Devotional: ‘Praying For God to Show Us His Will’

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Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives… 

Sometimes it is easy to determine the will of God, and sometimes it isn’t. There are certain matters that are clearly stated in scripture and one has only to read “Thou shalt not steal” or “Thou shalt not commit adultery” to know God’s will. Yet there are other matters that may not be as clear.

For instance, David was unsure if he should lead his army out into battle. “He inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I go and attack these Philistines?’” (1 Samuel 23:2) Though David clearly understood that the Philistines were Israel’s enemies, he was unsure if this was the time and place for him to fight them. Another example is the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. Paul understood that it was God’s will for the gospel to be proclaimed to all nations; yet Paul was unsure of where God wanted to use him next. Acts 16 reveals how Paul had to go through a process of elimination in order to determine God’s will. He tried to go into one region, yet the door was closed. Then he tried to go into another region, and the door was closed again. But then the Lord spoke to him and the Bible says – “After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16: 10)

Though there are some things concerning God’s will that are clearly revealed in scripture, there are other matters which require much prayer and waiting upon the Lord to speak. Therefore, a part of our daily prayers should be for God to reveal His will to us for that day.

Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. 

Colossians 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way… 

Note that in both passages, prayer is being made for the Holy Spirit to give guidance. How does the Spirit do this? My personal experience has been that the Spirit often leads me to a special portion of scripture that applies directly to my situation. Sometimes it takes days or even weeks of prayer for this to happen; but then suddenly one day, as I am reading God’s Word, the Spirit opens up to me a portion of scripture and I sense His inner peace that this is God’s will for me.

Is 25:9 It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” ESV

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