By Micheal Cassidy

I want to reflect with you on the vexed and complex issue of praying in, or into, the Will of God.

In Mark 1:40, a leper “came to Jesus, beseeching Him and, kneeling, said to Him, “Lord if you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.”” (Mark 1:40-41).

It is clear that the leper was in no doubt as to Jesus’ power or capacity to heal. But he just wasn’t sure if this was the will of God and his Christ for him. I think many of us feel just the same when praying about issues, whether large or small. We genuinely do not doubt the Lord’s power to answer our requests but, simply put, we don’t know if it is part of the Father’s will to answer these prayers. And this can weaken our resolve or the intensity of our prayer cry.

The Apostle John clearly had some of these thoughts in mind when he wrote in 1 John 5:14, where he puts it this way:

and this is the confidence which we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

This suggests that it is a prerequisite of answered prayer that we know we are asking “according to His will.” (vs 14b). In fact, John can be so bold in vs 15 as to add that “if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of Him.”

So too does this principle take centre stage in the Lord’s Prayer, when Jesus said we should pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

I use the Lord’s Prayer every day in this way in my own devotions. I basically try to pray that I want whatever is said or done in a given situation to come forth with the Kingly rule of Christ pervading the situation, and the Divine Will being manifested in the same way as it would be in Heaven. This is powerful. Very powerful. I certainly find it a very strong personal challenge to try and discern in my praying what the Divine Will would look like if it were manifested in the matter or people I am praying about.

Please think about this principle.