Starting Points#9. “Prayer—The Battle of the Wills!”

Starting Points#9. “Prayer—The Battle of the Wills!”

What a man really believes about God comes out in the quantity and quality of his prayers.

That, of course, might be a fact rather avoided than contemplated, given that prayer remains a problem area for most Christians.

But even the mightiest of prayer warriors are keenly aware that the struggle never goes away. They know that the more determined they are to build a meaningful prayer life, the more determined Satan is to tear it down. That does not go away, but neither does God’s supply of strength and wisdom for the fight.

The Christian must understand that the starting point in all prayer is to seek God’s will and pursue it.

Go ahead, ask for everything you have ever dreamed of having. Just make sure that you add, “Lord if this is going to build my faith and advance your church, let it be. If not, show me what will, and give me that.”

When Jesus anticipated his arrest, trial, torture and crucifixion, he prayed this prayer three times, “My Father, if this [cup of suffering] cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42).

The focus of Jesus’ prayers was the focus of his whole divine ministry—the Father’s will to save the world through his sacrificial death on the cross.

Nowhere do we confess our faith in Christ more than when we are before the Father in prayer. It is there, often distracted by the worries of the day, that we place our hopes and dreams for the church. And it is also there that we must grasp tightly the apostle John’s promise:

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

John is just repeating that which Jesus promised in Mark 11:24—“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”

Prayer is indeed a battle of the wills. And where the will of the Father is sought, victory is assured. Praise God!

John Staiger

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