Two weeks ago, April shared a teaching from Watchman Nee’s Let Us Pray that I (Bonnie) think bears repeating on the blog.  In the first couple of chapters, Nee discusses that the best and most effective way to pray is to find out the will of God and to pray it back to Him.  Simple, right? Actually, God is already preparing us to know His will.

And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.[b] 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)

What these verses seem to say is that God is renewing our minds, transforming us to be able to know His will.

We have discussed several different ways to discover God’s will.  One of these is to read his Word. For example, it is definitely God’s will that every person be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-5). Therefore, if you are praying for someone’s salvation, then you are definitely praying the will of God.  Another way to learn His will is to ask Him.  God wants to tell you His will.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. – James 1:5 (NLT)

So, we need to pray the will of God.   I’ve heard this all my life in church.   I’ve heard people pray, “God, if it’s Your will…,” about as often as I’ve heard, “In Jesus’ Name we pray.”  There is a big difference between this and what Watchman Nee is saying.  Praying “if it’s Your will” sounds a lot like, “God, I don’t know what Your will is, so in case my wish doesn’t come true, I’ve given You an out.”  Not everyone who prays this way means that, but I know I did.  Instead, once we discover the will of God, we can come to him boldly with our requests, knowing that it is in His will.

Knowing that you’re praying the will of God may not change the actual words of your prayer.  You could be asking God for the exact same thing, but your attitude will be different.  I feel more confident in God’s faithfulness when I am certain that I am praying in His will.  I also believe that we can know God on a deeper level this way.  Feel free to add to or debate any of these points in the comments.  I’m only one member of the body trying to remember a teaching from two weeks ago!