Praying God’s will is not a rhema issue, but a logos issue. No one knows all of the logos. We only know what we have known. Thus, it takes time to study the logos to understand God’s will. For us 21st century disciples and sons of God, we lead the logos through various filters.
The version of the Bible
Context of the scripture (which entails reading passages, not verses)
Time of the written passage
Details of the written passage (politics, geography, culture, religion, dispensation/theme of the time)
New Testament witness (if the focus is an Old Testament passage)
Two or three witnesses of scripture (which entails word study to see meaning travel through dispensations)
It’s at this point that we revisit what we initially heard or saw, and then based on the logos, we enter into prayer. We do not pray for justification of our original point. We pray for Holy Spirit to teach us what He is teaching us, in light of what we heard or saw. We pray to learn His mind. We pray to submit all that we learned in our study about what we originally heard and saw… and we sit with it as He brings revelation together.
When we do this, a few things happen.
We learn to wait on the Father, meaning we sit with the Word. We let the picture form. We let the Word marinate because the Word is best delivered through a renewed vessel. The Word coming through us should affect us, be taken in by us.
We avoid rash speaking. The lesson is here — which does not get much attention in discipleship — is preparing to pray. When we sit with the initial visitation and then lead it through the filters, our understanding is still incomplete.
We learn to put the sense of urgency from receiving the initial visitation in perspective. Many have spoken a word that was almost right, except vessels did not wait with the Word. When we receive from Holy Spirit, there is a rush sometimes that convinces us we need to run now. I urge us though, to submit the sense of urgency to Holy Spirit and demonstrate sonship (aka let Him lead us).
The wonderful backdrop to all of this is a life where we actively seek the Lord. Discipline and relationship with Him can speed up the processes outlined above. DO NOT WORRY — I am not creating another law. My emphasis here is on cultivating a heart that follows hard after Abba. For all the ways He can minister to us, we can use a lot of those ways to seek Him too. It’s beautiful. Sunrises and sunsets, music of all kinds, cooking, sewing, and other creative tasks, journaling our prayers, books, and more… they can all be ways we seek Him. On the slate of a clean heart, there is the likelihood that the initial vision, word, etc. is pure.
Take a breath, and seek Him. And when He taps us to pray and speak His will, invest in the time to learn what He is saying… and, in what direction He is saying. Ask Him about “packaging” — that is, how to deliver His will. And then with humbling joy, do His will. I hope this helps. Selah, and love to all.
Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the lead contributor for The Bereans’ Commentary.