Praying According to God’s Will

From today’s Drawing Near:

drawing near“The word of the Lord [came] to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:2).

It is characteristic of God’s people to identify with God’s purposes and conform their will to His. Learning to pray according to His will is a major step in that process because it drives you to the Word and demonstrates a humble, submissive heart.

Jesus emphasized the priority of God’s will when He said, “I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:58). He accomplished that goal, saying to the Father, “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do” (John 17:4). Even when facing the horror of the cross, Jesus didn’t waver. Instead He prayed, “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42).

Jesus taught His disciples the same priority, instructing them to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10).

Daniel knew what it meant to pray according to God’s will. After reading the prophecy of a seventy-year Babylonian Captivity, he immediately accepted it as God’s will and began to pray for its fulfillment. His prayer wasn’t passive resignation to some act of fate beyond his control. It was active participation in God’s plan as revealed in Scripture. He wasn’t trying to change God’s will but was doing everything he could to see it come to pass. That’s the essence of praying according to God’s will.

When you pray according to God’s will, you can be confident that He hears you and will grant your requests (1 John 5:14-15). Live in that confidence today!

Suggestions for Prayer:

  • Be a diligent student of the Word so you will know God’s will.
  • Ask God to reveal areas in which your will is not conformed to His. As He does, take immediate steps to deal with them.

For Further Study:

Read Revelation 22:6-21, noting God’s will for Christ’s return, and how we’re to respond to it.

Loving the Way Jesus Loves

I am really enjoying Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken and it was brought to my attention that Amazon is offering their kindle edition at $4.99. Good value. Great extracurricular read.

ryken“We are nothing without love. But when we know Jesus, who does nothing without love, he will help us love the way that he loves.” p. 29

“He does not love us to merely love us but also to love others through us as we learn to love the way that he loves.” p. 34

“We are not what we once were – praise God! We will not remain what we are – praise him again, for this is the kindness of God.” p. 39

Publisher’s Description:

Most people are familiar with the “love chapter” of the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. Drawing on the earthly life and ministry of Jesus to illustrate Paul’s several statements about what love is and isn’t, Phil Ryken brings a Christological approach to this commonly quoted passage. These aspects of love are then illuminated chronologically through the story of Christ’s advent, teaching, miracle working, sufferings, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension. This approach highlights the crucial truth that we are able to love only because Christ first loved us in this particularly profound, very real, and transformative manner.

Freedom from sin’s desires…

In the footer of ws harbor are numerous helpful resources and one of those is a collection of daily readings by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Below is today’s reading taken from the highly recommended Studies in the Sermon on the Mount.

Freedom from sin’s desires

[The desire for righteousness] means a desire to be free from sin, because sin separates us from God. Therefore, positively, it means a desire to be right with God … All the trouble in the world today is due to the fact that man is not right with God, for it is because he is not right with God that he has gone wrong everywhere else … The man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness is the man who sees that sin and rebellion have separated him from the face of God, and longs to get back into that old relationship …

But it also means of necessity a desire to be free from the power of sin … The man we have been looking at … is a man who has come to see that the world in which he lives is controlled by sin and Satan … He sees that ‘the god of this world’ has been blinding him … He wants to get away from this power that drags him down in spite of himself [see Romans 7]. He wants to be free from the power and the tyranny and thraldom of sin …

But it goes further still. It means a desire to be free from the very desire for sin, because we find that the man who truly examines himself in the light of the Scriptures not only discovers that he is in the bondage of sin; still more horrible is the fact that he likes it, that he wants it. Even after he has seen it is wrong, he still wants it. But now the man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness is a man who wants to get rid of that desire for sin, not only outside, but inside as well … Sin is something that pollutes the very essence of our being and of our nature. The Christian is one who desires to be free from all that … To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to desire to be free from self in all its horrible manifestations, in all its forms … the man who hungers and thirsts after righteousness … wants to be emancipated from self-concern in every shape and form.

Matthew Henry Monday

Every Monday ws harbor likes to dedicate a post to Matthew Henry. Nonconformist Henry (10/18/1662 – 06/22/1714) was a commentator on the Bible and Presbyterian minister of the Gospel. We highly recommend his works for both practical and devotional purposes.

The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.  Matthew Henry