Prayer…Part 3 – Developing a Lifestyle of Prayer

By Patrick Hawthorne

prayer_warrior-2

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us – 1 John 5:14

Is there ever a prayer that God will not hear?  I know I am about to ruffle some religious feathers with this question.  However, it must be asked.  Again, is there ever a prayer that God will not give audience to; prayer that He will not grant petition?

Some will say that our Heavenly Father, through the finished work of Jesus Christ, hears all prayer and sanctifies all prayer.  Yet, is this true?  If the Word tells us that prayer according to His will is heard, is prayer that violates His will not heard?  In other words, are there prayers that our Heavenly Father, Almighty God, will not give an audience?

Let’s use a scenario which unfortunately is very common in the Church.  A male subject finds the woman of his dreams.   His love is so great he assumes the woman is his soul mate.  However, there is one little problem.  This so called soul mate is married.  The male, who assumes He is justified in his love for this person, takes a portion of Scripture out of context and prays, “Lord, You said that I can ask anything in the name of Jesus and it would be done for me.  In the name of Jesus, I pray that you will make so-and-so to be my spouse.”  This sounds ludicrous yet happens quite often.  Do you think God gives audience to that prayer?

Let’s look at 1 John 5:14 again.  It says we can have confidence that if we ask anything according to HIS WILL, He hears us.  This thought continues in verse 15 with, “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have petitions that we have asked of Him.”  According to what we know from the Word, is it God’s will to break up a marriage?  Hopefully your answer is no.  Therefore, would it be safe to say that God would not give an ear…an audience… to the request?

Let’s take a look at an Old Testament example to see if this New Testament attitude has precedence – a previously established principle.  In praying for our nation, I often quote 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  This is a wonderful prayer.  Yet, how many know verse 15?  “Now My eyes (The Father’s eyes) will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”

Did you see that?  “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive…”  Seeking the Lord in prayer and humbleness, along with turning from wickedness, was the key to aligning with God’s will.  This, along with 1 John 5:14, among other verses, tell me that for our prayer to be effective and to have power we must change our approach to prayer and must pray in a manner that produces results.  We must begin learning the will of our Heavenly Father.  This is done through the Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Is there ever an opportunity for God to answer a plea of “HELP!”  Absolutely; this is called grace.  However, I am referring to a lifestyle of prayer.  He gave us His manual and the method by which to obtain the most powerful of prayer.  On my next post my plan, unless the Lord leads me down another path, is to begin identifying just what His will for us is.  Until then, be blessed.

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10 comments on “Prayer…Part 3 – Developing a Lifestyle of Prayer
  1. Jules says:

    I’m trying to develop a lifestyle where I constantly talk to God. From waking up to straight away thank Him before checking my phone… to falling asleep with His praise on my lips. As I go through my day to keep that ‘line’ open so I can hear and see what He does. When I hear a need to immediately offer to pray on the spot. It’s a work in progress, some parts easier than others but all of it is done (or intended) as a work of His Holy Spirit in me.

    I share that not because I am so good but because this is what I understand God to want. A life of godliness and holiness lived in communion with Him. I no longer live, My new life is hidden with Christ in God. As I seek that then I pray more and more in accordance with His will – in a way I guess it could be said that the Spirit prays through me.

    Maturity leads to knowledge that praying for a married person to be yours is not God’s will. Recognition of what holiness is, of who GOD IS leads to us making and being better prayers.

    I am looking forward to your next installment. God is done with us messing around (not that He was ever OK with it). Time to grow up and pursue the things He thinks are important.

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    • Yes’m, I agree. It is time for His Body to grow up. I too am trying to be more conscious of my need to be in communication with my Heavenly Father. However, I want my prayer life to be as natural as breathing and not because of my “working” towards that goal. I hope that made sense.

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  2. anitvan says:

    In John 15, we have Jesus’ words, Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

    This passage adds a nice dimension to the one you mentioned in 1 John 5, particularly the part about “so that the Father may be glorified by the Son”. If we are praying contrary to God’s will – which Scripture reveals is to “love God with our whole heart and our neighbour as ourselves” – to grant such a prayer would not be possible because to do so would not bring glory to the Father. I’m not even sure if Jesus would even bring such a prayer (does Scripture say?Not sure…) In either case, such a prayer would be answered, “No. That is not in accord with my will, which I have already revealed to you.” To grant prayer contrary to God’s revealed will would be to besmirch God’s good name and bring Him dishonour.

    You are absolutely correct in asserting that we must learn the will of our Heavenly Father through the Word and the guidance of the Spirit.

    We don’t pray “in God’s will” by seeking to discern His will for us THROUGH prayer. God does not hide His will for us, He makes His will for All made plain in the Scriptures. Its precisely because we already know God’s will for us (through the Word) that we are able to confidently ask that His will be done for us.

    We know His will for us is gracious and good. When, in sin, we bring wrong prayers before the Lord, He rebukes us in love and says “no”. When, in His will, we confidently ask that all his promises be brought to us, we know His answer will always be a resounding YES.

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    • Hi Antivan… Thanks for stopping by.

      You wrote…”to grant such a prayer would not be possible because to do so would not bring glory to the Father. I’m not even sure if Jesus would even bring such a prayer (does Scripture say?Not sure…)

      The answer to this is that were are told that Jesus only did the will of the Father. The Word also tells us that we are to be imitators of Jesus. So, to answer your question, there is no way Jesus would bring such a prayer before the Father because it is contrary to the will of the Father.

      As for the Lord’s prayer, it is, as you wrote, great for learning how to pray. I love how it begins by giving glory and honor to the Father before moving on to individual needs.

      I hope you stick around for the remainder of the series because I believe you will find it very interesting.

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  3. anitvan says:

    One other thought…the Lord Himself teaches us what we ought to pray for in the petitions of the Lord’s prayer. All the promises of Jesus, accomplished by His death and resurrection are…I don’t know…summarized? All in one neat little package. When you use the Lord’s prayer as a model for your prayers you may be assured that what you ask is indeed In His will for you. Its quite beautiful, really.

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  4. Mel Wild says:

    Amen, Patrick. Everything John tells us (in both his gospel and epistle) is predicated on abiding in Christ and doing His will. Jesus is our perfect example, and He did nothing unless He saw the Father do it first. While His will is already expressed on a broad level in Scripture, we must seek Him for the finer details of life.

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  5. […] Original post @  https://servinggrace.com/2017/02/14/prayerpart-3-developing-a-lifestyle-of-prayer/ […]

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