Prayer is one of the most important parts of the Christian faith. There are many examples of how to pray in the Bible. One of the most well-known prayers is the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gives this prayer as a blueprint for our prayers. The main parts of the Lord’s Prayer are praising and thanking God, bringing our needs to Him, and asking for forgiveness. This is a great setup for any Christian prayer. But there is one part that often gets overlooked when we spend time with God on a regular basis. Praying for God’s will can kind of get pushed to the back burner during our prayers.
Even though we may not say the words “Your will be done…” in each prayer, the meaning of these four words should always be the focus every time we go to God. Not only should we be praying for God’s will, but we should be actively searching for it.
So, how do we find God’s will for our lives? It’s usually not a simple “yes” or “no”. We’re probably not going to get a lightning bolt from the sky when we don’t follow it. Here are some ways to start praying for God’s will and learn what His will is.
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Read Your Bible to Know God’s Will
Praying for God’s will is important. But equally important is learning His will. Reading the Bible is one way to learn God’s will for your life.
The Bible is God’s own words, written down by people throughout history. It was compiled into one book somewhere around the 2nd century AD. Through the years, the Bible has been the source we can go to in order to learn God’s will for our lives. And reading it consistently will help you learn to find God’s will in all parts of your life.
Learn God’s Will When You Study the Bible
Studying the Bible is helpful in any situation, but it’s especially helpful when praying for God’s will in your life. For starters, there are tons of examples that model how we should pray. Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 as a blueprint for our prayers.
There are plenty of other examples of prayers written in scripture. The apostle Paul inserts his prayers into several books of the New Testament. These books were initially written as letters to early churches. They often included what Paul is praying over that group based on their current situation. He also includes his own needs and asks his brothers and sisters to pray along with him.
Examples of prayer for God’s will are all throughout scripture. Not only are they blueprints for our prayers, but they are also examples of how to respond to different circumstances in your life.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is a great example of praying in the Bible. Her prayer in Luke 1 praises God for all the many blessings He gives. Over and over she tells about the many reasons He should be praised. It also shows that she is fully submitting to the will of God.
Another wonderful example of prayer is from Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. In this passage, Hannah brings the desires of her heart to God by continually asking for a child. Giving her cares over to God helped Hannah’s soul find peace. She wasn’t instantly pregnant, but after time, God answered her prayers with her son Samuel. Both Mary and Hannah are perfect examples of how we should react to praying for God’s will.
Pray Scripture into Your Prayers (H3)
Praying for God’s will can be learned from reading and studying the Bible. But it also comes from praying scripture in your prayers. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” Since scripture is inspired by God, it’s also powerful to pray scripture over your circumstances.
Much of the book of Psalms is made up of prayers. King David is the author of close to half of this book. He wrote these prayers to God, praising Him for all the blessings in David’s life. He also brought his struggles and laid them before God.
Most Psalms can easily be spoken aloud as prayers. Let’s try the beginning of Psalms 23, “The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need.” First, you want to read the scripture and think about its meaning. Then you speak it aloud from your own point of view like this, “Lord, You are my shepherd, and You give me all I need.”
Here’s another example that’s not in Psalms. Proverbs 30:5 states, “Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.” To speak it in prayer might go something like this, “God, I know every word of Yours is true. You are a shield to me and all who come to You for protection.” Now, instead of reading the verse, you are actively praying it over your life! So, the next time you pray, maybe try to pray some scripture into your prayers.
Praying for Guidance and Wisdom
Another part of praying for God’s will is praying for guidance and wisdom from Him. When we pray for guidance, we are asking Him to guide our actions. Praying for wisdom gives us the knowledge to know and do the will of God.
Guidance in Choices You Make
We all need guidance at times. Guidance from our parents is important especially when we are young. You’ll also need guidance from a boss or mentor when starting a new job. Praying for God’s will is the best way to receive guidance for our choices.
God should be our main source of guidance after becoming a Christian. Whenever we have a tough decision to make, we should bring it to Him. Even those small decisions and worries should be given to God too!
Last year, I was having knee trouble. I went to see my knee surgeon, but he said there was nothing more he could do. I was soooooo frustrated and angry that I cried most of my drive home!
