“Stan,” I said, “sometimes I have the sense my prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling and not getting to God. You ever feel like that?”
“I have,” Stan replied. “I used to feel that way quite a bit, but not any more.”
“How did you get over that?” I asked.
“Praying with confidence,” Stan replied.
“Same question,” I responded. “How? How did you get that confidence?”
“Several ways,” Stan said, “but the first essential step was for me to pay attention to what the apostle John said about this in his first letter.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“That I can have confidence that God hears my prayers,” Stan replied, “when I pray in accordance with God’s will.”
“Okay,” I said. “But how can I know if I am praying in accordance with God’s will?”
“I think there are at least two ways,” Stan replied. “The first is for me to give all of my prayers to the Holy Spirit and ask Him if they are in accordance with God’s will. It’s kind of like having a filter that passes on to God the Father the approved ones and rejects the ones that are not in accordance with God’s will.”
“Secondly,” he continued, “the sure-fire way of knowing if I am praying in accordance with God’s will is whether or not the prayers are being answered.”
“That seems about right,” I replied. “If God only answers prayers that He hears, and if He hears only those prayers that are in accordance with His will, there is a much better chance of having my prayers answered if I follow the directions.”
“You got that right, my friend,” Stan said. “Pray in accordance with God’s will. If I do not pray in accordance with God’s will, my prayers, will indeed, be bouncing off of the ceiling!”
And 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.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer. Thank you, too, that you give guidance and instruction as to how to pray. I confess that too often I come before you with prayers that are in accordance with my will, rather than yours. Please forgive me. And please, Father, help me in following your lead in all of my prayers so that I pray only in accordance with your will and can know, with confidence, that you hear my prayers. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.