So something just occurred to me as I was exciting the gym today. God just blindsided me with a very relevant revelation–something he’s been doing on an uncanny basis with me lately. But the idea is so simple I’m almost disgusted it’s taken me 25 years to come across. I guess revelations are God’s prerogative and I just need to be ready and obedient in putting them to use when they come.
On to the revelation: Pray within God’s will.
As my heading suggests: Duh. Everyone knows that. But here’s the situation in my life. I’ve been praying a lot of prayers without checking them with God’s will. Sure, I pray “Your will be done…” and “…I just want your will to unfold in this situation.” But I wasn’t actually seeking out what God really wills for us.
Recently, however, I’ve been praying things I know are His will because scripture tells us they are. For instance, it’s God’s will that our life abound with the Fruit of the Spirit. Interested in a prayer that will certainly be answered the way you ask it to be? Pray that joy would be more abundant in your life. Pray you would be more patient. Pray that words of goodness would flow from you mouth and mercy would be evident in your attitude.
Is it God’s will that you prosper at work and in relationships with friends and family? Certainly. Psalm 1 says that a righteous person is “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Just don’t get wrong expectations regarding prospering.
Maybe I’ve just been blinded for a lot of years and this is all obvious to most. Or maybe I’m just not processing my thoughts completely yet and can’t quite express the paradigm shift my prayer life is going through. But I just know that over the past few months, the Lord’s be leading me through some changes in the nature of my prayers. They’re getting less selfish and I’m starting to see a lot more “expected” results. God’s granting me my requests–mostly, I feel, because I’m praying in line with his will.
Have an important decision to make–like a major purchase? The Bible might not have a direct answer that expresses God’s will. But it does tell us to seek wisdom, use discernment and practice self-control. Maybe praying for increases of those will aid the decision-making process more than asking for a direct “answer.”