I often hear folks asking God for the things He promises—provision, peace, health, and safety, and the like. I do it myself, and why not? I’m His child, and He is a good Father, so He gladly concerns Himself with the things that concern me. So if the issue on my heart is something I know that He does and wants to do, then I generally ask Him to do it.
But there is another side to praying according to God’s will: As much as God loves to take care of us, it’s not all about us. God intended prayer to be a two-way conversation. At its best, relationship with God is a mutual, reciprocal friendship. If I take time to listen, God confides His heart in me. He actually invites me to concern myself with what concerns Him. As I get to know God better and better, I care more and more about things He wants—the “His kingdom and righteousness” types of things (Matthew 6:33). Here are some Scripture promises that illustrate what I’m talking about.
“Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).
And this one: “You will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (Isaiah 49:23).
Here’s another one: “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).
Or here’s one I read this morning: “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (Jeremiah 29:7).
God has shown me how these expressions of His heart apply to specific situations around me—at work, at church, in my relationships, and in my own deepening relationship with Him. These promises express His heart. As I start to pray and lean into His desires, I express love for Him and bring Him joy, just as when He answers my provision-safety-peace prayers, I feel loved and cared for. It’s all part of genuine friendship with God.
I know I haven’t even scratched the surface of promises that express God’s heart. I’d love to hear from you: What God-centered promises are a part of your conversations with God these days?