Prayer To Always Do God’s Will
5 Ways God Answers Prayer
Over the years, I’ve discovered from Scripture and experience that God loves to answer our prayers. Here are five of his most frequent answers:
1. “No, I love you too much.”
The Lord of the universe isn’t under obligation to say “yes” to every prayer. That’s a good thing considering some of the things we request!
But sometimes God says “no” to our most heartfelt requests. Have you discovered this to be true in your own life? I certainly have. When my friend Diane started losing her hearing. When my mother-in-law came down with polio. When my nephew contracted AIDS.
I would be known as Luis Palau Jr. if it weren’t for the fact that God said “no” to my most earnest childhood prayers. Shortly after my tenth birthday, my father, Luis Palau Sr., contracted bronchial pneumonia and died ten days later.
Death became, to me, the most undeniable reality under heaven. Everything else can be rationalized and wondered about and discussed, but death is there, staring you in the face. It’s real. It happens. Even to the most godly people. No matter how hard we pray. Why? Because we still live in a fallen world.
I’ve been reminded of this repeatedly since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. Tens of thousands of lives were spared. But God said “no” to thousands of other prayers. Will good come of their deaths? I believe so.
Without a doubt, the death of my father has had more impact on my ministry than anything else in my entire life, besides my own conversion to Jesus Christ. My wish and desire is that people get right with God, settle the big question, and die happy, knowing… my father…that they will be with Jesus, “which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23). Does that mean we shouldn’t bother to pray? Just the opposite. Over the years, traveling throughout the world, I’ve discovered four other ways God frequently answers prayer.
Believe me, He loves to say yes!”
2. “Yes, but you’ll have to wait.”
Immediate answers to prayer. You want them. I want them. But God simply does not always work that way. And to get His best, we must be patient. In some cases, we must wait until 11:59 for His answer to come.
Phil Callaway didn’t know what to say when his young children asked if Mommy was going to die. His wife, Ramona, suffered horrible seizures. Hundreds of friends and relatives prayed, but Ramona’s weight eventually slipped to ninety pounds. Medical specialists tried everything, but by the fall of 1996, the seizures were occurring daily, sometimes hourly.
Phil rarely left Ramona’s side. He wondered if she would even make it to her thirtieth birthday. One evening, when things looked utterly hopeless, Phil paced their dark backyard, then fell to his knees. “God!” he cried out. “I can’t take it anymore. Please do something!”
As he stood, a doctor’s name came to mind. Phil called the doctor, who saw Ramona the next morning and diagnosed a rare chemical deficiency. Within a week, Ramona was a different person. The seizures ended. Her eyes lit up with the sparkle that had first attracted Phil to her. The miracle was so incredible Phil says, “God gave me back my wife.”
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7:7.
3. “Yes, but quite different from how you thought I would answer.”
Have you ever asked God to use you? If so, expect the unexpected!
National Football League running back Sherman Smith, the “Sherman Tank,” stood six feet four inches tall and packed two hundred twenty-five pounds of the most muscle you’d ever want to tackle. His reputation for bowling over defensive linesmen raised his celebrity to near-cult status in the Pacific Northwest, where he played for the Seattle Seahawks. He was treated royalty.
Then, without warning, the Seahawks traded their most popular player to the San Diego Chargers Everything changed overnight for this running back whose Christian faith was as rock solid as his rib cage. He wasn’t with the Chargers for more than a few weeks when he blew out his knee. While in rehabilitation, he wondered, Lord, why did you ship me to San Diego?
But while his knee mended, Sherman had the opportunity to lead one of his teammates to the Lord. That converted party-man, Miles McPherson, has since become an outstanding youth evangelist who reaches tens of thousands each year.
Why was Sherman traded to San Diego? He now knows God wanted to use him, all right!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
4. “Yes, and here’s more!”
Ever wonder if the Lord knows what you want and need?
Australian David Smallbone felt God leading him to promote Christian concerts. He started in a country where Christianity had taken root among only five percent of the people. When too few fans filled seats during one major tour, however, David took a $250,000 bath in red ink.
Creditors swiftly repossessed his home, and the father of six looked for work elsewhere. A top artist offered him a job in Nashville, so the Smallbones sold their furniture and other possessions and purchased tickets to America.
