May 28, 2016

Praying in His will

After 44 years of marriage, I’m far better at anticipating what my husband wants, is going to do, what he will say. I better understand his ideas on most topics and issues. Even with the usual husband/wife misunderstandings, he has become better at communicating himself to me, perhaps because I’ve become a better listener. I’ve also learned something about timing rather than asking important questions when he is busy with something else.

Chambers didn’t use the marriage relationship as an illustration, but he parallels it by saying the more unity I have in my relationship with Jesus, the greater my understanding of His will and what He is doing. Certainly that involves being a better listener. It also involves timing.

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23–24)

“In that day” refers to the union of God’s people with Jesus Christ, made possible by His death, resurrection, and ascension. With His life in my life, I first had lots of questions, but the more I realize my union with Him, the less I ask and the more I simply trust. Chambers calls this “the place of entire reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus,” a reliance that brings me into a “perfect contact” with God’s purposes.

I don’t think I am totally there yet, but I do know that I ask fewer questions, and when I ask in the name of Jesus, I have greater confidence in God’s answers. Part of this is because He helps me understand what is going on and how I can pray to fit in with what is going on. Even if I don’t know and all seems dark, I am far better able to trust Him anyway because I am certain that He is good, He is involved, and His will is going to happen.

Chambers’ challenge involves listening and timing. If anything is a mystery and it comes between me and God, then it isn’t because I’m stupid or ignorant. I need to pay attention and consider the reasons I’m not able to grasp His will or at least trust Him even if I cannot figure out what He is doing.

As Chambers says, the solution is looking for the areas of my life that are not submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ. If I’ve not come to a place of total trust, how then can I ask anything in His name? Jesus makes it clear that when I sense a distance, it is not God who moved away. He also made clear that when there is no distance between the Father and His child (because we are made one), then in that day I will ask Him no questions and trust will come easily.

My issue is recognizing when I am out of harmony and getting that taken care of before praying and expecting to receive from Him.

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