Merely praying is never enough; if this was so every person in the world who prays to God would have their prayers answered. There are clear criteria in Scripture related to how and for whom God answers prayer. The following are scriptural principles related to praying in the will of God.
Text: 1 John 5:14-15
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him.
“According to His Will”
This shows there is a certain way to pray in order to have our prayers answered by God.
I. “According to His will” means that we pray according to the will of God revealed in the Word of God.
• If you do not know the Word you are without a prayer compass; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
II. “According to His will” means that we pray according to the will of God revealed as led by the Holy Spirit.
• Jude 24; Ephesians 6:18.
III. “According to His will” means I am not grieving the Holy Spirit.
• Psalm 66:18: God does not hear me if I regard or entertain sin.
• Psalm 51:10-11: God wants to create a clean heart that the Holy Spirit can continually feel welcome within.
• Ephesians 4:25: We grieve the Holy Spirit by:
o Lying to one another (manipulating reality for our own ends).
o Retaining anger in our hearts toward others. Those who learn to release and forgive honor and entertain the Holy Spirit.
o Continually giving place to the devil (we are having more fellowship with devils than with God through our unrepentant heart and actions).
o Stealing from others. We can steal honor by taking credit for things or being envious of one another, or by not celebrating or honoring folks commensurate with their actions.
o Corrupt communication (any words that bring people down to levels of the flesh; bragging about your dark past; cursing, lewd talk, dirty jokes, gossip, and slander).
IV. “According to His will” means that I am doing the will of God.
• 1 Peter 3:12: We need to turn away from evil and watch our words.
• Matthew 7:21-23.