I have done all these things at Your word.
–1 Kings 18:36
Do you want to unleash the power of prayer in your life? Then pray according to God’s will.
How in the world did Elijah come up with the idea of a contest on Mount Carmel to prove God is the real God? Was he feeling especially macho one day, so he said, “Hey, I think I’m going to battle 850 prophets”? Did he have a double shot of espresso and say, “I’ve got a great idea”? Where did he come up with this idea? The answer is clear in 1 Kings 18:36. Elijah prayed, “Let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word.” The contest was God’s idea, and one reason Elijah was so confident in his prayer was that he was praying according to the will of God. We can have great confidence in our praying when we know we are praying according to God’s will.
Now you’re probably thinking, “If God would give me advance word about what He is going to do, then I could be confident in my praying as well.” I’ll admit there are some things I pray for that, frankly, I don’t know whether they are God’s will or not. In those cases, praying in faith means I boldly ask God for what’s in my heart, but then I trust Him to do what’s best. But there are other things that I know when I pray God is going to answer that prayer, because I am praying according to the will of God. For example, one thing I pray for myself regularly is 1 Thessalonians 4:3. It’s something we ought to all pray for ourselves regularly. Paul said, “This is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality.” When you pray that you stay morally pure, you know you’re praying according to the will of God. I think often about what it would do to our church and the cause of Christ, not to mention my own family, if I fell into immorality, so I pray every day that God would keep me pure. I know I’m praying according to the will of God.
One Sunday morning, I got up not feeling very confident about the message I was to preach–not because I didn’t believe in the message, but it was a holiday weekend. Fewer people would be there and they would be distracted by the festivities of a holiday, so nobody would come forward at the invitation time. I prayed, “Lord, Isaiah 55:11 says Your word will not return void but will accomplish the purpose for which it’s sent forth. And I’m praying that You would fulfill that promise. I am praying that Your will would be done.” When I came in that Sunday morning, I was shocked. The place was filled. When the invitation was given, dozens of people came forward because I was praying according to the will of God. We can know that we are praying with power when we pray according to the will of God. Now, there is nothing wrong with praying for the things that we are interested in. We ought to pray for those things. But when we pray about the things God is interested in, we can know He is going to answer our prayers dramatically.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Practice Powerful Praying” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.