I’m feeling the need to linger, a bit, with the John Paul Jackson teaching on prayer (The Prayer Room). I actually spent about an hour going through the first sixteen minutes…and I still feel like I need to go back over it, again. I love when God has me stay and linger. It means that there is a deeper truth (or truths) that I need to grasp before I can move on.
Today, what is really resonating with me is the subject of our will – our free will – and how it is tied to prayer.
Jesus did only what He saw His Father doing. Jesus did not seek His own honor – only the honor of His Father. If Jesus is our example, then this is what we should be doing, as well. This means that we must trade our will for His wisdom. We must abide so closely in Him (and He in us), that we know what He is doing. And we should be doing the same.
That means surrender…complete surrender. That means the laying down of any selfish desire in us – even if our desire might be a “good” thing. We should always be willing to trade our good for God’s best. We should be seeking His will, because here is what happens:
As we abide in Him, He changes us – changes our motivation. When we abide in Him, we know His voice and will respond in obedience, because we know His motivation toward us is love. Knowing He loves us helps us to turn from our own selfish desires to desiring what He wants. His will becomes our desire. Our desire becomes His will.
Delight yourself in the Lord, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart. Psalm 37:4AMP
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15
How do we know His will?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (ALL of Romans 12, actually)
John Paul talked about how the highest form of prayer is not “help me!” It is asking God to fulfill His desires rather than ours. (side note: He does want us to bring our needs to Him, as well…but the focus of this post is our will becoming His.)
“Prayer allows God to be justified in taking action over the will of man – making our will His will.” -John Paul Jackson
God gave us free will. Free will to come to Him for salvation – and free will to allow Him to work in, and through, our lives. That’s why “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10) is included in the Lord’s Prayer. When we pray that, we are giving Him permission to move in our lives. This does not mean that we “control” God. He is NOT a genie or a puppet. He is the Almighty. But, He does not come crashing into our lives like a bull in a china shop. He stands ever so close to us – bidding us, come – waiting for us to reach out our heart to Him. He longs to heal and redeem, but we must be willing to surrender everything to Him. He will not just take something from us, like a toddler grabbing a toy. We waits for us to release – so that our hands are then open to receive from Him.
He longs to answer our prayers…for our good and for His glory!!
But our prayers need to line up with His will. This is where the Holy Spirit comes in…
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (emphasis mine)
Ok, I think that is all I have for today. I hope this post makes sense. I’m finding it difficult to write while I’m in the middle of revelation. I have a lot of information coming at me (a lot more than what I can even write, here) and I’m trying to share some of what I am grasping, so far.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below. I hope you are having a wonderfully blessed day!