You can tell a lot about a person when you hear them pray. You can pick up on their theology, their fears, their struggles, or the desires of their heart probably more so when you listen to them pray then if you were to hold a conversation. This is why when I pray with others even if I am the one praying for them, I let them begin the prayer as another way to learn what areas of their life to speak victory in.
We easily know how to guard ourselves in everyday conversation to keep those little dark secrets of the deepest beliefs we hold about ourselves and God hidden, but when we pray, those innermost beliefs come out in subtle ways through our vulnerability, even desperation as we plead intimately to our Creator. But should we be praying out of vulnerability? Is there a place for desperation in a life in Christ? Are we on the defensive so to speak, rather than in the offensive, victorious position?
If I were to record your prayer life, what beliefs would be revealed of yourself and God? One who is victorious in their assurance of God to do what His Word has promised? Or is there a voice of passivity, of fear, of not knowing truly in your innermost being what God’s will is for your life?
What if I told you that praying is not necessarily about asking God to move in our life, but agreeing with what He has already purposed, with what He has already said He would give us? When we ask God for things in our life and are not sure if they are His will, how can we have confidence? How can we pray in faith? Lacking confidence in praying will result in prayers that start or end with “if it is your will God,” that don’t have the authority to break through ceiling tiles on their way up to God and is why they are not fruitful. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Confidence in praying occurs when we have faith through agreeing with what God has already promised us. Let us look at this Biblically.
In 1 John 5:14-15 we see that God will not give us anything we ask, but only what is according to His will, and that when we ask in accordance with His will we already know we have what we asked.
1 John 5:14-15 (NIV): This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (15) And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
This means God already has a will for our life, He already has a purpose for us to fulfill. We see this is 1 Corinthians 2:12-13:
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 (NIV): We have not received the spirit the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (13) And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
“Expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words” in 1 Corinthians 2:13 is “pneumatikos” (πνευματικός) in Greek and means “relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the man which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ.” Our life is an instrument of God or an organ in the body of Christ. We have a specific function or purpose for our life that God has willed before time. We see this in Psalm 139:16:
Psalm 139:16 (NIV): Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
There is power in our prayers when we are praying in accordance to what God has planned and purposed for our life even before one of our days came to be. But what most of us don’t realize is that in this plan or will of God for our life, is the fullness of God, joy, pleasures forevermore, provision, protection, prosperity, success, promotion, fulfillment, and peace, to name a few. These are the finished works of Christ, meaning they are already done and completed. We just have to step into them rather than strive to achieve them. So when we are praying in accordance with Gods will, we are speaking in agreement with what has already been written before time.
The reason praying is not about asking as much as it is about agreeing, is because Jesus is already praying on our behalf, He is always interceding to God for us.
Hebrews 7:24-25 (NIV): But because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. (25) Therefore He is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.
Not only is this the prayers of Jesus, which is God’s Will, but it is the prayers of the Spirit inside of us as well:
Romans 8:26 (NIV): In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Romans 8:26 is referring to praying in the Spirit or praying in tongues. Nothing will empower our life more than praying in the Spirit because we are praying not only with the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) but in perfect accordance to God’s will for our life. When we pray in the Spirit we are literally praying God’s perfect will to manifest in our life, and that is powerful in that it is certain to bring results.
So when we pray, pray in the Spirit, and when we pray in our own language, agree with God over the purpose He has for our life. Thank God for what He has done and what He is doing. We know God’s will for our life. If you don’t, place yourself in His presence through seeking Him first and He will reveal His desires for your life and you will know, specifically, what to agree with (Psalm 16:11). Then your prayer life will not be full of passive prayers, but full of confidence and assurance in what God has already begun in your life, and you will begin to see results!