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Devotions > Quality Control for Prayer

12 Nov 2012


Have you considered the quality of your prayers?    By quality we mean are your prayers regularly consistent with the heart of God?   In other words are you normally praying for those issues that are among the priorities of your Father?

We probably need to pause at this point and ask another question:  What is the primary purpose of prayer; is it to enable us to get from God what we want, or is it more accurately for us to support in prayer the kingdom purposes of our King?

As we study the pattern or guide that Jesus gave to His disciples, we find that Jesus guided us to pray first for Him to build His kingdom and second for those things that we need from Him.  Our role as His servant seems to be one of first focusing on His purposes, and then asking our Master for those things that will enable us to effectively serve in our role as His bond slave.

There is a clear indication that when we ask God for our daily bread and for protection from our enemy that these things while they are for us, are not primarily for us.   Are they not for the primary purpose of preparing us to serve our King without delay, disturbance, or default?

Unfortunately we each have a tenacious built in self-focus.  This self-focus which comes as standard equipment for all humans, seems to at all times attempt to blur and bend or even blend our motives toward making us the center of it, whatever it is.    In our prayers this self-focus will attempt to kidnap every pure motive and hold it hostage within the center of self.   This often results in our instinctively hearing the heart of self crying out for its own satisfaction or pleasure instead of asking and listening for the priorities of God’s heart.   We are probably all guilty at times of placing a higher value on our thoughts and our desires than on the desires of God.   We also easily fall for the fuzzy thinking that my desires must surely be the same as those of God.  Our thoughts are not His thoughts!

Our self-focusing drive can easily move us toward the half thought of expecting God to provide to us the desires of our heart.   While this scripture (below) in its entirety was never intended by God to simply give us our requests, but to provide for the desires of our Father who has promised to provide our wishes subsequent to His completely capturing our hearts.

Psalms 37:4-5 (NASB77)
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

There are two distinctly different advantages to praying accurately according to the will of God.   The first is obvious, God always answers these prayers.   However, the second is a bit more subtle, but oh so powerful.   When we humble ourselves and seek only the will of God in our prayers He brings into our lives more joy than is possible to describe with mere words.     Conversely, when we hold on to our deprived and displaced desires, even when they are met, the result is far from the real joy and peace and sense of satisfaction that is ours when we simply desire and pray for only what is on the heart of our Father.

John 15:8-11 (AMP)
8 When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
9 I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me].
10 If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love.
11 I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.

If we desire to be filled to full measure and overflowing with joy and gladness we should begin with bearing much fruit by praying strictly in accordance with His will and His desires.   This of course requires listening, study and more listening.    We cannot afford to make assumptions.    For maximum impact for His kingdom we need to be sure that our prayers are in accordance with His will.

Like in football, if we are to win, we will need an outstanding offense, and a determinative defense.   Our offense is seeking with disciplined consistency a deep intimacy with our Lord.    Our defense demands discipline and determination to relentlessly seek the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat Satan’s longing to interrupt our intimacy with the Lord through temptation and sin.    These kinds of offense and defense together with consistent Spirit guided study of the scriptures will provide us the opportunity to regularly hear from God and subsequently to pray in accordance with the desires of His heart.

1 John 5:14-15 (AMP)
14 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us.
15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.

Even as we pray for revival, we must pray from a heart that first and foremost desires God to be glorified.   Though our Nation is in dire need of renewal, our prayer must not be to heal our land for us, or even for our children.  It is our heart motives that God examines and evaluates.   We must pray for the healing of our land for His glory alone!


Jeff Williams