Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day.
Chapter 22, Paragraph 3.
“… according to his Will;…”
1 John 5:14
We might excuse someone’s surprise that God does not accept our prayers unless we pray in the name of Jesus and with the help of the Spirit. One would think, though, that naturally God would not find prayer acceptable that is not according to His will. It seems like it would be a matter of common sense. However, since we are sinful, weak, creatures, we must be reminded that prayer is only acceptable to God if it is prayed according to His will.
How many people automatically expect God’s will to be always aligned with their own, rather than the reverse? When we focus our prayers solely around what we want, we are no longer humbly petitioning our high King, but dictating our demands. Prayer is not placing our orders at the fast-food counter. We have no right to demand any customer service from God! Disregard for God’s will is sinful and will never be acceptable to Him.
So if we are to pray according to His will, what does that look like? Thomas Vincent in his The Shorter Catechism Explained From Scripture wrote that we may pray for:
all things which are agreeable unto God’s revealed will in his Word…such as the pardon for our sins, the supplies of his grace…deliverance from spiritual and eternal evils; also whatever temporal good things we stand in need of, and all those things which either expressly or exclusively he hath promised in his covenant to us.
When we pray for things according to His revealed will in Scripture, we can know our prayers are acceptable.
Remember this God that we pray to is the same God that will not give His glory to another. He guards His name jealously, and we are not to take it in vain. Prayer is to be offered in a way that is in accordance with that name. When we pray faithfully in Jesus’ name, dependent upon the Spirit, we are reminded of the power, authority, and character of God, and that we are to align ourselves with His will, not ours.
Questions to Consider
- How often are you seeking your own will in prayer, rather than praying according to His will?