|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Mighty Prevailing Prayer”
Our Bible verse for today: “This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Learn to want what God wants”
In James 4:3 the Apostle tells us the primary reason our prayers do not get answered is that we ask with wrong motives, “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” In 1 John 5:14-15 (above) we’re taught how to pray correctly – we’re to pray according to God’s will rather than our own.
This is an important passage of Scripture and it’s crucial for our understanding regarding mighty prayer that ultimately prevails. We are to pray according to God’s will. If the thing we’re asking for in prayer is in accordance with God’s will, then He will grant that request because it’s what He wants to have happen anyway.
So, the key to answered prayer is to shape our prayers to conform to God’s will. Simple, right? No. Not so simple. For one thing, often we don’t know God’s will for a given situation. That’s why we’re praying about it to begin with. Also, as was noted in a previous devotional in this series, our feelings and desires are devious little suckers. It’s pretty easy to convince ourselves that what we want must be what God wants, otherwise, we wouldn’t want it. We convince ourselves that our thoughts must be God’s thoughts, otherwise we wouldn’t be thinking them.
This is where persistent prayer becomes so valuable. God uses our time in prayer to draw us closer to His own heart. He uses our prayer-time to transform not only our thinking, but our heart and therefore our desires. As Richard Foster notes in the chapter about prayer in his great book “Celebration of Discipline”, “To ask rightly involves transformed passions. In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him; to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills. Progressively, we are taught to see things from his point of view.”
The key to answered prayer is to ask rightly – to want what God wants. My problem is that I want what I want, not necessarily what God wants. So, in prayer I ask God to change my want-er. I want my want-er to be changed so that what I want is in line with what He wants. And the longer He holds me in prayer – the longer I stay right there with Him, drawn close to the heart of God, the more my want-er will change and the more I will want the things that He wants. I will be seeking His will instead of my own.
Prayer helps us to think the thoughts of God, it helps us to see things from His perspective. And the more we pray, the more we see it His way and the more we will want the things that He wants.
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