even there, we don’t always know the will of God in every situation, so we can pray, “Nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done,” and that is praying according to God’s will.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8 ESV).
Now, this is a specific prayer asking for wisdom, and here it tells us that it is God’s will to give us who believe in Jesus wisdom from above. But there is a stipulation (a condition) that we must abide by if we want God to supply us with this wisdom. We must ask in faith without doubting. So, if we need wisdom in a specific area then we must be willing to receive and to follow the counsel that God gives us and not spurn the wisdom if we don’t like it.
Sometimes people pray for wisdom when they already have their minds made up about what they are going to do, or when they don’t really want God’s counsel but so they can then say that they did inquire of God. Or they ask to see what he will say but then they decide if they want to follow it or not. And this is being double-minded, and the double-minded person should not suppose he will receive anything from the Lord.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:1-4 ESV).
Now some people do not have, because they don’t bother to ask God, and if they do ask, they ask with the wrong motives in order to spend what they are asking for on their fleshly passions. And so they end up fighting and quarreling and even murdering in order to try to get what they want, which is not of God, and which is not according to his will, and so they will not receive anything from God, for they have made themselves his enemies.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples” (John 15:7-8 ESV).
Again, there are stipulations (conditions) given to us for God to hear and to answer our prayers. We must abide (live, remain, stay, continue) in him, and his words must remain and continue in us. And this isn’t just about professing faith in Jesus and attending weekly church services and tithing and doing good deeds and having daily devotions (short). This is about us walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh.
This is about us dying daily to sin and to self and following our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands and continuing in those walks of faith until the very end. This is about us living what we say we believe day by day. And it is about putting the word of the Lord into practice in our daily lives so that we are doers of the word and not hearers only. And so what we wish (desire) will now be what God desires, and so it will be done.
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7 ESV).
I think this could apply to either spouse, that we should treat one another with decency and respect so that our prayers are not hindered. So, with every one of these passages of Scripture on prayer we have a stipulation (a condition) from God which must be met for God to hear and to answer our prayers.
• We must ask according to His will
• We must ask with faith, without doubting
• We must ask, and then with the right motives
• We must abide in Christ and his words abide in us
• We must treat our spouses with decency and respect
[1 Jn 5:14-15; Jas 1:5-8; Jas 4:1-10; Jn 15:1-11; 1 Pet 3:7]
Jesus, Rescue Me
An Original Work / September 18, 2011
Based off of Romans 7:7-8:39
Jesus, rescue me today.
Listen while I bow and pray.
I need Your help to obey You;
Live for You always.
Meet me in my hour of need, Lord,
As I pray to You.
Help me walk in fellowship, Lord,
Living in Your truth.
Jesus, how I long for You to
Change my heart anew.
Father, God, my heart’s desire
Is to live for You this hour
In Your Holy Spirit’s power
Living in me now.
Teach me to walk in Your love, Lord,
Guiding me each day.
Help me to show love and kindness
To the lost, I pray.
Father, teach me to love others
As You love always.
Holy Spirit come in pow’r.
Revive our hearts in this hour.
Change our hearts to be like You, Lord;
Live for You each day.
Help us to forsake our sins, Lord,
As we humbly pray.
Teach us how to live for You, Lord,
Obey You always.
Holy Spirit come in power,
Revive us today.