A few weeks after they arrived in the U.S., however, David was informed that his position was no longer available. He literally could not get bed for several days. Then he and his wife explained what happened to the children. They got on their knees and asked God to help them.
Then the most interesting things happened. God provided bags of groceries, a mini van, and odd jobs. Then the biggest surprise of all…a recording contract for David’s oldest daughter, Rebecca, age fifteen. She recorded her first album using an old family name, St. James.
Flash forward to today. David promotes his own daughter’s sold-out concerts. Rebecca St. James has become one of the hottest Christian artists in America. Christianity Today magazine has named her one of the top fifty up-and-coming evangelical leaders under age forty. We love asking her to sing at our evangelistic festivals around the country.
All along…no surprise…God knew what he was doing!
“'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (Jeremiah 29:11).
5. “Yes, I thought you’d never ask.”
Many people think prayer is complicated. Actually, the simplest prayer can bring you the miracle you need, when you need it.
After a serious fall, an older gentleman named Luke Mulder prayed to receive Jesus Christ. He then prayed for his wife, Clara, who was visiting her sister in California. That very same day Clara heard a Gospel presentation and trusted Christ.
Christian cartoonist Ron Wheeler dreamed of creating evangelistic tracts, but he needed a new computer. He did his homework, found out what he needed, and started to pray.
Two weeks later, a friend called Ron the blue and offered him a new computer…the exact model Ron had been praying about.
Shortly after setting up the computer, Ron received a phone call from American Tract Society asking him to design a whole series of evangelistic cartoon tracts.
My friends Esteban and Carmela Tosoni were driving one of the highest mountain passes in the world when their car broke down at dusk. They were twenty miles from the nearest town.
So the Tosoni family prayed for God to send help.
When they opened their eyes, a mechanic appeared nowhere, walked straight over to their car, immediately asked if he could help, fixed their gas filter, then departed.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
5 Verses to Pray when You Want to Know God’s Will – Counting My Blessings
Do you ever lie awake at night thinking, I don’t know what to do?
You have a decision to make, a problem to solve, or a path to pursue and you’ve prayed, oh how you’ve prayed but you don’t feel God is giving you clear direction.
So, you stare at the ceiling, weigh your options, plan to do more research in the morning, and pray again…
Father, I love you and I want to glorify you with my life. This choice is hard. There are so many possibilities and I have no idea what Your will for me is in the situation. Please help me. Guide me by Your Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.
And you try again, to get some rest.
Whew, I’ve been there. I’m guessing you’ve been there, too.
Because my most visited post is 5 Ways to Know if Something is from God which leads me to believe I’m not the only one who struggles sometimes with the specifics of God’s will.
So, I went digging to find verses that might help us know God’s “always” will . . . when choices are hard and life is confusing.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take.
Father, forgive me. I’m quick to ask my friends for advice and quicker to worry; yet, I’m slow to turn to Your Word or come to You in prayer. Maybe trusting with all my heart is the problem. I’m sorry.
I want to surrender myself completely and trust that Your will for me always comes from Your love. Thank you for using this time to remind me just how very much I need You. And I do need You, Lord.
Help me, by the power of Your Spirit. Amen.
1 Timothy 2:3–4
This is good and pleases God our Savior,
who wants everyone to be saved and
to understand the truth.
Father, Your will for me is to know and love Your Son, Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Giver of Life eternal . . . Your gift so awesome and wonderful.I’m humbled that Your will for me above all else is that I will cherish Your gift of an eternity with You through Jesus. In light of forever, my current circumstances seem less monumental.
Please by Your grace, help me keep an eternal perspective as I trust You with the details of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice— the kind He will find acceptable.
This is truly the way to worship Him.Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform
you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will
learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
This is hard, Father. The world is always in my face and it’s tempting to just want to fit in. You tell me not to follow the behavior and customs of this world. It’s tough. I see friendships end and people hurt because they choose to stand on the truth of Your Word.
Father, I need Your transforming power to change the way I think and act. Your Word says You will show me Your good, pleasing, and perfect will and you change my heart and mind and make me a new person. I love that! Please continue to work in me and draw me close.
I love You, Lord and want to honor You with my life. Amen.
