Unleash Your Inner Warrior
My dear warrior,
There is a common misconception about what it means to pray for God’s will to be done. There are two different directions that people take the notion of praying for His will. This week I was ministering to someone and teaching her about prayer, and realized how few people really seem to know how to pray. I’ve been finding out more and more that people don’t know how to pray, or that they feel unsure about what they’re doing or lack discipline in their prayer life. Beloved, it is so important that you learn how to pray, how to be intentional about what you pray and to enjoy communing with God in conversation.
Those who pray God’s will be done are typically split into two camps. First are those who pray “God, Thy will be done” and nothing more. It stops there. The end. Their prayer is essentially, “Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.” It’s almost as though they are giving God permission to do His will. As if He needs your permission! They don’t bother to find out what His will is, to pray in line with it, and they never find out if His will is actually being done in their lives or not. There is no intentionality behind their prayers, and there is no desire to get to know God’s heart in their circumstances. If you pray for God’s will to be done, how can you not be bothered to find out what His will is? How will you know the difference later on as to whether His will was done or not? People who pray a prayer as lazy as this (if you can even call it a prayer) often blame God for their circumstances, blame the enemy for God’s work in their lives, or think of God as being distant and far removed because they do not understand what He is up to.
I find that praying “God, Thy will be done” and nothing else to be lazy and ridiculous. God does not need your permission. Praying this way defeats the purpose of prayer. The purpose of prayer is for us to enter into conversation with our Lord and Maker, and to partner with Him. Some of those who pray this have told me that they feel they don’t need to pray anything else or ask Him for anything because He already knows the desires of their hearts. A quick glance through scripture immediately counters this argument.
In Philippians 4:6 we are commanded, “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” Do I really need to mention all the times that we are told to ask, seek and knock, and to ask and keep on asking (Matthew 7:7-12)? Ask and it will be given to you (Luke 14:1-31)? If we ask anything according to His will He will hear us (1 John 5:14-15)? Everyone who asks receives (Luke 11:10)? If you abide in Him and His words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you (John 15:7)? That His answer is yes and Amen (2 Corinthians 1:20)?
The other excuse is that they don’t want to be so arrogant as to ask for something that they actually want. Beloved, this is false humility. God wants to give you the desires of your heart. I would go so far as to say that He even placed those desires there. (Mind you, I am speaking of the godly desires of your heart—not your fleshly desires or lusts). You cannot want, crave or desire something that does not exist. If you have a godly desire for something, why would God not want you to delight yourself in Him so that He can give you the desires of your heart? He is, after all, a good Father.
Back to the praying for God’s will. The other way of praying that God’s will be done absolutely thrills my heart. This way of praying involves finding out what His will is by searching it out in Scriptures. His will for our lives is written all throughout the Bible if only we will take the time to search it out and to discover it for our own lives. Then, when we begin to pray the Scriptures, to pray apostolic prayers, we are positioning our hearts. When you pray in line with His will, your prayers will change you from the core outwards. You are praying for His will to be done in your life, which means your inner life will be changed. You cannot go unaffected by praying His will. If you are lazily praying “Thy will be done,” you may never see a change in your character. If you are daily praying His will back to Him, you will see intense and rapid change.
What you need to understand is that praying does not change God’s mind… it changes yours. It changes your heart, it changes your mind, and it gives you a right heart posture. You cannot pray something in line with God’s word and go untouched by it. You cannot pray His will and remain unchanged. It sounds noble enough to say “I only want God wants,” but it is nothing at all like actually asking God to change your heart so that you want what He wants.
Praying is never dangerous. What I mean by that is that you cannot call down things from Heaven that God knows are bad for you. If God does not want to give you something you ask for (because it is not His will for you or because it’s bad for you), you can be assured that He will not give it to you.
However, not praying is dangerous. When you neglect your prayer life, you neglect your own growth. Without a prayer life, you will not grow and change; your heart posture will not be made right; your eyes are not focused on the Lord; your mind isn’t changed; the flaws in your character are not brought to light; you are not refined at an optimal rate. In short, you stay the same.
I love the way my pastor expressed the difference this past week:
Much prayer, much power.
Little prayer, little power.
No prayer, no power.
I love praying apostolic prayers (meaning, prayers that God has given us in the Bible) because there is no better way to know and pray in line with His will than to search it out in Scriptures. The way I describe the apostolic prayers is as such: the apostles wrote certain prayers that God loved so much that, by putting them in the bible, He put His stamp of approval on them and said: “if you pray this, I will answer you.”
Colossians 1:9-11 is essentially a prayer to know God’s will, and I have written it this way as one of my own daily prayers:
Lord, I pray that I would be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that I would walk a lifestyle worthy of You, that I would honor and please You in every way. I pray that I would be fruitful in every good work, and increase in the knowledge of You. I pray that I would be strengthened with all your glorious power, so I will have the endurance and patience I need. Fill me with Your joy, Lord, so that I will always thank You!
What beautiful prayers the bible contains! Another reason I love prayer the prayers found in scripture is this: they are positive prayers. You will not find a negative prayer. What I mean by that is that the apostles never prayer against a negative, but prayed for impartations of positive things from the Lord. There is no need to war against a negative. To me, it seems to be a waste of energy to focus on the wrong thing. Whatever we focus on, we give power to, so why would we want to focus on the work of the enemy, our own negative character traits and on all that is wrong, when instead we could focus our eyes on Jesus? Think of it in terms of the Law of Displacement.
The Law of Displacement is the same in the spiritual as it is in the natural. This says that two things cannot fill the same space. When we pray for an impartation of a positive, God comes into our hearts and displaces the negative character traits that were there before. When we ask Him to take up residence in our lives, when we invite Him into certain areas that have been occupied by the enemy, then the enemy is evicted. He can no longer occupy that space.
When we put our energy into removing of the negatives, we put our focus on all that is wrong and we can often become overwhelmed by the work of the enemy, by our own badness and by our flaws. It is burdensome and can be traumatic! But when we focus on the Lord, we magnify Him and we are changed by His goodness. It is nearly impossible to stand in the burning light of His glory and not have darkness burned away. He highlights all that is wrong and helps us remove it.
In my ministry, we focus on where in your life you have been wounded, and we ask the Holy Spirit to tend to that wound and to heal it. When you forgive people, confess sin as sin and repent, and invite God to take up residence in that area of your life, the enemy gets displaced. He no longer has legal rights to reside there anymore. This is a much gentler way of becoming more Christlike and getting rid of wounds and casting out demons than to address a demon directly and try to force it out, which can often be traumatic for those involved.
Beloved, focus on God in your prayers. Find out what His will is, search it out and pray in line with His will. Do not be passive in your prayers. God never asked us to be passive in our prayer life, but rather commanded us “in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God” (Phil. 4:6). Click here for a list of wonderful apostolic prayers that I have written out for you.
Live in the battleground,
©Michèle Aimée, 2016
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.