“This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
“Thy will be done” fits into this category. It will invite His will to work itself out in us. To pray these words is to invite the work of God into our hearts, our lives, our hobbies, our spending of all things.
The question is always: What is the true will of God? We ask this with volumes of words written out over time just to answer this very question. If only we would take every question into the living Word of God.
We want to know His voice like the sheep knows the Shepherd, that we might follow closely. He tells us not to be like the horse or the mule in the Psalms, which have to be forced by bit or bridle or they will not come to you. It is in the coming, the consistent connecting that we learn the sound of His voice tugging to turn left or right.
Jesus said that we must actually do the will of the Father if we are to test His words. (John 7:17) There must be a moment in which we choose to step out, even in uncertainty, to test the will of God.
“Taste and see,” He says to us. He invites us to find out how good He really is. The will of God can handle the testing.
Paul learned that his mind needed to be renewed, so that he could test and approve the will of God. It is through His Word, that we are changed. From glory to glory – desiring more truth, and therefore, stepping out to live in it. (Rom. 12:1-2)
It is as if God is saying, “See if obedience will not truly lead to restoration and healing. See – act upon – and try – and see if my Word is not really true. Apply it to your life and see what fruits come forth.”
God of mercy and grace, may you fill me with the knowledge of your will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding in order that I might live a life worthy of you, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might – so that I might run my race with endurance, patience and joy, always giving thanks to you. (Prayer from Colossians 1:9-12)
To the church in Ephesians, Paul exhorts believers to understand what the Lord’s will is. He then goes on to discuss how we are to live. The very first exhortation is to be filled with the Spirit. This strengthening – this filling – provides that mighty strength of God to live out His will. It is through close relationship with Him that we can do all the other things: submit to one another, honor our parents, minister the faith, understand spiritual warfare, etc.
We come to His Word and asked to be filled with His Spirit. We find understanding, and then we can test and approve it. We can be assured that in the testing, the living of His Word – there will be approval in our spirits. He is faithful to keep His promises.
In the closing to that letter to the church of Ephesus, Paul exhorts them to: “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, keep alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
We can know it is always His will to pray. On all occasions. For any little thing. For all needs. Just in the praying, you are fulfilling His will. He wants to hear from us.
Teach me your will, O God. Fill me with your Spirit unto obedience, that when I pray, “thy will be done” – it starts with me.
This is a 31-day series on prayer. You may begin here.