Most people would agree that the major challenge to praying faith-filled, prevailing prayers is to find out God’s will and pray it back to Him. While at times discovering His will may seem a daunting task, it is not as shrouded in darkness as some may tend to assume. Thankfully God in His providence has given us “a lamp for [our] feet, a light on [our] path” with which to guide us to His will, and it is called His Word (Psalm 119:105 NIV).
Praying God’s Word with the help and illumination of the Holy Spirit, is therefore the primary means God has provided for us to pray according to His will. The Bible, which contains all of God’s words and promises, is among other things a prayer book. When we pray from the Bible, reciting back to God His own words and will, we do so with an incredible confidence, knowing not only that we are in agreement with Him, but also that He is hearing and agreeing with us. When that happens, we cannot help but believe that answers to our prayers are sure to come.
Psalm 119, the longest recorded prayer in the Bible is illustrative of this priority of praying according to God’s word/will. In this Psalm, in which God’s Word is likened to a lamp and a light, we find its author David, appealing to God repeatedly on that basis. At least twenty four times, we see David asking God to hear and answer him based on God’s own “word,” “promises,” or “laws.” “Remember your word to your servant.” “Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live.” “Preserve my life according to your laws” (Psalm 119:49, 116, 156 NIV emphasis added).