Day 339: The Problem with Our Prayers

The Daily Word: Sunday, December 5th, 2021
Hosea 1:1-3:5
1 John 5:1-21
Psalm 124:1-8
Proverbs 29:5-8
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Commentary from Pastor Michael White:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. – 1 Jn. 5:14-15

Have you ever prayed and felt like God didn’t answer? Here is the formula Scripture gives us for answered prayer: we can have “confidence…in [Jesus]” (v 14) that if we ask “according to His will, He hears us.” And if He hears us, “whatever we ask” (v 15), our prayer is as good as answered.

The problem, then, is not that our prayers are not well constructed or passionately conveyed. The real problem is that we are not asking “according to His will” (v 14). Do you pray before you go to pray? Stay with me here. If you know someone is sick, for example, and you go to pray for them, do you just launch into prayer and pray whatever comes to you? That is praying in the flesh. Or, do you ask the Holy Spirit what to pray first? Do you wait on the Lord for Him to tell you what to pray, and then and only then pray it out by faith? In the healing prayer example, you know God’s will is to heal from His word (Ex. 15:26, Mk. 1:41). But you might ask the Holy Spirit if the source of the sickness is demonic or physical? Does the Lord want you to pray for a miracle or will the healing be gradual? Is there something that needs to change in the life of the person receiving prayer before permanent healing can truly happen? This is praying in partnership with the Holy Spirit.

Before you pray, stop and ask God His will. Search His word for His will. Do not pray until you know His will regarding the matter (and if you don’t know, pray first that He would illuminate His will to you)! But once you have His will, ask. God will hear you, and you will have the petitions that you have asked of Him.

Prayer:

Father, help me to pray before I pray! I don’t want to launch into prayer without asking You what to pray first. Help me to pray intentionally! Deliberately! Always and only according to Your word and Your will, in Jesus’ name.

© Michael D. White, 2021. All rights reserved.