I Can Force God's Hand?
I asked myself this question: how do I pray for others? What do I pray for? Specifically, I wanted to know how what intercessory prayer is and how to do it. I was good at speaking my feelings to God, good at confessing my innermost thoughts, but I felt like it was time to really learn how to pray.
According to John 14:14, whatever we ask in Jesus’ name, he will do it. That means that we should be praying with certainty. What does that mean, exactly, “Ask in Jesus’ name?” Do we just tack on that phrase to the end of our laundry list of requests?
In Exodus 3:14, God says, “I am who I am.” God is his character. When Jesus instructs us to pray in his name, he means, pray for things that are within God’s character to give.
In order to know what to pray for, in order to pray for something and have certainty that God will answer my prayer, we must first understand God’s character.
The best place to start learning how to pray is to see what others have prayer for, successfully, in the Bible. There are many people who have already composed lists of the various prayers in the Bible. Read the entire chapter surrounding each one and compile a list.
There are two major types of intercessory prayer. (There are several other types of prayers that we can pray for ourselves.) I will list these two types later.
What is important now is the certainty.
This is where Jeremiah 14:11 stood out. In this verse, God specifically asks Jeremiah not to pray for the well-being of Judah. Why would God instruct him to do this? Why would the Sovereign God of the universe need a prophet to not ask him to do something?
Because if Jeremiah had asked God to have mercy on Judah, He would have had to do so. God would not have had a choice. It is not in his character to deny mercy when asked for it.
This one verse removes God’s “fickleness.” This one verse communicates to us the guarantee that when we pray for something that is within God’s character, he must do it!
Truth is a person.
This verse, like no other, gives us the confidence that when we pray within God’s character, we can be assured that he will do it. It behooves us to learn what God’s character is!! Then our prayers can stop being a wish list thrown against the wall and hoping that some of them stick. We can stop saying, “Well, if it’s in God’s will, he will grant my wish.” Stop saying that! It’s not about his will; it is about his character.