Praying in God’s Will

1114 030-LR

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him.

1 John 5:13-15

These three simple verses are encouraging ones, for they assure us of two wonderful things.  First, we have eternal life.  Second, anything we ask for in prayer will be done, if we ask in God’s will. This is our focus here: God’s will.

The whole idea of tacking “in Jesus’ name, Amen” has always struck me as trying to work the system just a little bit.  Of course, we do that because Jesus is recorded three times in John’s gospel telling His disciples that anything they ask for in His name will be given them.  Never mind that all three times were firmly within the context of doing God’s will, all we need to do is tack on the magic words… Only it doesn’t work like that!

Yeah, I hate to be the one who has to tell you that God thought of that one already.

Our prayers that are outside of God’s will aren’t guaranteed to be answered, because God is all about His purposes, and we are His servants, not the other way around.  So, the question really is, what is within God’s will? It isn’t always in God’s will that nice things happen, that the sick are always healed and that the bad guy looses the game.  In fact, it can be quite difficult to discern His will in some situations, especially when we are emotionally invested.  There are some things that are always within the scope of God’s eternal purpose, can you guess what they are?

Yep, that’s right, you got it!  Things that pertain to saving the lost and making disciples are always within His will.  Not things that just make it easier for us, or that make us look like heroes, but things that get those “Kingdom things” done. In this area, prayer is so powerful it can be scary… in a good way.

We must pray big prayers, with boldness, and with the sure expectancy that God will do great things with them, but we need to ensure that our prayers are to advance God’s priorities, according to God’s ways of doing things.

OK, here we go… big bold “God’s will” prayers, and no more little “me” ones. Just watch and see what amazing things He can do!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in Christian Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Praying in God’s Will

  1. daylerogers says:

    Beautifully said. Our prayers should reflect our relationship with Him–the better we know Him and grow in Him, the more consistently we can pray according to His will. It’s that “die to self” thing that always gets in the way. Thanks for this, Don.

  2. Great post. While reading it, I was reminded of another passage written by John: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples” (John 15:7-8). May our first desire and prayer always be that we can bear much fruit and glorify our Father.

  3. mrskenishafluker says:

    Great post!

  4. Citizen Tom says:

    The requirement to pray in God’s will does take a bit of the “magic” out of praying. We can’t all win that big jackpot lottery. Nevertheless, the requirement to pray in God’s will does mean the universe will be a bit more orderly.

  5. myrajohnson says:

    The prayers for my young adult children are deep longings for me. Surely, it is God’s will that their hearts would be completely turned to Him, that there would be revival in their lives and their faith in Him would be strong. God knows the desire of my heart is to see my children walk closely with their Lord. There is a popular song out now that says, “There is power in the Name of Jesus, there is power, power in His Name.” Sometimes, I just pray that by singing it. God knows completely what my children need, far above what I comprehend. Thank you for posting this.

  6. photojaq says:

    Reblogged this on Morning Meditations and commented:
    Good wisdom on how God answers prayer. Is there a “magic formula”?

    • John 15:7
      If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
      -When we abide in Christ and allow His Spirit to guide and direct us our prayers will be aligned with His Will. We must pray believing and have faith! Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
      God answers prayers – it may not be the way we like or understand, but always know, he works on our behalf .

  7. Thank you.

    Sometimes it’s easy to “force” God’s will into our little mode of life and way of doing things. But, we need to think outside the box of our own little minds and consider that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our own. He has good plans–plans for a hope and a future, for good and not for evil. But we gotta seek Him with all of our hearts and not with all of our pre-made decisions.

    Thanks again.


  8. Very well said and something I try to teach my son. God’s will – not yours!

  9. So true. As the Scriptures state, we “ask amiss” many times. Praying in God’s will also disciplines our prayer life so it will be in line with God’s will. Thanks for sharing.


  10. dtoft says:

    Thank you Don for stopping by my blog and for the “like”. Be Blessed.

  11. jgmtheo says:

    I have never understood why some Christian always expect this life to be filled with what are but momentary blessings. The seem to always assume that it is their right…. while never realizing that God can and does bless now and eternally by things we are called to endure by His Grace and Goodness. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” completely removes our small conceptions of what the Will of God should be for us.

    Thank you for this post and your encouraging ministry.
    Thank for your continued passing by my occasional blog and being a Barnabas “a son of encouragement”

  12. Thought-provoking post. Imagine a friendship with someone who is always making requests and never being quiet so you can speak to them. Our prayer relationship with God can be so much richer when we listen for His still small voice.

    We need to express gratitude, praise God for His goodness and affirm our belief that God’s ways are better than we can Imagine. Listening opens our hearts to hear and accept His will.

  13. Great Read. Praying the will of God is important. How do we know His will? through His promises. Pray His word back to Him. We lean not on our own understanding but His. God hears what we want, but gives us more of what we need and more oft than not exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think!

  14. Thanks for the Like, Don! ~blessings

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