HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
KEY SIX: SEEK GOD’S WILL
Another key to successful prayer is to be absolutely sure that—as far as possible—you align your will and your request with God’s will.
We must “feed” on Christ by saturating our minds and hearts with God’s word—by constantly reading with an open mind, meditating on and honestly seeking God’s will as revealed in His inspired Scripture. Then we will learn how to walk with God, how to pray to God and how to fellowship with God. Otherwise, like most of the billions of confused people in this world, we will end up serving God with our human imagination—in the wrong way—perhaps by following a false religion or simply letting our human imagination tell us what to do. Yet the Bible strictly warns us not to do that!
“ There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12; and16:25).
What may seem like the right way of life may be directly contrary to the will of our Creator! So we must all be willing to study, to meditate and to “prove all things”—to compare any and all of our ideas and philosophies with what God tells us in the inspired pages of the Bible! Then we can truly “pour out our hearts” to God in fervent and continual prayer! We can then, in absolute faith, ask Him to guide our lives, lead us and use us in His service—and bring us into His everlasting Kingdom!
This desire must be first in our minds and in our lives, as expressed by the actions we take. As Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Many Old Testament scriptures show us how God truly blessed all the men and women who put forth the effort to “seek” Him. Notice:
“And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded: 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.” (2 Chronicles 15:1–2).
How did they respond?
“And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;” (verse 12).
The Bible describes how Uzziah was blessed when he walked with God.
“He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper” (2 Chronicles 26:5).
Again, God’s word helps us see how and why these righteous kings were blessed.
“And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God. 21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” (2 Chronicles 31:20–21).
The lesson is that if we truly want to do the will of the great God—who created us and who gives us life and breath—we should zealously “seek” Him with all our hearts. We should do this by urgently making time to focus on God’s will by studying what He has revealed in the Bible, then meditating carefully on what the Bible says His will truly is—then fervently praying to our Father in heaven for the strength and understanding to know and do His will. Finally, we must act on His will, and “walk with God”—as did Abraham, David, Jesus and the many others whom God sets for us as examples in inspired Scripture.
Then, absolutely, God will hear us and answer us if we respond to His will, as He has done for those before us. Remember, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
As you zealously study the Bible and yield to let Christ live within you, His will increasingly replaces your own. It affects how you pray. You come to realize that God has made all men and women in His image—that He will “call” all mankind to understanding and repentance in His time. With this in mind, you will not be praying just for your own good, but for the good of others as well. Then you can sincerely say to God, as Jesus did:
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42).
Remember this key phrase from the outline prayer in Matthew 6: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (v. 10). We all need to focus on this as we pray. What is really best for us and everyone concerned in the long run? Only God knows for sure.
On the other hand, the Bible contains literally dozens of promises and direct indications of what God has done or will do in regard to answered prayer. If we pray in faith that God will hear us—and in accordance with His will—we may be sure that He is listening.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14–15).