So the other day we were talking, and I wanted a question to answer here in my blog, like in "Answer for Anonymous." That was a lot of fun, because I love to research topics. Let me make one thing clear though, he is very learned when it comes to the Bible and spiritual topics. So his question is difficult, and goes something like this:
If we ask for something in God's will, the Bible tells us He'll do it. But how do we know what His will really is? And since God knows everything that we will ever do, feel, or say, why then do we even need to ask God stuff?
Huh. Why indeed? I started talking to God about it and searching my Bible. One thing struck me right away, though; I think that the quality of any relationship comes down to the quality of its communication.
If we don't ask, how do we know when He answers, sometimes in great and awesome ways? When we ask for specific things and He answers us directly, it confirms our faith and our relationship.
Then I began to look at what the expert had to say, God in his bodily form, Jesus.
This is what he told the apostles about prayer:
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:
He starts with praise: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name,
He expresses His desire for God's will: your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
He asks for food to sustain him for just this day: Give us today our daily bread.
He asks for forgiveness: Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
He asks for deliverance from evil: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
(Above italics are my words)
I came up with a summary:
P- praise and worship
Y- yield to his plans
E- empower us to overcome evil
R- rations for this day
A lot of people claim the verse John 14:13- And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Asking for something in Jesus' name means asking for the same thing Jesus would have asked for....not just adding on "in Jesus' name" at the end of a prayer. I came across this verse-
Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
If you are delighted in the Lord, what is it that you will want? You will want to be filled with his Spirit. You will want to follow His will. You will want to lead people to salvation. You will love your neighbor. You will be filled with compassion. You will forgive. In other words, you will want what Jesus wanted. That is asking in his name, in his spirit.
Perhaps that is the ultimate expression of our surrender to God; that we no longer want our will, but His, recognizing that He knows all; the past, future, and present and submitting our will to his. It's all about becoming like Jesus, wanting what He wanted and doing what he did. Not in our own strength of course, but through the Holy Spirit who is within us. When our spirit is in tune with what God wants, we will ask for the things that are His will.
We have God's will for us in concrete form: his word.
He promises us:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.- James 1:5
He will give us strength:
The Lord gives strength to his people.- Psalm 29:11
God has a distinct plan for your life:
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."- Jeremiah 29:11
I pray that God will bless you with his infinite love.