A question was posed this morning: When interceding in prayer, where is the fine line between taking hold of the authority given us in Christ to intercede, and being presumptuous?
Philippians 4:6 “….but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God”.
1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us: And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him”.
David prayed: “Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins“.
In considering these scriptures, how can we ensure we do not enter into presumption in prayer? As our relationship develops and matures with the Lord, we learn to respect and honour Him and His ways, and do not trample roughshod over holy ground. Over the passage of time as we learn and practice obedience to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and the word of God, our spiritual hearing of God’s voice develops. We often quote that Jesus only ever spoke the words His Father gave Him, and only ever did the things that pleased the Father. Jesus was plugged in and switched on to a divine hotline to His Father. As Jesus had no darkness in Him, (He was completely surrendered to the Father’s will), He had complete clarity of hearing His Father’s voice and always operated on a “proceeding word”, Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.
Sometimes in our limited understanding of God’s ways, we can make the mistake in prayer of requesting certain things to be done in a particular way, according to our understanding. God does not need our earthly wisdom and ignorance! This is presumption on our part. We need to remember that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours, (Isaiah 55:8-9). Almighty God has no need of our “good ideas” and plans but He does want to be included in all we do and say. Ephesians 3:20 declares: “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ASK or THINK”.
As we respond and grow in His great love for us, the love of God in the nature of Jesus Christ will have residence in our hearts, as we walk in humility and obedience to Him. In this position we can become sensitive to His voice, His proceeding word, as we pray in faith. When in intercessory prayer, the Holy Spirit will prompt us when to change from requesting to thanksgiving. This will not be presumption but a confidence that God has heard and answered, according to His will and divine purpose. He imparts His joy and peace that passes our understanding and leaves the impression of His presence in our spirit man. God has placed His seal upon our prayer and we have the assurance that He is in full control working things through…..all for His glory. Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”.