Know God’s Will Before You Pray
14 “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15 NKJV
Many people interpret this verse as saying that if we pray and don’t receive what we prayed for, then we were obviously out of God’s will. And because we were out of God’s will therefore He did not hear us. Have you ever thought that yourself? It is important to realize that this is not what John is saying in these verses, not at all. We determine His will before we pray, not after we pray, and we do that by knowing Him through His Word.
The Bible that we have before us every day of our lives is the revelation of who He is. Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Word. As we read the Word we get to know Him and His nature and personality. We get to know His promises and we get to know His will. We don’t have to guess at His will or determine His will only when we pray and don’t receive. Think of what a frustrating means that is of getting to know the creator of the universe and the one who loves us most. How impersonal would our relationship be with Him if the only way we could get to know Him and His will for our lives were simply through trial and error?
We know Him through the reading of the Word, and in this knowing Him we see His will revealed to us. Only when we know His will can we pray in faith. To pray, then wait and see if He answers the prayer as means of determining His will is not praying in faith. If we are not praying in faith then what can we hope to gain by our prayers? Only when we know Him can we pray in faith.
Remember in Mark 11:24 Jesus told us to believe when we pray that we have received. (My paraphrase) Once I know what His will is in this life, then when I pray I can pray with authority and confidence. I can pray and know that it is already in the heavenly realm because I know that it is His will. You can only pray like this when you are praying with the advanced knowledge of His will. Prayer is not trying to find out what His will is, it is lining yourself up with His Word and thus His will, in faith believing!
J Todd Hostetler