Last week I was talking with one of the students in our church about the concept of predestination. He had some great questions about if everyone is predestined like the Bible teaches, does God choose who goes to heaven and who goes to hell? I love it when people ask these kinds of questions because it shows they are trying to understand the Bible and not just take everything they have read or been taught at face value. People who do this want to understand God’s heart and not just His ways.
This student and I walked through the concept of predestination together and how God predestines or pre chooses everyone to be conformed to the image of Jesus. I explained that God gives free will to everyone so even though He wants everyone to be like Jesus, many people choose not to follow that path. That made sense to him and helped him on his journey to know God.
As I was thinking about that conversation this morning, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “My will reveals my nature and my will is for all men to pray.”
He then reminded me of this passage of scripture out of 1 Timothy 2:1-4:
2 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
According to Verse 4 God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
This is God’s will for all humanity. Unfortunately, according to the scripture more people will choose the broad path that leads to destruction than the narrow road (Jesus) that leads to eternal life. If you stop and think about it, this means God doesn’t get His way most of the time.
Why is that? Look at the first three verses of 1 Timothy 2. In these verses God told us to pray for all men including kings and those in authority so we could all lead a quiet and peaceable life in godliness and reverence. Is it possible if we prayed more, kings and those in authority would allow the freedom to share the gospel so that the Holy Spirit could work on all men’s hearts and more would be saved?
God’s desire is for all men to be saved, but that happens in proportion to the time we spend in prayer. Generally, more prayer leads to more salvations, while prayerlessness leads to less. This is the reason the Moravians experienced a massive revival and begin to send missionaries all around the world as they began a 24/7 around the clock prayer movement in the 1700’s.
What happens when we pray?
1. We begin to get spend time in God’s presence and align our heart with His. We begin to want what He wants. Philippians 2:13 says God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, but that only happens as we spend time in His presence. When we spend time with Him our motives and desires begin to align with His.
This is why Mark 11:24 says whatever you desire, when you pray believe you receive, and you will have it. In this verse, Jesus told his disciples to ask for what you desire. When we spend time with God, His heart becomes our heart and we desire what He desires. As we speak forth these desires, He brings His will to pass in our lives and intervenes in our world.
2. God’s power is released. Look at Mark 11:23:
23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
In this passage Jesus emphasized the word say, which is just another way of saying pray. He used the word say three times in the verse:
- Say to the mountain
- Believe those things he says
- He will have whatever he says.
Kenneth Hagin used to say one of the reasons he taught on confession so much is because God showed Him the word say was used three times in that verse, while believe was only used once. He would then tell people the Lord showed Him that He would have to teach three times as much on confession as belief in order to get people to actually walk in Bible faith.
The power to change the world is released when we pray, which is why God wants us to pray. This is God’s will for our lives. I bring this up in light of the current series I’ve been doing on “How To Find God’s Will.” God’s will is for us to connect with Him intimately in prayer so we discern His heart and begin to decree what He is declaring. Learn more here.
He wants us to be conformed to the image of Jesus and when we study the life of Jesus, we learn He was a man of prayer. Many people want a magic formula to finding out God’s specific plan for their lives about who to marry or what career to choose, yet they don’t value the general plan of God for all to pray. They want the results of prayer; knowing God’s specific will, but not the process of prayer.
The process of prayer where we conform to His image and pick up on His heart is the key to developing the intimacy and character to live out His plan for our lives. It is also where we gain confidence that we really can have what we say when we pray. This is a massively necessary component to us fulfilling God’s plan for our lives.
I hope this article has inspired you to pray like never before! I believe connecting with God’s heart and nature through prayer is a key to getting His specific instructions for your life.
Below are all of our previous articles on our “What Is God’s Will For My Life” series.
- What Is God’s Will For My Life
- God’s Will Is Found In Christ
- What Is God’s Perfect Plan For My Life?
- God’s Will For Your Life Is Your Sexual Purity
To learn about how every move of God begins with prayer, check out this recent teaching from Grace Life Church.