Requirements for Answered Prayer

Oct 14, 2004 12:13 PM EDT

This is the confidence which we have before 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 which we have asked from Him. (1 John 5:14-15 NASB)

The Bible tells us to bring our requests to God. (Philippians 4:6) When we do, we of course desire that they be fulfilled. Therefore, it is very important that we understand what is required in order for our prayers to be answered

Today's verses say we can be confident the Lord hears when we ask in accordance with His will. You may wonder, How can I know my petition lines up with His will? For starters, the Bible provides some precise guidelines. One example is 1 Thessalonians 4:3: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, . . . abstain from sexual immorality." And verse 18 of the next chapter tells us, "In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." While many passages are not so clear-cut, Romans 12:2 gives guidance on how to be discerning. Rather than conform to a worldly pattern of thinking, we are to let scriptural truth renew our minds. In that way, we "may prove what the will of God is."

When we pray about something that is not God's will, but we sincerely desire to know His mind on the matter, we often discover our interest in the request begins to wane. Eventually, we'll probably cease praying about it, or else we might start to think, Lord, somehow I'm not too sure my request is of You. In this way, God honors our attempt to discover His will and gently moves us toward His viewpoint. Do you have any unanswered prayers that might be outside of God's will? Ask the Lord to help you see your petition from His vantage point.

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