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In this foundational prayer Jesus told us to pray for God's will to be done. Our sin and the subsequent fall has spun our world and our hearts out of the will of God. Only God can restore us to the way things ought to be. This is one of the most powerful aspects of prayer. But there is much more to praying for God's will than simply mouthing these words in a rote prayer. Let me suggest two critical factors of consistently praying in obedience to this directive from Jesus, Discernment of His will and Desire for His will.

To pray for God's will, I must learn learn to discern God's will in various situations. That begins in exposing myself to God's word. God powerfully and personally reveals Himself to us in the Bible. As we apply ourselves to learning Scripture, the Holy Spirit speaks to us.

A more important facet of discerning God's will is the transformation of your mind, indeed your entire character. Romans 12:2 says, "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God." God makes us more and more like Him. The verse just before calls us to present our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice. Transformation is a process that takes a lifetime. But every day of His work, often painful to our pride and self-centeredess, produces character, confidence and spiritual maturity. God shapes us in His image, in the likeness of Jesus, so we can know and understand His will. Through this process we come to desire His will. We learn in practice what we usually know superficially, that the best thing that can ever happen is what God desires whether it is what we want or not. Our joy increases exponentially as we come to delight in his will.

I need to note one other blessing that comes as we learn pray for God's will. He gives powerful assurance. 1 John 5:14-15 reads, "This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him."

 

http://daveswatch.com/

http://watchinginprayer.blogspot.com/

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Comment by Andrew R. Wheeler on October 18, 2015 at 12:22pm

Dave,

Well stated!  I definitely agree that the renewing of our minds and our ongoing transformation is key to understanding God and therefore knowing his will.  Additionally, I think that as we immerse ourselves in Scripture, we need to do that with the end goal of transformation (not just information) in mind.  I would also add that I think it's impossible to know God's will without knowing God himself.  We often focus more attention than we probably should on his will when we should be all about knowing him - his will becomes more evident to us as we know him better.

I also agree that praying God's will is much more than using those words.  In fact, it's more than any words we use.  To me, praying God's will is more a matter of the position of our hearts than it is of our specific requests.  Consider Paul's prayer for the removal of the thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12).  Technically, Paul's prayer for the thorn to be removed was not God's will - but I'd still argue that he was praying IN God's will because his heart was able to receive God's answer, even though it wasn't the answer he was looking for.  To me, knowing exactly what to pray is less important than having our hearts in a position to receive joyfully from God the answers he chooses to give.

Comment by Vicki Normoyle on October 14, 2015 at 8:39pm
Amen, thanks for sharing

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