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Prayer and the Will of God

by Adrian Rogers
"For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things." (Romans 11:36)
Remember, nothing lies outside the reach of prayer but that which lies outside t
he will of God. Therefore, as much as it is possible for us, we want to know the
will of God when we pray!
The apostle John makes an amazing statement: "And this is the confidence that we
have in Him, that if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And
if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petiti
ons that we desired of Him." (1 John 5:14-15)
John is saying, if we ask in His will, He will grant our petition. The question
then is - if successful praying means praying in the will of God, surrendered to
His will.
How Can I Know the Will of God in Prayer?
When you are surrendered to the will of God, focused on the Word of God, then th
e Holy Spirit begins to pray in you and through you. He energizes, motivates, an
d guides your prayer. One of the greatest lessons I've learned about prayer is t
his: the prayer that gets to Heaven is the prayer that starts in Heaven. Prayer
is the Holy Spirit finding a desire in the heart of the Father, putting that des
ire in our heart, then sending it back to Heaven in the power of the cross. The
prayer that gets to Heaven is the prayer that starts in Heaven. Our part is just
to close the circuit.
Do you fear what God's will for you might be? I'll let you in on a secret: The w
ill of God for you is what you would want if you knew everything from God's view
point!
As human beings we can never know everything from God's viewpoint. But we can dr
aw closer. We can begin to see things more from His viewpoint. We do that by abi
ding in the Lord Jesus Christ. The key is abiding in Him.
What does that mean, to "abide in Him"? In a practical sense, in my day-to-day l
ife, what does that look like?
If you are a child of God, if you have surrendered your life to Christ, your bod
y is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He comes to live in you, to abide in you. Wh
ere on earth does God live? Within us. That's union. Yet He seeks not just union
but communion with us. Communion means to fellowship with Him, the God who abid
es in you.
Jesus compared "abiding in Him" to a branch abiding in a vine. The branch receiv
es its nourishment, its sustenance, its very life from the vine. That's how you
should be with the Lord Jesus Christ - He becomes a bright, living reality, His
Word abiding in you.
God gives you His Word so that you might know His will. "Faith cometh by hearing
, and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) That's the reason Jesus said,
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and
it will be done unto you." (John 15:7).
When you get the Word of God in you, the Holy Spirit begins to pray in and throu
gh you. You will find you are praying the will of God.
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we s
hould pray for as we ought [Isn't that true? We don't know] but the Spirit Himse
lf maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he tha
t searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh
intercession for the saints according to the will of God." (Romans 8:26-27)
How wonderful! God will guide and direct your prayers, and you will find yoursel
f praying in the will of God. What you "will" blends with what He wills.
Don't wait until you have all the answers before you pray. You don't have to und
erstand electricity to turn on the lights, remember? The greatest privilege we h
ave is prayer. The greatest failure that most of us have is prayer. The Bible sa
ys, "Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, let
your request be made known unto God." (Philippians 4:6)
I want to confess that my prayer life hasn't been all it ought to be. I'm not th
e paragon of excellence. But as a fellow believer and pilgrim, I'm asking with y
ou, "Lord, teach me to pray. Father God, I pray that You would teach us how to p
ray moment by moment, to pray without ceasing, constantly abiding."