My library is filled with dozens of books on prayer. Some of those books I continue to read over and over again. I listen to sermons on prayer. I try to practice prayer personally. I am a continuous student in God's school of intercession. I still get frustrated because I do not know how to pray as effectively as I would like.
That was over 30 years ago I first investigated prayer back in college. Since that time, I continued to study the scriptures about prayer. I rad voraciously people like Andrew Murray, Rees Howells, Jim Cymbala, and my favorite, George Mueller. Each showed me something new. God used them to point me to different dimensions of prayer.
Now I have to say there is so much about prayer and how it moves God to work I still do not understand. One thing I know for certain when it comes to prayer, it is never a question of whether God is able to answer or not. Gen 18:14, Jer 32:17 and Matt 19:26 settle that. It is a matter of whether God is wiling to answer. Does it please Him to answer. Does He desire to grant us what we ask. This is further iterated in I Jn 5:14-15, which I quote often when preaching, teaching, or writing about prayer.
Even knowing all of that, there is so much I do not understand. Many times I have been left scratching my head wondering what went wrong when I thought I knew the will of God on matters and I prayed Bible promises. The desired outcome did not come, sometimes after years and years of fervent prayer. Many prayers I've brought before God in petition have still not been answered other than the message to wait.
I know the key is all bound up in what He wills. Learning to pray His will is crucial. Of course that means discerning His will in the first place. Truth be told I have often not prayed in accordance with His will. I allowed my own personal desires to influence what I convinced myself was His will. Many times I have prayed amiss and been left with empty hands and a wounded faith.
That is something I am working on doing better. I want to be much more deliberate about discerning His will when I pray. Of this I am convinced. God desires to glorify Himself through a praying church that bears much fruit. Jn 5:7-8. I fall way short. I still have much to learn. I am eager to learn it.
It should be our aim to pray prayers that God wills to answer and that will glorify Him. Tonight, with God's help, I want to unpack a tremendous verse on prayer. You can tune in on the Spring Creek Baptist Church in Weatherford, TX facebook page. An easier way is to go to myspringcreek.org and click on the facebook link. We will start at 6:30 and do a deep dive into this mystery of prayer. I hope you are able to join us.