Through my tears, it finally dawned on me: I hadn’t prayed for my knee at all. No prayers for healing, and no prayers for guidance either. So right then, I took it to God. I prayed for Him to make me better and I also prayed for his guidance on what to do next.
After praying, I called my oldest daughter. She listened to me vent, then gave me the idea to look for a new rheumatologist. If I had not asked God for guidance, we might not have found a great doctor who has been a HUGE help to me!
Praying for God’s Will by Asking for Wisdom
Praying for wisdom goes right along with praying for guidance. When we ask for His guidance, and we are open to receive it, we’ll gain wisdom to make the right choices.
David’s son, Solomon, was known to be the wisest man on earth. To do this, he simply asked God for wisdom.
He could have asked for money, riches, or power. But Solomon knew what was important. According to 1 Kings 3, he knew that leading the people of Israel would require wisdom to know what is right or wrong. God was glad that Solomon had asked for wisdom over everything else. Because he was pleased, he blessed Solomon with all he didn’t ask for too.
“The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, ‘Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have no asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies- I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for- riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!’’ 1 Kings 3:10-13.
As we can see from this passage, God chose to bless Solomon with so much more than he asked for. All because he asked for wisdom. Won’t He do the same for us? When praying for God’s will, asking for wisdom along with is a good idea too!
Pray for Strength to Do God’s Will
When praying for God’s will, it’s also a good idea to pray for strength. Some of the tasks we are asked to do are hard! We will need His strength in order to do what we are called to do.
Pray for God to Reveal His Purpose
When praying for God’s will, we will also want to pray for strength to do His will. Part of asking for strength is waiting for His purpose to be revealed to you.
God’s timing isn’t our timing. We may pray about something for a few days and quickly have an answer. But at other times, it may take months, even years for God to reveal His purpose. And even then, the answers we get may not be what we wanted or thought we “needed.”
About halfway through my teaching career, I was moved from 3rd grade to kindergarten. We had some budget cuts and needed to switch some teachers. But, this was not a move I wanted, at ALL!
I spent 3 years teaching kindergarten, and it wasn’t too bad! Little kids are needier throughout the day, but you don’t have to bring home mountains of papers to grade from them. Plus, I was able to make some awesome friendships during my years in kindergarten.
At the end of those 3 years, I learned our current computer teacher wanted to teach kindergarten. Since I love technology, we decided to propose switching places. This led to me spending 8 years as a technology teacher for the entire school, which I loved! If I hadn’t trusted God and waited on His purpose, I might never have had this awesome opportunity. I would have missed out on a huge blessing.
Pray to Accept God’s Will
Another thing we need to remember when praying for God’s will is accepting His will. This is a tough one for all of us. I can pray “Your will be done…” and all the while thinking as long as it goes with what I want. God knows us and loves us. His plans are perfect, and ours are not. Accepting His will, no matter what it is, is a step we all need to take in our Christian lives.
I love reading fantasy novels! Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and all that kind of stuff is my favorite. I’m always looking for a good fantasy series to try, so let me know if you have one to recommend.
For several years now, I’ve had a dream to write a fantasy novel. I actually have a few chapters written on one idea and a few pages on another. I’ve also worked on some outlines for a few other ideas.
But no matter what ideas pop into my head, I just can’t make them work out. Sometimes I’m super busy, and it’s all I can do to keep the blog going. Then when I start a story, I get stuck a few pages into it.
I’ve prayed about it too. It’s something I’ve talked to God about for a long time. But for right now, I think his answer is no. Or at least “not yet.” Even though it’s disappointing, I have to be willing to listen and act on God’s will. For right now, His will is for me to share the good news through this blog. He might bless me with a novel later. Until then, I need to be faithful in praying for God’s will and accepting it.
Pray to Act on God’s Will in Your Life
After we’ve read the Bible, prayed for guidance, and accepted His will, it’s now time to act on it. If His will isn’t what yours is, this may be a hard step. But through praying for God’s will, we will strengthen our relationship with Christ. And when we strengthen our relationship, acting on His will comes much more natural.