I read in the Bible, in 1 John 5: 14: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” But how do I know that I pray according to Gods will?
When the disciples of Jesus saw how intensely Jesus talked to His Father in prayer, they had only one question left: “Lord, teach us how to pray” (Luke 11:1). In Jesus’ eyes, that was a good question. So your question as well is a good question!
When you read on, you see how Jesus taught His disciples the prayer that we know as the ‘Our Father’. In Mathew 6: 5 -13 you also read lessons from Jesus on how to pray. Let me mention some of the things we read there:
- Pray honestly. Some people in that time used public prayer to show how spiritual they were. Don’t do that. Talk in privacy with your Father in heaven. That does not mean that you should not be in prayer meetings with others, but it means that you never pray to make an impression on others.
- Talk normally to your Father. You do not need to impress God by your beautiful prayer language. He is your Father. He loves you. And He knows what is in your heart. Talk to Him as you would talk to your earthly father.
- But also remember, that this is your Father in heaven! Therefore start with praising Him: Father, it is all about Your name, Your Kingdom, Your will that needs to be done.
- Than you can come to Him with your daily needs. He is interested in you and you may freely ask. I love the verse in Hebrews 4: 16, where we read: ‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’ It is a throne of grace!! Welcome to the throne.
- We also need to ask for forgiveness. Be specific and ask God for forgiveness and for the power of the Holy Spirit, that helps you to avoid these sins.
- Praying is difficult, but obeying even more! For the Father says to us: I will happily forgive you, but then you also have to forgive others. That is pure love from the Father for you. For when we refuse to forgive, it gives the devil an entrance to tempt us. That’s why the prayer says: ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
- In some versions of the original Greek text of the Bible, the prayer ends where it began: with praising the Father: ‘For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.’ And that is for us also a good way to end our prayer time with Father.
Feel free in your prayers. When a specific prayer is not after Gods will, He will not condemn you. But His answer will be ‘No’. Or ‘Not yet’. That is not because He is angry, but because He knows what is best for you and what fits best in His plans for your life. So do not worry, but feel free to go to the throne of our heavenly Father. It is a throne of grace. Also for you!
Also read: Why do we end our prayers with Amen?