For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the
sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
Father, You make me holy through Jesus, setting me apart and showing me Your truth. Thank you! I am overwhelmed by your grace, mercy, and love. Humbled that You care so much about Your children that You willingly sacrificed Yourself for us.
Forgive me, Father, for ever foolishly believing I’m doing a good job enough to be declared righteous on my own. I can’t. I need You. I need Jesus. I need Your Spirit. Help me surrender to You and live under the glorious grace You so generously pour into my life.
Thank you, Amen.
And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying,
for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
And Father, when I get it wrong . . . which I do much of the time, I’m so very thankful for Your Sprit who pleads for me. Who knows Your will and knows exactly what I need. Thank you. You will never leave me alone to wander in the dark.
By Your grace poured out through Your Spirit, You fill me, provide for me, care for me, comfort me, and guide me. Thank you, Lord. Your loving presence meets my every need and with Your help, I surrender to Your will for me. In Jesus name.
Amen.May my prayer each day be to humbly surrender to God’s will trusting His will is best for my forever and for my today.
What’s your favorite verse to pray when you need to know God’s will?
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Six Prayers God Always Answers
If you are me, you probably find yourself more consistently confused or failing in prayer than in any other area in the Christian life. Why is that? Talking to the God who chose us, saved us, and sustains us should be the most natural and delightful thing in the world, shouldn’t it? Perhaps it should, but more often than not, it isn’t.
We all know we should pray more. The guilt within reminds us. But if we are honest, we neither want to pray more, nor are we really convinced we need to. Why? Perhaps we don’t really understand what prayer is — or we’re prone to forget.
Let God Speak First
The most important thing to do when it comes to thinking about prayer is to let God speak. Our approach to prayer (and our practice) is often an amalgam of platitudes, folk religion, and basic biblical truths, rather than an exegetically rigorous and theologically rich account of the teaching of the Bible.
When we actually look at what the Bible teaches about prayer, it is surprisingly simple: to pray is to ask God to do what he has promised to do through Christ.
Cast All Your Cares
The core of the gospel is that we have nothing, contribute nothing, bring nothing to God. Prayer, which is made possible by the gospel and shaped by the gospel, works the same way. God gives to us; we don’t give to God. We ask; he gives. Prayer depends on what he has done in us and for us, and on what he will do in us and for us.
Jesus teaches us to pray and to freely ask our Father for the desires of our heart:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9–10)
We can ask for whatever we want, knowing that God will not give us anything bad for us, but only what is good for us (Luke 11:11–13). The apostle Peter exhorts us, “[Cast] all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) — all your anxieties, even your mundane and material ones. Don’t be afraid to ask him for anything, and don’t hold back any burdens from him.
But our everyday expressions of need are not the burden of the New Testament when it comes to prayer. While Scripture encourages us to pray for all manner of things, God also clearly exhorts us to focus our prayer lives.
God hears and answers every prayer, but there are a precious few to which he always says, “Yes.” The prayers always answered positively are the prayers which explicitly ask God to deliver on his promises to us. God will always say Yes when we ask him to do his work through his word.
I have found at least six basic prayers God will always answer.
1. Glorify yourself through me
The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14).
2. Forgive me
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
3. Reveal more of yourself to me
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord (Jeremiah 31:33–34).
4. Give me wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him (James 1:5).
5. Strengthen me to obey you
As you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12–13).
6. Spread your gospel to the lost
This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).
How do we know God will answer these six prayers? Because he says he will in the first place, and then, even more, because these prayers sum up what God has promised to do through the gospel. This is what God has said he would most surely do.
Ready to Answer
If we want to grow and mature in prayer, we don’t need to set a timer. We don’t need to learn new contemplative methods, or build a prayer closet in the woods. But we do need to become better ask-ers.
We need to realize that we are all walking disasters apart from grace, men and women who need God every step of every day.
We would all make a shipwreck of our life and the lives of those around us if God did not intervene.
The gospel yells at us, You are weak and sinful, flawed, and needy — but God is strong, gracious, and good — and ready to answer. Ask him to do what he has already promised to do for you. And keep praying, until that day when we won’t need to pray anymore from a distance, because we will see our great Promiser, Provider, and King face to face.