Discerning God's Will


We hope our desires align with Christ's so that we can earnestly pray for His will.

Matthew 16:21-26

It’s tempting to think we know what’s best, and this tendency often shows up in our prayers. Instead of laying our concerns at the Lord’s feet and asking Him for guidance and peace in the situation, we start telling Him exactly how we want Him to answer. Although today’s passage isn’t about prayer, it demonstrates a biblical principle that applies to our communication with God.

In making our requests, we should seek to align them as closely as possible with God’s revealed will as found in Scripture. This requires setting our minds on the Lord’s interests, not our own desires.

The way Peter saw things, rejecting Jesus’ announcement of His death made perfect sense. Even though this prophesy came directly from his Lord, Peter couldn’t reconcile the words crucified and Messiah. He had left everything to follow Jesus and was expecting to share in the glory. If Jesus was killed, there would be no kingdom. What he didn’t understand at the time was Isaiah’s prophesy of the suffering Messiah (Isa. 53:1-12).

By becoming students of God’s Word, we have more insight into His ways, will, and desires. With God’s perspective in mind, we can pray more knowledgeably, which in turn leads to increased answers to prayer (John 15:7).

To accept Jesus’ words, Peter would have to surrender his expectations for both himself and Christ. And the same is true for us as well. To follow Jesus, we must deny ourselves and even be willing to die for Him, if necessary. Sometimes dying to self involves surrendering how we want God to answer prayer. But when we do, we’ll find His best.

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