How can we know when we are praying in accordance with God’s will? We see one key in the parable of the persistent widow, who kept asking a judge for what she needed until he granted her request. Why did Jesus tell His followers this story?
To show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart (Luke 18:1 NASB)
God answers prayer. As 1 John 5:14 says,
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
So how do you know God’s will? If you want to hear God speak, read the Bible. His express will is revealed in His Word. And when we pray in accordance with His will, He hears and answers us.
When we know God has spoken, we can face whatever challenges come our way. We have confidence that He has given direction, and we are following His will.
Jesus came to show us the Father. He said in John 14:10,
“The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
Jesus also came to show us ourselves and what God originally intended for us. God is spirit and we are flesh. When God’s Spirit fills us, He can do amazing things through us if we just let Him.
Unfortunately, because our sins separated us from Him, we can go through life with a sense of separation. We may think, I’m not good enough, or I haven’t read the Bible enough, or I watched that bad movie. We start to lose sight of the Father, who dwells in us. Yet Jesus said,
“The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21)
The breath of life that God gave to Adam has been given to you. The very breath that you’re breathing right now goes all the way back to Him.
By shedding His blood for our sins, Jesus tore open the veil of the Temple so we enter into His presence—and even more importantly, His presence enters into us. That realization opens up a world of potential if we just tap into it. We’re often looking for a great revelation, when the more common thing is that “still, small voice” within, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 30:21)
What does it take for the Father to work through us? In Manila, I had a prayer closet at home where I would pray and fast. I also had small children. Yet everyone knew that they should not interrupt when my door was shut, because I was doing the deep things of God.
One day, I was in my prayer closet crying out to God for power, saying, “I want more of You, Lord! Give me more!” I heard a knock on the door and my two-year-old daughter said, “Daddy, I want juice.”
I replied, “Go ask your mother.” After all, I was laying hold of God in there.
Yet she knocked again, saying, “She’s gone! Daddy, I want juice!”
Have you ever noticed how infants don’t give up when they sense you are not responding? It was like the parable of the persistent widow with a toddler. I was the source of juice, and she was going to pound that door until she got some.
Realizing that I was not getting any business done with God, I got off my knees to be a dad. I opened the door, thinking that there would now be joy. No! She tightly wrapped herself around my leg. And as I walked all the way from my prayer closet to the kitchen, she continued to cling to me, wailing, “Daddy, I want juice!”
I opened the refrigerator and started pouring juice into a sippy cup, saying, “Don’t you see? I’m getting juice!” Yet with tears streaming and nose running, she continued to sob, “Daddy, I want juice!” I had to pry one hand off my leg, put the cup into her hand, then guide it to her mouth. Only when she started slurping did the cries stop.
And then I heard that still, small voice saying, “This is what you’re doing to Me.”
You’ve got the juice. You’ve got access to the refrigerator. You’re a child of the Most High God. You have free run of the Throne Room. Anything that He has, you have. You’re a joint heir with Jesus Christ. If Jesus gets it, you get it. The only issue is, do you believe it? God is not stingy. He’s not withholding juice. He doesn’t have favorites. If you see a promise, it’s for you. According to 2 Corinthians 1:20, all the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen.” All we have to do is believe it.
I needed that juice, and so I was begging for it—not realizing it was always there.
We can take encouragement from the Apostle Paul, who wrote in Romans 8:26-27:
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Jesus, who is searching our hearts, lives to give intercession for us. The Spirit knows the mind of the Father and intercedes for you and me.
So, we can boldly declare, “I’m weak. I’m a little child who doesn’t know how to get juice, but You know how. You know the answer. You know what I’m supposed to be praying for. I want Your will for my life. Make me part of Your plan.”
As Paul concluded in Romans 8:31,
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
God bless you.
Scripture is quoted from The New King James Version except as noted.
© Copyright Gordon Robertson