In 1 John 5:14-15, we read, “And this is the confidence we have toward Him, that whatever we ask according to His will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, that which we ask, we know that we have the requests which we asked of Him.”
Jesus said in Matthew 21:22 this: “And everything which you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
James said in James 1:5-8 this: “But if any one of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and does not reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing, for he who doubts is like the surge of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed about. For that man must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Two days ago, I came face-to-face with the reality of how I, and many others, approach prayer. When I pray, is boldness and confidence demonstrated, I mean, really and truly demonstrated?
Or is it more common that what is revealed when I pray is that I am in truth playing darts in a pitch black room trying to hit the target of what God’s will is? Isn’t that what I am really doing when I pray for God to respond or do something but then add on the tag phrase at the end, “if it be your will?” Isn’t that phrase really indicative that I am not really sure if something is God’s will?
Then, if it really is indicative of the fact that I am not really sure, then how can I pray truly believing that this is what God wants to do? And, since faith is being sure of what God will do or how He will respond, what right do I have to expect that what I pray will come to fruition?
And if and when I actually stumble upon it, how will I actually know that I have found God’s will?
And where is the boldness or confidence in that? (By the way, that was a rhetorical question; there isn’t any.)
What does boldness or confidence look like? It looks like certainty, that the outcome is never in doubt. It looks like the certainty of the outcome if the Miami Heat of the NBA played a Junior High basketball team; the outcome is not in doubt whatsoever.
What is boldness/confidence in prayer? It is knowing what God will do before we pray and then join Him in asking Him to do it.
Prayer is not about finding out God’s will. Before we pray, we ask God questions like, “What are you up to in this situation?” and “What do you want to do here?” and then listen to what He reveals to us so that we understand what He wants to do (His will). It is then that we add our voice to what Jesus and the Holy Spirit is already praying (Romans 8), joining them in asking God to do what He already wants to do.
When we know that we are praying exactly what God wants to do, there is boldness and confidence because we know that what God wants to do in a particular situation, He is going to do.
We move from praying for the answer to praying with the answer. That’s a process that takes time, but it’s the place to which I am moving.