How to Pray to God to Be After His Will and Heard by the Lord

Prayer is a channel through which Christians can call on God and interact with God, and it is the most crucial link through which Christians may establish a normal relationship with God. Prayer that is in line with God’s will can enable us to obtain God’s enlightenment and guidance, understand God’s will, and have a path of practice. In life, however, many brothers and sisters feel that, when we pray, all we need to think about is asking God for the things we want. We have no idea whether God listens to our prayers or not, and we feel dull and uninspired when we pray. If our prayers do not earn God’s praise, then we are unable to feel His presence, our spirits sink into darkness, we lose our normal relationship with God, and we are unable to obtain His enlightenment and guidance. So how then can we pray in line with God’s will and so that God will listen? Here below we share the three principles of practice of how to pray in line with God’s will.

1. Have a Sense of Reason Before God, and Pray to God With a Seeking and Obedient Heart

Now, let’s take a look at how we pray to God. We often pray like this: “O Lord! My family has encountered some difficulties. Please bring peace back to my family.” “O Lord! I’ve become sick and I believe that You will surely make me well again.” “O Lord! My business is not going well, and I believe that You will surely protect me and bless me….” “O Lord! My son cannot find a good woman. Please aid him and bless him….” When we pray to God, we always use the words “ask,” “make,” and “surely”; this is the tone we use when we pray, asking God to bless us, to arrange this or prepare that for us. So, are our prayers in line with God’s will? What does God think of our praying in this way? God words say, “You seldom have a true prayer, and some of you even don’t know how to pray; in fact, prayer is mainly about speaking what is in your heart, just like a normal conversation. However, some people take the wrong position when they pray, and regardless of whether it conforms with God’s will or not, they demand God to bestow what they ask for upon them. As a result, the more they pray the duller it becomes. When praying, whatever your heart asks for and desires, or when you wish to take care of some matters that you don’t fully understand you ask God for wisdom, strength, or enlightenment, you must be reasonable in the way you speak. If you are unreasonable, and you kneel and say: ‘God, give me power and let me see my nature; I ask You to do it. I ask You to give me this or that, I ask You to let me be like this or like that….’ this word ‘ask’ carries an element of force, and is like exerting pressure on God to make Him do it. … What will be the outcome of this kind of prayer?” (“The Significance and Practice of Prayer”). We can see from God’s words that, from the outside, our prayers appear to be us worshiping God and beseeching Him, but in truth our constant “asking” for things is impure and it is making demands of God. By praying in this way, we are also constantly asking God for things in return, asking God to satisfy our extravagant desires, strong-arming God into doing as we desire — this is not how a created being worships God. We can see that we have no sense of reason, much less a seeking, obedient heart, and so this kind of unreasonable praying is not in line with God’s will.

God says, “You should seek and submit in your prayers; for example, if a matter came upon you that you didn’t know how to handle, then you say: ‘Oh God! I don’t know how to handle this matter. I am willing to satisfy You in this matter, I am willing to seek Your will, I desire for Your will to come to pass. You know that the intentions of man are in violation of Your will; they resist You and do not conform with truth. I only desire to do according to Your intentions. I ask You to enlighten me and guide me in this matter, so that I won’t offend You….’ This kind of tone of voice in prayer is appropriate” (“The Significance and Practice of Prayer”). God is the Creator and we human beings are merely His creations; we are unqualified to make any demands of Him or to lay conditions on Him. When we pray to God, therefore, we must possess a sense of reason and we should take our proper place as created beings. We should magnify God, not make our own choices, demands or plans. We should pray to God in a seeking, obedient manner, wait for God’s will to be revealed to us and act as God desires — only praying in this way is in line with God’s will. For example, when we get sick, we should not constantly pray to God asking Him to heal us or asking Him to take our sickness away. Instead, we should pray to God with a seeking, obedient heart, and say, “O God! I know all things are in Your hands and that my getting sick now has Your good will behind it. I know that I am a sinner and that there are lessons I should learn in this sickness that has now befallen me. It’s just that I am ignorant, and I do not understand Your will. But I wish to seek the truth within Your words, submit to this situation, await Your enlightenment and guidance, and be able to act as You will….” By praying and seeking in such a reasonable way, God will listen, and He will enlighten and guide us with regard to the difficulties, confusion and problems that beset us, thus enabling us to understand His will and have a path of practice, and our relationship with God will also draw closer.

