Prayer is asking! The Word of God boldly teaches that we do NOT know what to ask God for. That is an amazing truth to me! WE KNOW NOT WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR AS WE OUGHT!!! You would think that as believers, we would know what to ask God for, since we have the Scriptures to guide us. 1st Corinthians 2:16, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” Why is it that even though 'WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST,' we still 'KNOW NOT WHAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR AS WE OUGHT'?
I believe the answer is simply because we do not know our future. We can know what God's written will is in any particular known situation, in the recorded pages of God's inspired Word; but we cannot know God's will regarding our unknown future; therefore, we have to trust God. We do not know the future, but we can know HE WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE!!! Pastor Max Younce has authored a wonderful book on this very topic: 'I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW' (free .PDF online version).
This is why we are taught in Proverbs 3:5-7, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” We are not supposed to lean upon our own understanding, simply because we cannot understand everything, nor does God expect us to. This is why we are PROMISED the peace of God 'WHICH PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING' through prayer...
Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”What a comforting Bible passage! There is a peace of God within understanding (which I much rather prefer); but then there is a peace of God which is beyond ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING. I admit that I don't like living BY FAITH when everything is going wrong in my life; anymore than the children of Israel liked being hot, hungry and horrified by what they experienced in the unforgiving desert Wilderness!!! Albeit, I rejoice in knowing that God is pleased by my faith, because I love the Lord and want Him to be pleased with me (as much as I mess up).
Living by faith means trusting God when bad things happen, when life goes wrong, when we just want to throw in the towel and quit! When there's no more income coming in, and you don't know how you're going to pay your bills or survive, that is when you're faith is really put to the test! God has promised to take care of us. We may not have what we want in life, but God will provide for our basic needs. 1st Timothy 6:6-8, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”
The Holy Spirit Is Literally Our Prayer Partner
In Pastor Jack Hyles' excellent book titled: 'MEET THE HOLY SPIRIT,' chapter 6, he teaches:
Two of the most important things that the young Christian has to learn are (1) how to get things from God, and (2) how to share with others and give to others what God gives. It should be remembered that in the Bible, prayer is asking. Prayer is not praise; it is asking. Prayer is not thanksgiving; it is asking. Prayer is not adoration; it is asking. This discussion will deal with the Holy Spirit, our prayer partner, Who joins with us in our prayer life.
1. The Holy Spirit intercedes with us. Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” The word “intercession” in verse 26 is not the same word that is translated “intercession” in verse 27. In verse 26 the word means that the Holy Spirit goes WITH us to the Father to help us plead for our needs and, yes, for our wants. There are several aspects:
2. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us concerning things for which we do not ask.
- I don't know what I need.
- The Holy Spirit DOES know what I need.
- I go to Him, that is, the Holy Spirit, to find my needs.
- He tells me what my needs are.
- I make a list of the things He reminds me.
- I then go to the Father.
- He goes with me.
SOURCE: Dr. Jack Hyles, 'Meet The Holy Spirit,' Chapter 6.The most important thing is that we “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING” (1st Thessalonians 5:17). Those are perhaps the THREE most powerful, yet overlooked words in the Word of God. Prayer is asking. Prayer is depending upon God. Prayer evidences to God that we cannot make it on our own. James 4:6, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” God always hears the righteous when we pray. 1st Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” If you are saved and right with God, you have God's PROMISE that He is listening to your prayers! By “right with God,” I mean that you have confessed your sins to God as a believer, and are making an effort with His help to live for God (1st John 1:9). You'll never be perfect, but God sees your heart, if you're trying to love others and do right.
Prayer works, one way or the other, prayer works. You're never wasting your time when you pray! You may feel like you're wasting your time, like I often do, but I am not supposed to live BY SIGHT, which is what we are doing when we look for results. 1st Corinthians 5:7, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” I just go ahead and PRAY ANYWAY, and trust God. Listen to me dear reader—prayer is far more a matter of living by faith, than it is merely getting things from God! I have lived long enough as a Christian to learn that God's normal M.O. (Method of Operation), is to make us feel like He's ignoring us (Luke 18:1-8), but He then works behind the scenes in a way that we cannot perceive (Hebrews 11:27).
“Jesus died for the hindmost, as much as He died for the foremost!” —Pastor Jack Hyles, “Don't Forget The Hindmost”