Monday Minutes With Pastor Chris McCool (August 14, 2023)

In the last “Monday Minutes” post, we began looking at the problem of discerning the will of God. We saw that, in Acts 9:6, during his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, Saul (soon to be the Apostle Paul) asked, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” We saw that, while this is an easy question to ask, it is not always so easy to answer! And yet the answer is extremely important for our daily walk.

So how do we discern the will of God? We saw last time that there are some things we can do to learn His will for our lives. First, we must study His word. The Bible contains all of God’s instructions for man, and is the first place we should look in determining His will!

In addition to studying the word, we should also pray for God’s wisdom. Certainly there are some thing we do NOT have to pray about: God will NEVER lead us contrary to His written word! For example, I had a lady tell me once that she just KNEW God had brought a certain man into her life, even though she was currently married to another man! I had to tell her that God did not do any such thing – He will never lead you to commit adultery, or to violate any other of His commandments!

Another example of this type of thinking occurs when someone decides to marry a person who is not a believer, or who leads a lifestyle that is immoral or otherwise ungodly. Often they think, “I will change him/her.” But God says for us not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14). He will never lead you to violate any of His clear commandments!

However, many things we DO need to pray about! In fact, God tell u to “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess. 5:17. So what is the character of this prayer?

First of all, we should engage in daily prayer. In the Model Prayer, Jesus tells us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Mat. 6:11. In Luke’s rendition of this prayer, He tells us to pray, “Luke 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread.” Luke 11:3. We cannot pray for daily bread without praying daily!

Secondly, we should engage in fervent prayer. James tells us that “[t]he effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16. The adjective here is derived from the Greek word ἐνεργέω (energeo), from which we get our English word “energetic.” It literally means to be active, or to be efficient; i.e., we are not just “going through the motions.” I’m reminded of the prayer Fred Sanford often prayed before eating: “Good food, good meat, good Lord, let’s eat!” This is NOT the way to pray to God!

Thirdly, we should engage in persistent prayer. Do you remember the account of the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8? We are told that she got what she asked for, even though the judge really did not care about her or her needs at all. Rather, she obtained her desires because she was persistent, and the judge got tired of hearing her cry out! My friends, don’t you think that God – Who is NOT unjust, but rather loving and caring toward His children – will hear us and lovingly answer us as we persist in prayer?

Finally, we should engage in consistent prayer – prayer that is consistent with His word, consistent with our focus on Kingdom of God. We need to be in the right spirit, with the proper charitable attitude toward others in the Kingdom of God, and with the requisite devotion toward God Himself. Ultimately, our prayer should be for wisdom that we might know what God’s will is in our lives! James tells us, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5.

May we continue to seek to know His will as we pursue a life of godliness in the Kingdom.

May the Lord bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor