by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday October 15, 2004
Requirements for Answered Prayer
1 John 5:14-15
The Bible tells us to bring our requests to God (Philippians 4:6), and when we do, we of course desire they be fulfilled. Therefore, it's important that we understand what is required for prayers to be answered.
Today's passage says we can be confident God hears when we ask in accordance with His will. You may wonder, How can I know my petition lines up with His will? For starters, the Bible provides some clear guidelines. One example is 1 Thessalonians 4:3: "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality." And verse 18 of the next chapter tells us, "In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Many areas, however, are not so clear-cut, but Romans 12:2 gives guidance on how to discern - rather than conform to a worldly pattern of thinking, we are to let scriptural truth renew our minds. In that way, we "may prove what the will of God is."
When we pray about something that is not God's will, but we sincerely desire to know His mind on the matter, we'll often discover our interest in the request begins to wane. Eventually, we will probably cease praying about it or start to think, Lord, somehow I'm not too sure my request is of You. In this way, God honors our attempt to discover His will and gently moves us to His viewpoint. Do you have any unanswered prayers that might be outside of God's will? Ask the Lord to help you see your petition from His vantage point.
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