Lesson 11: Prayer – Praying According to His Will and For Others
Objective: Understand the need to pray according to God’s will and for other people.
What does it mean to pray according to God’s will? Think back to the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:5-13) discussed in Lesson 9. Verse 10 says to pray that, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Praying according to God’s will is praying for what God wants, instead of what we want. It’s the difference between asking, “God, please give me this job I’m applying for” and “God, if you want me to have this job, then make it happen.”
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means following Him, seeking after what His will is in our lives, and praying that His will be done in our life.
And so although there are no prohibitions against asking God for what you want or need (by all means, do so!), it’s God-honoring to simply ask for His will to be carried out through you.
God has a plan for your life. And while we have free will to choose our own path, we are only assured of success if we choose what God wants. In fact, John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Without God, the fruit of our work is temporary at best.
Instead of asking God to bless your work and your plans, ask God to help you join in His work and His plans.
1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
1: Why don’t you say a prayer to God right now, asking for God’s will to be done in your life.
It’s also important to pray not just for ourselves. Praying for others is called “Intercessory prayer” and it can be a powerful thing.
Not praying for others is even called a sin in 1 Samuel 12:23: “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.”
There are many Biblical examples of God instructing us to pray for one another:
1 Timothy 2:1 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2 “We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.”
Philemon 1:4-6 “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”
Other verses to read: Numbers 21:6-7, Matthew 18:19, James 5:13-16, Ephesians 6:18.
2: Who in your life needs your prayers of encouragement right now? Pray for them now.
3: Who in your life needs your prayers of healing, peace, or perseverance? Pray for them now.
Action: This week in your prayer time, pray for two things:
- Ask God for His will in your life (not WHAT is his will, but THAT his will be done in you)
- Pray on behalf of and for the benefit of others in your life
4: Say a prayer for your mentor too. Let your mentor know if you have questions about God’s will or how to pray for others.