How can we pray if we can’t know God’s will or decree?
We know a little bit about God’s will. We know that he waits for the last of the people to be saved to come into his kingdom before he returns (2 Peter 3:9). We also know that he predestines believers to be conformed to Jesus’ image (Romans 8:29-30).
But as far as God’s personal will for each of us, how do we pray in faith that our prayers will meet God’s will? Jesus says that if we ask anything in his name he will grant it (John 14:13-14). But how do we know what we pray is in his name?
We can rely on the Holy Spirit to convey our requests to God so they meet his will. Paul talks about the Holy Spirit interceding for us in our prayers with groans (Romans 8:26-28). The Spirit knows God’s mind and will. He connects our heart and our will to God’s heart and will.
Paul tells us that the Spirit intercedes for us with the prayer requests we give to him within God’s will (Romans 8:27). So we can trust that the Holy Spirit is working for us on our behalf. He makes sure that our heartfelt desires to fulfill God’s will and serve his kingdom will be fulfilled.
James teaches us that we must pray in faith. (James 1:5-8). Faithless prayer is worthless and God doesn’t respond to it. He bases this teaching on the object lesson of wisdom, but it applies to anything that we pray for.
If we lack faith, whatever we pray for doesn’t matter. God responds to a faith-filled prayer (James 5:14-16). God is generous with those who come to him with the faith that he will answer their prayers. Even if we don’t know God’s will completely, we know that he is generous when we have faith.
Double-mindedness, having a split decision or being unable to decide one way or the other, greatly affects our prayer life. When we are unsure about our own requests before God, we can’t expect that he answers them.
But God wants us to come to him with our requests. He wants to answer them when we pray with faith and certainty. He tells us to ask in his name and he gives us the Holy Spirit to help us pray within his will.