Am I Praying With Discernment?
George Mueller's friends said he would not voice a petition without a "word from God" to back that petition. In fact, Mueller never started petitioning until after he had spent time in God's Word. He then prayed with an open Bible and filled his petitions with God's promises. In George Mueller's lifetime, God gave him not only over a million sterling pounds, but also, Mueller believed, more than thirty thousand souls in answer to prayer.
In 1 Chronicles 5:22, God's people won the war because the battle "was of God" (KJV). Whenever the Israelites sought the Lord regarding which battles to fight and then went at His command, they always had victory. On the other hand, if they went without His leading, they lost the battle.
Prayer is our battleground, and we, too, must expect God to help us know which battles are "of God."
Sometimes the Holy Spirit lets us know our request would not fulfill His desire. As we continue to pray, exact words may form in our minds, words that we recognize the Spirit is pleased for us to pray. It may simply be a heartfelt, "My deepest desire is for You to be glorified in this situation."
If that is our desire in prayer, we do not choose how God answers our request. George Mueller said a calmness of mind, having no will of his own, but only wishing to please His Heavenly Father, enabled him to know God's will. Our concern is that the answer be His choice.
Our goal in prayer is to discover what God wants us to ask Him to do so He will be glorified. We have not come to tell God what to do but to hear Him tell us what He wants to do.
Dear Lord, help me be aware when my prayer is not expressing a desire for You to receive glory.
"We do not know what we ought to pray...the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will" (Romans 8:26, 27).