A minister had a man approach asking for prayer. The man then asked that this minister agree he be given another man's wife. Friends, I shouldn't have to tell you that God won't answer that prayer. It's outside of His will.
Now, God answers prayers, spoken in faith, but our faith must always be in what God desires and our answer fall within His character.
In another situation, there's a job you want or a promotion. There's no physical reason you can't have it. You are qualified. You are able. Yet, when you pray and pray, it never happens. Sometimes, but not always, what you wanted wasn't God's best plan for you.
Taking this from a third angle, we see the story of Solomon and Adonijah. Both were King David's sons, but God had anointed Solomon. Solomon was called to be king and given God's blessing. Adonijah decided to upstage him and take the kingship for himself.
Let me tell you, you could have prayed for Adonijah to succeed until you were blue in the face, but God would not have answered your prayer. God had called Solomon, and God does not change His mind about who He anoints. (Rm 11:29)
You could pray for Adonijah's heart to change. You could pray he'd desire repentance. You can pray mercy from God for him. God desired those things for Adonijah. But God will never endorse man's actions made outside of his will.
Perhaps, you are offered the position you wanted and you accept it, but no matter how hard you try, you can't prosper in it. Everywhere you turn, you hit a figurative brick wall. Minister Rick Renner told this same story about when he assumed God wanted him to pastor a church. Was there anything wrong with churches? No. Was God against pastors? Absolutely not. Was he called to the ministry? Yes. But God had not called him to be a pastor.
Well, you say, then how am I to know God's will?
That comes down to a couple things. First, relationship. You must spend time seeking Him and come to know His voice. You know it when you're praying, but you also know it when you hear it spoken by others.
Second, you look for fruit. The Bible says you will know those who follow Christ by what actions they produce - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. (Gal 5:22-23) You should see this fruit in you and in others.
Third, God never endorses wickedness. He is against false witnesses, lying, strife, and dishonesty. He is a God of righteousness and truth. (1Cor 13:6; Gal 5:19-21)
Which side does what you are praying for fall on? Do you want it because you envied someone else? Envy is outside of the love of God. (1Cor 13:4) Does that thing promote ungodliness? God will not support things like abortion. He will not help you get a job at the bar. Did you lie to position yourself for that opportunity? He loves you. He will forgive you if you offer sincere repentance. He will not cause your falsehood to prosper.
But sometimes, we simply want the wrong thing. If your prayer is hitting the proverbial brick wall, ask God if it is demonic resistance or simply your wrong choice. When Rick Renner quit the pastorate and sought God for His true will, his life changed forever.
Image by Nicole Köhler from Pixabay
Suzanne D. Williams, Author