This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15
In the world of technology, there is a new development called Hyper Sonic Sound (HSS). The inventor, Elwood “Woody” Norris, has engineered sound waves to travel like a laser beam for about 150 yards. This allows sounds to be heard by a person in a particular place but not by those immediately around them. You could be listening to music or specific instructions while those standing next to you would be left in total silence. If you move out of the tightly formed path of these unique sound waves you too will be unaware of any noise. Source: Reader's Digest, March 2005
It is not always easy to discern the will of God. At times we make plans and expect God to approve those plans as if they are His will. Some people simply conclude their actions and decisions are God’s will despite the fact they didn’t invite the Holy Spirit to intercede for them. How do we know the will of God for our lives? This has always vexed many believers. Yet the Bible provides guidance for understanding the will of God.
In today’s text, the writer of 1John says that “if we ask anything according to his will, God hears us. This is both reassuring and intriguing.” It is reassuring to know that God is willing to hear and to give us what we ask for in prayer. Thus, we can pray with confidence because we know that God will answer. Here again, there is an element of intrigue. How do we know when we are praying according to God’s will?
The only way to pray according to the will of God is with the help of the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit knows God’s will. Without the Holy Spirit’s intercession on our behalf, our prayers cannot reach God’s divine altar. Nor can we expect an answer from God. Therefore, Paul says, “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. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).”
As the Holy Spirit intercedes for you, “Be slow to take new steps in the Lord's service, your business, or in your families. Weigh everything well; weigh all in the light of the Holy Scriptures, and the fear of God. Seek to have no will of your own, to ascertain the mind of God, regarding any steps you propose to take; so that you can honestly say, you are willing to do the will of God, if He will only, please to instruct you. But when you have found out what the will of God is, seek for His help, and seek it earnestly, perseveringly, patiently, believingly, and expectantly: and you will surely, in His own time and way, obtain it.”—Selected
God's communication with us is very similar to these sound waves in today’s illustration. His spiritual Hypersonic Sounds allow His voice to be heard by a person praying in the Spirit in a particular place but not by those immediately around them. We must be aligned with the Holy Spirit so that our petitions can be according to God’s will. If we move away from the pathway of the Holy Spirit, we become unaware of the fact that God is communicating with us and we consequently miss the message.
Questions for Personal Reflection
How do you know if you are praying according to God’s will?
Why is the Holy Spirit so vital to the prayer exercise?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit who intercedes on my behalf. Please help me to seek to have no will of my own so that you will be done in every area of my life.