2. Be Pure and Open With God and Pray With an Honest Heart

If we compare the Pharisee’s prayer with the publican’s prayer, which way of praying better represents how we ourselves pray? We often come before God and say, “O Lord! You were crucified to redeem us, and You suffered so much pain for us. I will do my best to love You and satisfy You…. In order to preach Your gospel, I have been arrested and imprisoned, I have done so much and suffered much pain, and I have supported and helped many brothers and sisters….” “O Lord! I wish to dedicate my all to You. I wish to spend my life expending myself for You and serving You faithfully….” and so on. This kind of praying seems to be filled with resolution, so that others can see how much we love God and how faithful we are to God. In life, however, our love of status, our love of fame and fortune and our love of vanity eclipse our love of God, and we can often tell lies and cheat others for the sake of personal profit. We are unable to put God’s words into practice and, even if we give things up and expend ourselves for God, it is just done to gain blessings and to gain a glorious crown — it is not done to sincerely pay a price for God’s sake. We just talk about our best side to God and hide our sins; this is clearly us trying to cheat God by using pleasant-sounding words and it is really us trying to make God aware of how much we love Him so that we can gain rewards and blessings from Him. And so, there is no difference at all between praying in this way and the way the Pharisee prayed. In essence, this way of praying is to speak falsely, boastfully and emptily in order to flatter and fool God, therefore how can praying in this way be in line with God’s will and be heard by God? The Lord Jesus said, “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23–24). And God’s word says, “The lowest standard that God requires of people is that they be able to open their hearts to Him. If man gives his true heart to God and says what is really within his heart to God, then God is willing to work in man; God does not want the twisted heart of man, but his pure and honest heart. If man does not truly speak his heart to God, then God does not touch man’s heart, or work within him. Thus, the most crucial thing about praying is to speak the words of your true heart to God, telling God of your flaws or rebellious disposition and completely opening yourself up to God. Only then will God be interested in your prayers; if not, then God will hide His face from you” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer”). God requires that we pray to Him with an honest heart, that we tell Him what is in our hearts and that we speak truthfully. He wants us to be able to confide in Him about our practical difficulties and problems, and He wants us to not hold back and be completely open with Him about the things we have done that are at odds with His teachings and which He loathes. He wants us to be able to truly reflect on ourselves, repent to Him and practice in accordance with His teachings. When God sees that we pray to Him and seek with an honest heart, He will listen to our prayers and will enlighten and guide us with regard to the issues we encounter so that we may come to understand His will and have a path to follow. When our work bears fruit, for example, we can’t help but engage in boastful talk before our brothers and sisters about how much work we have done, how busy we have been, and how great the results are, and so on. We do this so as to make our brothers and sisters hold us in high esteem and look to us; we do not do it to lead our brothers and sisters before God, but to lead them before ourselves, and this is something God most detests. At times like these, we have to come before God and emulate the publican to pray and repent to God, and say, “O God! In my sermons lately, all I ever talk about is how I suffer and expend myself for You and, without me being aware of it, my brothers and sisters have all begun to look up to me. O God! I am wrong to do this, and I wish to repent to You. I ask only that You guide me so that, in my future sermons and work, I may deliberately exalt You and lead my brothers and sisters before You….” When we are pure and open about our own corruption in this way and we seek God’s guidance, God will then lead us, and He will enable us to know our own shortcomings, understand His will, minister to our brothers and sisters in accordance with His requirements, and lead them before God. Just as the Bible says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God gives: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11). When we understand what God requires of us, we can then repent sincerely to Him, and focus on exalting God and bearing testimony to Him in the future. By doing this, our work and sermons become more and more in line with God’s will, and this is the effect achieved by praying to God with a true heart.

