By The Book #3: Knowing God in Prayer and In His Will (Part 1)
Knowing God in Prayer and In His Will
Let us continue to probe into the matter of how to know God. We need to learn to deal with Him as well as being dealt with by Him. In other word have transactions with Him. Earlier we only mentioned how to deal with God, but that alone is not sufficient. Now we will speak of two further matters, which are…
1) How to know God in Prayer.
2) How to know God in His Will.
If we do not know the nature of God and how to commune with Him, we are not able to go on spiritually.
1) Knowing God in Prayer.
One thing which puzzles Christians is how can we obtain Gods answer in prayer. Each Christian must have this desire of having God hear his prayer. That believer will be an abnormal Christian if God hears his prayer only once in three to five years or once in three to five months. Many hardly have any experience of God answering their prayer. I do not mean they do not pray. I only mean their prayers are ineffective. Many believers have no assurance that God would hear their prayers. They do not know if He has answered until they have gotten what they have prayed for. They have no conviction whatsoever in the beginning. As Christians we should be spiritually rich, but we become poor because we do not know how to pray. How poverty-stricken are we if our prayer is only answered in three or five years! I have mentioned that no Christian can live under the state of unanswered prayers. How terribly we must have fallen.
Today I would like to consider with you how a Christian should pray. How soon should his prayer realize an answer? What will be the final issue? Now where can we get this knowledge? We can get it through knowing God. If you were to put these questions to different people they would probably list ten articles pertaining to prayer, such as the forsaking of sin, that one must have faith, and the necessity of praying according to the will of God.
The problem is many people know prayer only through the bible, not from dealings with God. They read the Word and ferret out the conditions for answered prayer. All these are learned from the bible, not from the dealings with God. They are therefore not of much use. We must spend time before God and learn to deal with Him as well as to be dealt with by Him. Thus shall we gradually come to know what He requires of us in respect to prayer. To know God in prayer does not come by chance, nor by hearing, nor by what I say now. A travel guide can only point out a place to a person, but it does not bring that person to that place. If he does not go there he will have no experience of that particular place.
Brothers and Sisters suppose you have a wish or a petition within you which you want God to fulfill for you. You will pray to Him concerning the matter. You may pray fervently or continually, pray at length or briefly. Yet the strangest thing is you never think of knowing God in such a time of prayer. You do not really mind if God does or does not answer your prayer. For instance you ask God for a book; and if one day He gives you that book, you take it as a reward from Him. You ought to know, however, that it is not just the book you get. You also obtain knowledge of God. Indeed you learn how to pray so as to get an answer from Him. Receiving a book is very insignificant, but knowing how to pray and be answered in prayer is a most precious piece of knowledge. Through this time of prayer you can come to know God a little more. Our knowledge ought not come from reading the bible alone; we must also have it directly from God.