I'll offer my usual disclaimer here that I'm not religious and never have been, and am quite happy that way, so this question is asked from that perspective.

I struggle to understand sometimes when talking to those who believe in a God concept how they can reconcile praying for something with following God's Will.

If you follow a religious belief system, then isn't everything you have received in life God's Will since God is the omniscient, omnipresent ruler of the universe?

And if you try to alter what you have received in life, by petitioning God for something different, isn't that going against God's Will?

Isn't prayer actually a rather ego-driven idea (in this context) because it implies that you have decided that what God has already given you is not good enough for you, and now you wish God to give you something different?

Doesn't that imply you think you know better than God, who presumably you are supposed to be subservient towards?

Isn't praying for something defying the will of God?

asked 13 Aug '10, 06:39

Stingray's gravatar image


Yes, and what happens when God receives prayers from different people petitioning for outcomes that are in opposition to each other ...? Someone's gonna end up disappointed methinks!

(13 Aug '10, 07:20) Account closed

@ one billion daleks like two teams playing a game, fans of the green team pray for a victory and fans of the blue team pray for a victory.So when the team that wins mean that god is a fan of that team. peace

(13 Aug '10, 09:42) ursixx

@one billion daleks: Same with the LOA and two ppl desiring opposite outcomes. The one that holds a higher vibrational match to his desire "wins". See http://www.inwardquest.com/questions/6127/what-would-happen-if-two-experts-in-the-law-of-attraction-wish-things-completely/6131#6131

(13 Aug '10, 15:34) BridgetJones09

There is no competition with the LOA. We are each our own center of attraction.

(14 Aug '10, 05:13) RPuls

@RPuls Sorry, you're right. I used the word 'win' 'cause I was lead by the example above about two teams playing a game. What I really meant was, in praying, the humblest and purest of heart gets what they're praying about granted.

(16 Aug '10, 15:25) BridgetJones09

since he does not will anything for us, no. yet he had a plan for bringing us into being

(01 Apr '12, 19:27) fred
showing 0 of 6 show 6 more comments

I am not exactly religious either...so I doubt I share the same view as others of a more religious bent here, nonetheless...

I think BridgetJones gave a good religious quote. There are a few passages I could quote as well which I think would help.

The Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'

"But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'

"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

And another, a bit more 'out of context' just for space sake.

John 16: 23In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

I have emboldened specific areas for the sheer purpose that I think they illustrate the importance of asking from the supposed viewpoint of God...and that without asking he does not actually supply fully (as he may like to). I have also italicized one part which I think shows his eagerness to provide, if someone goes towards him.

I liken it to someone who WANTS to share with you everything they have, that wants you to be happy etc. But who also values a persons freedom ABOVE anything else. I trust you can understand such a being - since I think you may be one ;).

If this presupposition is true (and I hold that it is) then praying for something would not be defying the will of God, but actually fulfilling the will of God, since he now is not imposing when he provides.

These are not the "traditional" interpretations of these passages as far as I'm aware...but as I've said, I'm not religious and these (and many other interpretations I have even within the above) feel right for me.

I hope that made sense. :)


answered 14 Aug '10, 06:48

Liam's gravatar image


Thanks Liam. That's what I would consider an enlightened approach to those religious ideas and one that I would agree with. But as you imply, you are probably not of the kind of religious bent that I'm thinking of. I think I've asked my question in the wrong place. Most of the people on this website are probably quite open-minded regarding religious interpretation otherwise they probably wouldn't be here. I guess I should probably ask my question in a fundamentalist group to reach the kinds of people who have sparked off the question in the first place...I feel a flaming coming on :)

(14 Aug '10, 07:39) Stingray

chuckles Have fun with that, if you go ahead. :D

(14 Aug '10, 09:04) Liam

Maybe I'll just let sleeping dogs lie as they say :)

(14 Aug '10, 09:42) Stingray

@Stingray Sorry you're not satisfied with the answers. But if you ask this question in a fundamentalist group, wouldn't that be a bit like...trolling??? ;) All due respect!

(16 Aug '10, 15:28) BridgetJones09
showing 2 of 4 show 2 more comments

In words of Jesus Himself:

Luke 11:09-13: 9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I suppose if the Son of God said this, it wasn't against His Father's will :)

Here's my disclaimer too: I am a former Roman Catholic, now only a believer in God and Jesus. I have stepped out of religious practices but I am still interested in all religions from the historical point of view.



answered 13 Aug '10, 15:28

BridgetJones09's gravatar image



(1) Prayer is an act of OBEDIENCE towards GOD.

“Praying for something” does NOT defy the will of GOD. “Praying for something” is actually an act of OBEDIENCE towards GOD. GOD’s will is that you COMMUNICATE with Him in the context of a personal relationship. This communication link is established through the Spirit of Christ which GOD places in a person when they accept the blood atonement of Jesus Christ for SIN. Thus, “prayer” is the spiritual communication link between a BORN-AGAIN person and GOD.

