How do we know what the perfect will of God is for our lives? I have heard many well intentioned people say things about finding and praying for the will of God in my life, but what does it mean exactly and how do we do it?
I would like to take a few moments and share a couple of the truths that I believe God has taught me over the years, concerning praying for his will to be done in my life.
If you have been a Christian for a while, you might have had people say, we want to live our lives according to the will of God.
My question has always been what is the will of God for my life? If I am supposed to live my life according to it, then how do I discover what it is?
This is where prayer has become an essential part of the journey to discovering what God’s true will is for my life, and not only that, but praying specifically for it to happen.
I believe that the lord had revealed to me this one fundamental truth;
IF I want to know what the will of God is, then all I need to do is to look in the bible, as they are the very words of God, to the world.
That sounds easy enough, but there are long genealogies, stories of war, famine, drought and the like. There are also stories of beatings, depravations and shipwrecks. How on earth can I a mere lay person discover God’s specific will for my life in the midst of all of that.
This is where I believe that the lord stepped up my training. As I would read the bible I discovered that some passages would specifically give a command that said, do this or that as it is in accordance with the will of God. That seemed easy enough.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
In the passage above, Jesus taught his disciples how they should pray to God the Father, according to his will, we learn that we are to reverence God (hallowed be your name), we can ask for his kingdom to come and for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We can ask him to give us our daily bread ( what we need to live on, eat, clothing, shelter etc) We can also confidently ask him to forgive us the sins that we have committed that has hindered our relationship with him, as well as for us to forgive those who through their sinful behavior have hurt/offended us. Then we can pray that we not succumb to the temptations that the devil would throw at us during our day, but instead be able to resist them in the power of the Holy Spirit. We can also ask God to deliver us from the evil one, that we will not be trapped by his schemes and devices and led into sin.
Through these verses we also discover the importance that God puts on us forgiving other people, as he says that if we forgive men, he will forgive us to. It sometimes feels better (for a moment) to hold a grudge or feel justified in your anger against someone, but the truth is, that Forgiveness is God’s will for us, and it will set us free.
As you can see, we have discovered in this short prayer many things about God and his will for our lives, and so it is with confidence that we can pray these things daily.
My question was though, are there more passages of scripture that would help me to discover a greater depth to God’s will for my life?
The answer came through the revelation of the Holy Spirit as a big fat Yes! I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to me how to figure out more of God’s will for my life and he showed me that the more that I read scripture, the more I would discover things that were principles of good godly living. Sometimes these principles were hidden among the accounts of people who had gone before us, and what they learnt along the way. Sometimes the truth was out in plain sight.
I did discover however that without the Holy Spirit leading the charge in my education, it was just words on a page to me, instead of the living principles that I knew that they were.
Jesus promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to teach us how to live lives that are pleasing to the will of God. Therefore we can confidently pray, knowing that it is God’s will, for the Holy Spirit to teach us the things from heaven that would help us to live our lives here on earth.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
As you can see from the above verse Jesus told the disciples that he would send a counselor to us, and he is the spirit of truth, it is his job to lead us into the truth of God.
There is also another very important concept that I would like to bring your attention to as well, and that is, that Jesus said that when we have faith in him, we will be able to ask for anything in his name and he will do it; now I am sure that he was not talking about us asking for things that would be for selfish reasons, like a million dollars, a Lamborghini and so forth, No, I believe that he is wanting us to ask for things, that will aide in our Christian character and that would benefit others around as well.
John 14:12 – 17
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. “
Therefore, we can conclude that not only does God want us to ask him for things, but he wants us to have faith in him, walk in obedience to him, and ask him for anything in his name and he will do it. These are facts from the bible that we can literally put in our “bank account” of God’s will for our lives.
In the book of Proverbs there are many revelations of God’s will, for instance, in the beginning of the book it tells us to ask and seek for wisdom.
Therefore, when I pray, I can confidently ask for wisdom as well as be assured that what I am asking for is God’s will for my life.
I can also ask that this godly wisdom would help me to discern between good and evil, righteousness and wickedness. I can ask the Lord to help me to live a disciplined and prudent life that will lead me to doing things that are just and fair. Proverbs 1:1-3
All I have done is read the first 3 verses of the book of proverbs and discovered that God wants me to desire wisdom, he wants me to learn the difference between wickedness and righteousness and he wants me to be disciplined enough to pursue that.
Then as I read further through the book of proverbs there are many other things that I can pray for, like “lord, help me to learn not to be lazy, but be diligent as you promise in your word that if I am diligent and work hard I will be rewarded with wealth” Proverbs 10:4
“Lord, please help me to be wise in heart and accept your commands, let me not become like a foolish man, who just talks all of the time, but never takes the time to listen to instructions, help me oh lord to be a person of integrity all the days of my life so that my walk with you would be secure, because your word says that he who takes a crooked path will be found out. Lord I see so many examples of that around me in the news daily, help me oh lord I pray” Proverbs 10:8-9
As you can see that when we take the time to search out the word of God and then pray it back to God, we will soon learn not only what His will is for our lives, but we will also pray that it would become a reality and part of our lives. Therefore, I confidently know that what I have asked the lord for He will give me, as it is a part of His will for my life, or else He would not have put it in the bible!
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I want to encourage you to take a deeper look at the word of God, and see how you can turn it back into prayer, not only for your own life but also for those around you, your loved ones and your neighbors. God delights in answering us, and when we desire to have the things that he has already prepared for us, like, wisdom, diligence, righteousness then it becomes even easier for him to answer with a YES to our requests.
If you have never prayed in this way before and you find it a bit intimidating, I suggest that you start small, like in Proverbs chapter 1. Read it through, and ask the lord to show you have to pray it back to him, asking him for the wisdom, insight and fear of the lord that would strengthen you in Him.
I know that when you start to pray in this way, the excitement of discovering God’s will for your life will become overwhelming at times, be sure to write in a journal the different insights that the Lord gives you along the way as well. I know that you will be blessed.
Please remember that God’s will and wisdom is not limited to the book of Proverbs so be sure to keep reading through the entire bible, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to you along the way as you pray and seek the will of God for your life.
My prayer for you, is that you will discover the depths of wisdom, truth and God’s will for your life as you spend time daily with him in his word. I pray that you will not just read the word, but that you will learn to apply it to your life and that you will become more and more Christ like daily. In Jesus name I pray,