This article provides a simple way you can pray to know the will of God in any situation. It is not a method or strategy for prayer (because we all have a personal relationship with the living God and our prayers spontaneously flow from that relationship), but it is principles and practical guidelines to help you find the will of God for your life and for every situation you encounter.
As you apply these principles in the various circumstances you face, they will help you to get to the point where you can discern God’s will. The skill in discerning God’s will for everyday circumstances is cultivated over time. To know God’s will is not a one-off thing! It is accompanied by much patience, perseverance and faith. Knowing God’s will, comes with reaching a place in our spiritual lives where we believe and trust in God for every circumstance.
- Take time to come into God’s presence. Be still before God. Worship Him. Don’t be in a hurry. Silence your heart. Surrender to Him.
- Confess all known sin. Sometimes, we may not be guilty of sin, but the way we came across to someone may have hurt or offended them. The question is never how much the other person is at fault. Our responsibility is to confess our part. God will deal with the other person (the offender) in His way and in His time. Are you aware of any conscious, unconfessed sin in your life? If so, deal first with the issue of forgiveness. Ask for the Lord’s forgiveness and sanctification and break with that sin. Sometimes, we might have negative emotions towards people or situations about which we are seeking God’s will!
- Be specific. Take the specific issue you are praying about as a definite request to God, and ask for a definite answer. Be still before God. Listen to Him. Write down what you hear. Do it day after day, until you know with certainty what God is saying.
- Test what you hear. Do not jump to quick conclusions! Sometimes your prayers for guidance will take weeks, months or even years before you come to a definite assurance. Do not be in a hurry! It is said of the well-known George Müller that he prayed for 11 years about a specific issue before he moved forward! As long as you are in doubt, wait.
- Seek wise counsel. Do not use yourself as the only measuring rod to test what you are hearing. There is much wisdom in asking one or two trusted friends, with whom you can share, what you hear. Let them pray with you, discuss the issue with you and weigh up the different options. (Proverbs 24:6). If you fear your friends might disagree with you, see this as a red light. What you hear must be in line with the Word. Be cautious when somebody gives you ‘a word of knowledge’, or if you see a picture or have a dream. Of course, God does use extraordinary means to direct us, but this type of revelation must be carefully tested. To test something does not imply doubt. We must understand that we are living in a spiritual dimension. Impressions can come either from God, from our self, or from the evil one. Everybody can be deceived, even Spirit-filled and deeply committed Christians! This truth must not fill you with fear; it serves only to caution you to be humble and careful, and not to rely on your own abilities.
- Be radically obedient. When you know what God wants you to do, do it! However, if you are still in doubt, wait. (Romans 14:23). You will have to ask yourself this very important question over and over again: Am I willing to obey God unconditionally when I know what His will is?
- Read the Word constantly. Fill yourself with the Word. When you are filled with the Word, you will know what is right or wrong in most instances.
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit. Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit daily. Ephesians 5:18: …Be filled with the Holy Spirit...
Article was taken from “Knowing the will of God” by Bennie Mostert