I would not pray for something that I knew was against God’s will. I don’t think very many Christians would, but what about praying for something that I am not sure is God’s will? Just before He is arrested, and crucified Jesus prays asking God the Father if another way can be found to save the world from their sins. He was fully aware of the price He was going to pay and He prays with great fervency for a possible alternative method.
Like 22:44 says, “And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”
Jesus prayed “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me”
But then He adds this very important piece to His prayer.
“yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
There are many things that I do not know about the future, and a major one is that most of the time, I don’t know what God’s will is, so when I pray, I add what Jesus did, “yet not my will, but yours be done.”
I do the same thing when I write goals for my life as James commands us.
James 4:14-15 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
So when I pray and ask God to heal me or others and give us good health, I always add, “yet not my will but Yours be done.”
I make goals, I strive and work hard to accomplish those goals, and I pray that God will help me achieve those goals, but with many of them I am not sure what His will is. As I pray for things, I always pray, “show me what Your will is for my life; I commit to obeying You and following Your will for my life, whatever it is.”
God the Father obviously communicated to Jesus what His will was because Jesus stood and willingly went to the cross.
Most of the time, for me, it takes some time praying for something before I become convinced of what God’s will is, and as that awareness grows, my goals and prayers change. But often that perfect will of God remains a mystery so I pray for my desire and work towards my desire, trusting that God puts His will in me in the form of a strong desire of my heart, but I always add, “yet not my will but yours be done.”