Always Submitting – Step #5 in Learning How to Be Always Praying
Does praying feel somewhat pointless and boring to you? In my last two blog posts (Always Worshiping & Always Working), I was able to take Lessons #4 and #5 of Pastor Wilson’s series, Always Praying, and really hang some meat on my ho hum prayer life. I’ve gone from a total Prayer Hack to actually getting excited about my prayer time with God. I am becoming increasingly confident in how I fashion my requests to my Holy Maker; knowing He’s really engaged with what I’m saying.
- Hallowed be your name [Request to make God known]
- Your kingdom come [Request for His plan to be complete]
- Your will be done [Request for His will to be made known]
A word of caution to any humans attempting to pray, “…Your will be done”. Your mouth may easily say the words but your fallen bodies will resist this until the moment you die. Even Jesus, undeniably human in every way; asked God three times to reconsider the plan for His death (Matthew 26; The Garden of Gethsemane). We are no different and certainly no better in our ingrained resistance to do the will of the Father.
Q: So, how did a human Man so “grieved and distressed” not put up more resistance facing His own crucifixion?
A: Knowing that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”, He confidently did something very simple, but yet profound in its holy power; He prayed, “Your will be done”.
Four Little Words
When we follow His example and pray these four words, we are asking God to bend our wills, our hearts, our minds, and bend our intentions toward His will. Because this plea is aligned with God’s will, you should have no doubt about Him answering it (James 1: 5-6) and causing us to submit to the Father’s will; no matter how hard it is to do so.
Knowing He is Well Pleased
Doing God’s will is hard stuff for Christians and impossible for unbelievers. To make matters worse, we have cultural dogma that says things like, “God will never give you more than you can handle”. A Christian believing this nonsense feels unnecessary despair when they find trouble. A non-Christian believing this forms hatred and denial toward a deity they know is there, but feels doesn’t care about them.
As believers, we see time and again a completely opposite message coming from Scripture. We are purposefully called to suffer as Christians. Thus, we often find God intentionally putting us in situations that we cannot handle, just so we will have no other place to turn but Him. He knew us before the earth was formed and He alone knows what it takes to break our wills. When we align our will with His will we can know that we are in right relationship with our Father and that He is well pleased.
So, take heart Christian. The Son of God, in His humanity, battled the human will. He had to take His human will and turn it over to the Father and submit to Him. Submitting is a holy work, a blessing from God that will always come through conflict with our human wills. Philippians 2:13 says, “…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” When we find ourselves trying to work around what we know is His will, we need to slam on the brakes and pray for submission; that His will may be done.
How Do I Know That I am Seeking God’s Will?
In Philippians 2:1-18, Paul gives us a practical application for Christ’s sacrificial death. We are to take on His attitude of submission to the Father “…by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” and practice a “…humility of mind” with one another. “Regard one another as more important than yourselves; do dot merely look out for your own personal interests, but also of the interests of others”.
Q: How do you know; how do others know that you are seeking after the interests of God?
A: You will be interested in the interests of others!
In Lesson #6, Pastor Wilson asks, “How can you say you have any interest in surrendering your will to the will of the Father [who you can’t see] when you won’t even surrender your will for the good of somebody who is in need [whom you can see]”? Are you sharing your time, your effort and/or your money to relieve the suffering of those you are surrounded by every day? If this is the slightest bit of a struggle for you, then complete your prayer:
“Lord give me the bread I need today for my physical strength. Give me the spiritual strength to practice forgiveness. Deliver me from the evil that comes at me. In my struggles, bend me and bow me down to your will. May I always be found submitting to You and serving others, no matter how dire my situation. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
What Is God’s Will?
- Be saved – 2 Peter 3:9
- Be spirit filled – Ephesians 5:17-18
- Be sanctified – 1 Thessalonians 4:3
- Be suffering – Phillipians 1:29
- Be submitting – 1 Peter 2:13
I hope in this blog that I have faithfully articulated the truths about prayer and helped you passionately work your prayers with Jesus’ approved template. If I have, then there is no doubt in my mind that your relationship with God is going to be much deeper; causing greater glory to Him and greater expansion of His kingdom. Amen.
Next week, in Lesson #7 of the Always Praying series, Pastor Wilson helps us not to become attention seeking hypocrites while submitting to others and their interests. Better dust off your heart-microscope for this one.