3. Pray Out of Consideration for God’s Will and to Satisfy God, and Pray to Pursue the Truth and to Gain Life

When we compare the way Solomon prayed and beseeched God with what we pray to God every day, we see that most of the time we pray to God saying, “O Lord! Please make my business go well and flourish.” “O Lord! Please let my son do well in his exams and get into a good college, and my daughter marry a good man.” “O Lord! Please may You protect my family from sickness and disaster, and bless us with peace and happiness.” “O Lord! Please heal me of my sickness.” We see that we only pray for the sake of our own fleshly interests, and we beseech God for things to eat, things to wear, and so that we may enjoy many blessings. Very rarely do we pray out of consideration for God’s wishes or to do His will, nor do we desire to satisfy God or love God, but instead we just pray to use God to fulfill our needs, constantly asking God for grace and blessings in return. We never understand God’s heart, much less can we treat as urgent that which God treats as urgent or think as God thinks. When God does bless us, we give Him our thanks and our praise, but when God does not assent to what we ask of Him, we then complain and blame God.

The Lord Jesus said, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:31–33). From these verses we can see what to pray for from God that He will accept. God does not want us to always be praying for physical things like food and clothing, for God prepared these things for us long ago and we do not need to worry about them. All we have to do is submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements; it is totally meaningless to pray to God asking for these physical things, and it is of no benefit at all to our life progression. God hopes that we will pray for the sake of pursuing the truth and gaining life, for God’s gospel to spread throughout the world, that God’s will may be carried out on earth, and for us to be able to do our church work well so as to satisfy God’s will. We may also pray to God asking Him to give us the responsibility of ministering to the Lord and that we may be granted God’s guidance when we are supporting and helping our brothers and sisters, and we may also pray to understand more truths within God’s words. When we encounter persecution and adversity in the course of preaching the gospel, we should pray to God to give us faith and strength to spread the gospel of the heavenly kingdom, to not be constrained by the forces of darkness, and to not capitulate no matter how painful or difficult things get. When we are working and giving sermons, we should be considerate of God’s will and pray to God asking Him to enlighten and guide us to understand His words, pray that we may be able to fellowship about His will and His requirements, to enable our brothers and sisters to be able to put God’s words into practice and experience His words, and to lead them before God to magnify God. When we reveal our arrogant and self-righteous corrupt disposition in our interactions with other people, we should pray not to live by our corrupt dispositions. When our wild ambitions and desires creep into our speech and actions, we should pray to forsake our flesh, to practice the truth and to be honest people. When we are slipshod in our service to the Lord, we should pray to accomplish God’s commissions with all our heart and mind. When disaster strikes, whether natural or man-made, we can pray to God to give us faith and strength, to not blame or misunderstand God, but to be able to submit to God’s orchestrations and arrangements, and to stand witness for God…. By praying often to God and beseeching Him in these ways, God will hear our prayers and will lead us to understand the truth and to understand His will, He will give us the path of practice, and our lives will mature. This is an important principle of practice for Christians to pray to God in line with His will.

The above are the three principles of practice of how Christians can pray in line with God’s will. As long as we frequently train ourselves and practice these three principles, I trust that we will be able to obtain the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to understand and gain more truths, we will be able to establish a normal relationship with God, and God will hear our prayers!

Source from: Find the shepherd

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Hey, I'm Mary. I’m pursuing to be a devout christian. May God bless us! May we all treat our life with God’s Words. Amen!

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Hey, I'm Mary. I’m pursuing to be a devout christian. May God bless us! May we all treat our life with God’s Words. Amen!