Three questions to ask yourself when praying: Why am I asking? Am I willing to step aside? Who gets the glory?
10 For wisdom will enter your heart [through the Holy Spirit], and knowledge [of Him] will be pleasant to your soul.
Often when people pray, they do not get what they ask. Even though Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name,” (John 16:23) there is a problem, which is that we don’t really ask “in His name.”
“In His name” implies that we are asking in the same spirit and intent of Jesus Himself. In order to have that same spirit, there are some questions we need to ask ourselves. These three questions are from the book on prayer by Ronnie Floyd that we are going through in staff prayer meeting. They are:
- “Why am I asking God for this?”
- “Am I willing to lay aside my will so that God’s will can be done?”
- Is my main concern that God will get the glory for it?”
These questions are covered in the model prayer taught my Jesus to His disciples in Matthew 6:9-13,
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
The first question of “Why am I asking God for this?” is covered in “Your kingdom come.” What we ask must have to do with the furtherance of the kingdom of God. If it is for our own pleasure and our own will, it will probably interfere with God’s kingdom. Answer this question candidly.
The second question of “Am I willing to lay aside my will so that God’s will can be done?” is covered in “Your will be done.” His will over our will; that’s the way it needs to be. Jesus prayed, “Let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” Matthew 26:39. We must learn to pray the same way.
The third question of “Is my main concern that God will get the glory for it?” is covered in “on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s will is always done in heaven, completely and fully. God’s glory is utmost in heaven. We must make it our main concern here on this earth, as well. In fact, bringing God glory is our primary task. We accomplish this task through our obedience. Our obedience brings Him glory, which Jesus demonstrated by “becoming obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8. His obedience brought His Father great glory, “Father, glorify your name!” “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again [speaking of the cross and resurrection].” John 12:28.
Of course, if we ignore these questions when we pray, it means that either we are not communicating (we are not really interested in a relationship with the Father) or we do not want to yield (Lordship is not part of our plan). Either way, we are headed for destruction as sin takes hold of our lives and destroys us. God loves us, but He will not keep us from suffering the consequences of our own bad choices. He will guide us, warn us, and pick us up and dress our wounds when we fall, but He loves us too much to keep us from the lessons learned through hardship.
Let’s make it our life’s goal to bring glory and honor to our Lord, whether in life or in death.
Abba, it seems that each time I want something, I have to ask these questions. When will I stop having selfish and self-centered desires? When I die? Oh, in that case, please lead me to ask each time I desire something! May I be open and honest with myself–even when it hurts. I want You to gain much glory–how do I go about accomplishing this goal? Through obedience, I know. May I get better and better at dying to self and allowing You to have first place in my heart and life, Lord Jesus. Amen.