TODAY’S MEDITATION – ‘How, then, should I pray according to the will of God?’ (John 15:7)

This is the question many believers ask when they face unanswered prayers. The first answer to this question seems obvious, yet many people ignore it: your prayer should be centered in the Word of God, because that is where the will of God is found. You see, before giving our life to Christ we were entirely ruled by our lust and selfish desires. Now, as Christians we are ruled by God’s Word and Spirit. So if you want to pray according to God’s will, you must read the Word regularly. That is the reason why Jesus said: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you” (John 15:7). My friend, if you still claim that God is not answering your prayers or that you are confused, allow me to tell you that you are not asking yourself the right question when you say “why is my prayer not answered by God?”, but instead ask yourself this: “why is my prayer not heard by God?” As we know, God is willing to hear us and answer us, but for that we must pray according to His will, in Spirit and in truth. So how do we do that? 1. STOP JUSTIFYING YOURSELF OF FINDING YOURSELF EXCUSES. God makes no favouritism, so if He hears and answers others, then check yourself instead of putting the blame on Him or on the others! 2. ENSURE YOUR ARE IN THE RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD. How? Not only must you love God and keep His word, but you must also love your brethren, the people of God… and even those who might have hurt you (Matthew 5:23-24), because the Bible says: “when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:24-25). My friend, you cannot receive anything in prayer when you are not in the right relationship with God or His people. 3. PRAY WITHOUT DOUBTING. God is faithful to His promises. So, you must believe and not doubt that He will listen to your prayers as you pray in accordance with His will. The Bible says: “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:6-8). The following Scripture says it all: you must come to God in faith: “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Matthew 21:22). The same, you must pray with expectation. If you don’t expect God to do anything after you have prayed to him, you are not exercising faith in Him. You need to get away from ritualistic prayers that you yourself don’t believe in. 4. CHECK THE MOTIVES OF YOUR PRAYER. The Bible says: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3). Now, always remember this when you don’t receive answers to your prayer, as God may be telling you this something like: “you are self-glorifying or after temporal things… There is no interest for my Kingdom or for My glory and purpose in what you are asking Me. Your mind is far away from the interests of my Kingdom…” My friend, why do you want to marry? Is it because everyone else is married around you or because of your age? Wrong motives! God created marriage for a husband and wife to look after His interests: Eve was created to help Adam with the creation too, not only to be his companion (read Genesis!). Besides, and this is exactly where most people fail to pray according to God’s will: “Bless me and my family… and no one else”; “Give me a wife/husband”; “Give me money”; “Give me a child”; “Restore my health”; “Give me a job”; “Give me a promotion”; “Take me safely from here to there…” Yet, from Genesis to revelation God is asking us not to worry (pray) about temporal earthly things like these, “for the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them” (Matthew 6:32). So whenever you pray for such things, you are not praying according to His will. You are rather assimilating yourself to the pagans, to unbelievers… and as we saw the other day, God does not hear the prayers of unbelievers! Besides, HE KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED! Apostle Paul prayed for healing many times, God did not heal him and told Him “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). But, despite whatever he did not receive from God, nothing stopped Apostle Paul from carrying on until the end of His mission! Therefore, we need to learn to pray for the things God is interested in. And we can easily find them as we observe the kind of prayers did Jesus and of the apostles used to do: their prayers had nothing to do with temporal things but they were mostly on spiritual matters. Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33), which means our prayers should be focused on God’s plan and purpose, not limited plans and purposes. Now, you may ask: what is the purpose of God that we should pray for? Then read read In Ephesians 1 and you will understand that God has chosen us from before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless in His sight. Then read the prayers of Apostle Paul to get a glimpse of what you should pray about daily in Ephesians 1:15-19 and Ephesians 3:14-21 for example. You see, none of these two prayers, that are according to God’s will, is about money, health, or cars, houses, marriage or children… And this should teach us to always place our requests before the Lord in a spiritual way. If you don’t know how to do this, why don’t you start with simple prayers such as “Lord, teach me to pray”; if you are sick, why don’t you pray like this, knowing that the Bible says “He sent forth His Word and healed them” (Psalm 107:20): “Lord, I don’t love your Word; give me the love for your Word.” “Lord, I lack wisdom; give me your wisdom,” or “Lord, I am afraid; give me courage.” 5. PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS. Jesus said, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father” (In John 14:13). And the following Scripture will clarify the whole topic here as we hear Jesus speaking to us today: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 15:16). Now after reading this verse, think a minute: how can the car you are asking God to give you bear fruit that will last when you have two legs and feet to walk to take public transportation God has made available for you to go work or to church for example? You see, sometimes we ask for unspiritual things that God sees as unnecessary… and He does not answer them, since He knows He has already given us what is necessary for us this season! Worse, we ask them in the name of Jesus, thinking it is enough for God to answer us. Well, how will that car be fruitful for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first while God knows the secret motives that go along with your desire for the car anyway… The same, how will that spouse you want God to give you be fruitful for His Kingdom and His righteousness? You want health, God is reading your heart: “When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, and THE FEVER LEFT HER; AND SHE GOT UP AND WAITED ON HIM” (Matthew 8:15-16… Where is God’s interest in what you are asking Him to give you? Your interest has to be aligned with His Word, and His Word is where His will is found! My friend, God’s will for you is to be sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Thus, if you want to pray according to the will of God, you should always approach Him by first acknowledging that your heart is dirty, full of lust, greed, and envy, etc. Then He will first sanctify you so you can draw near Him, where He can hear your voice when you call on Him first spiritual requests. My friends, when you pray such prayers, you are praying according to God’s will, and you know that God will grant what you have asked of Him and far above your expectations. Just look at what He did with Solomon who asked ONLY for wisdom TO SERVE GOD: “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Chronicles 1:10)… My friend, are you asking God for wisdom for your business? To raise your children? You see, God had a direct interest in Solomon’s request: He needed someone wise to lead His people, for His Kingdom… Now, read God’s answer to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 1:11-12. You see the difference? Solomon’s heart desire was to have wisdom to serve God’s people and God made him the richest man on earth too! What is your heart’s desire? May God be glorified for His Word. Stay blessed in Jesus’ name. [facebook] [retweet]