Now let us focus on a second way to increase our confidence in prayer – by ridding ourselves of the confusion of not knowing how to pray. Uncertainty with regard to discovering and praying according to the will of God is a debilitating confidence robber. The epistle of James likens this condition to being plagued by doubt, tossed to and fro like a wave of the sea, and terms it “double-mindedness” (James 1:6, 8 NIV). He tells us that such a “person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:7 NIV). Truth be told, nothing deflates our rising expectation for answered prayer like double-mindedness.
But wait, the opposite is also true. Nothing pumps up our prayer expectations like knowing the will of God. No one explains this better than the Apostle John. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV Emphasis Added). These verses lay the foundation upon which every effective prayer should be based – asking according to His will. The challenge, of course, in any given situation which requires prayer, is to discover exactly what the will of God is. This is obviously easier said than done.
What then should a person to do who desires to pray, but is battling double-mindedness and has no confidence as to what the will of God may be?
2. ASK FOR A SPIRIT GIVEN, WORD BASED PRAYER. It is to the Holy Spirit that we must look for confident direction in our praying and it is with a yielded will that we must come to the throne of grace in order to receive that direction.