Observe the following basic Biblical verses:

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” [Romans 8:14-17]

“Pray without ceasing.” [I Thessalonians 5:17]… What a beauty! Short and sweet!

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” [Colossians 4:2]

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” [Philippians 4:6]

“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” [Ephesians 5:17-20]

Therefore, the intimacy of a Bible Believer’s personal relationship with GOD is enriched in direct proportion to the spiritual quality of his prayer-life. The spiritual quality of a person’s prayer-life is based on the FREQUENCY of spiritual communication with GOD and the CONTENT of the spiritual communication.

(2) What is in a person’s HEART?

King Solomon says the following:

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” [Proverbs 4:23]

Therefore, a person will pray according to the content of their HEART. If a person’s heart is in the WORLD, then that person’s prayers will reflect the issues of the WORLD. If a person’s heart is in GOD, then that person’s prayers will reflect the issues of GOD. Biblical prayers include elements of worship, a burden for lost souls, thanksgiving, and supplications. All petitions are made known unto GOD with the knowledge that whatever a person requests may OR may not be granted. Most often, GOD and man have opposite opinions on what is GOOD and what is EVIL. Thus, a person with GOD in their heart will desire to cleave unto GOD in order to receive the GOOD from ANY situation. For a Bible Believer, prayer teaches and grows faith, trust, patience, hope, discernment, and spiritual intimacy with GOD.

(3) Biblical Prayers vs. Worldly Prayers

a. Biblical Prayers

Biblical prayers are honest, humble, and address existing needs. All Biblical prayers are addressed to GOD the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Ghost. When Jesus Christ taught His Jewish disciples to pray, He taught them to address the PERSON of GOD the Father. Jesus Christ never prayed to an unnamed, strange, generic entity or force of nature. Also, at the time that Jesus Christ was teaching His Jewish disciples how to pray, He never once suggested that GOD was the “Father” of any Gentile. The term “Our Father” was spoken by Jesus Christ to His Jewish disciples because it was a relationship-specific term meant ONLY for Israel. Why? Because GOD is “Father” only to Israel:

“And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:” [Exodus 4:22]

Today, since Israel rejected their Messiah, a Gentile has the privilege to call GOD his “Father” because of the Spirit of Christ that GOD places in him when he chooses to be BORN-AGAIN through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ for SIN. However, at the time that Jesus taught His Jewish disciples, the plan of salvation for the Gentiles had NOT yet been revealed. Therefore, all belief systems which declare that GOD is the “Father” of all mankind do NOT conform to Biblical doctrine.

b. Worldly Prayers

Any prayer that does NOT seek GOD’s will in accordance to His written Words is of the WORLD and is ego-based. Worldly prayers are vain, repetitious, spiritually unprofitable, and do NOT acknowledge the GODHEAD. Praying that the New York Yankees win the World Series, when lost family members and friends are dying and going to HELL, may not be the best way to show GOD that you are increasing in His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Praying that your co-worker drops DEAD so that you can receive the job promotion is probably not the best way to develop your spiritual testimony. Maybe people who PROFESS to know GOD should start caring more about the issue with which GOD is most concerned: the salvation of LOST SOULS. The closer a man gets to GOD, the more he will be interested in the things of GOD. From this intimacy, his prayer-life will focus on SPIRITUAL things and not focus on winning the Mega-Lottery. The things of the world should be left to the world. If you belong to GOD, then seek His precepts, statutes, testimonies, commandments, and judgments in all aspects of your prayer-life.

(4) Which Prayer will GOD always answer?

Man was created with FREE WILL. Thus, man’s free will is also evident in his prayer-life. Man is free to choose what to pray, when to pray, where to pray, why to pray, how to pray, and to whom to pray. However, the Bible says that GOD hears all things, judges all things, and blesses accordingly. By his own words, a man will either be JUSTIFIED or CONDEMNED.

Presently, there is ONLY one prayer that GOD guarantees that He will hear and answer every single time in the exact same manner: the prayer of a REPENTANT SINNER. When a man confesses to GOD that he is a sinner and asks to be washed of his sins through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, GOD guarantees that this prayer will ALWAYS be answered according to the promise of His written Words: the Repentant Sinner will be given the Spirit of Christ. From that point of spiritual conversion, the saved sinner will then be responsible for the health of his personal relationship with GOD. If the communication link has spiritual static, then his prayers will be hindered. If the communication link is clear, then the saved sinner will be able to better discern answers to prayer and the needs for which to pray. The amount of spiritual static on a man’s communication link with GOD is directly related to the level of his OBEDIENCE to GOD’s Words.

Thanks for reading.

Concerned Citizen


answered 14 Aug '10, 14:21

Concerned%20Citizen's gravatar image

Concerned Citizen

Thanks for the detailed answer, CC. It certainly makes the alternative point of view (to my own) clearer.

(14 Aug '10, 22:48) Stingray

@ Concerned Citizen: what do you deem as as a sinner? I too have a completely different point of view, however this SINNER thing and having to repent, really puts a question mark in my head. Just don't get it?

(16 Aug '10, 21:49) figure8shape

F8S: The Bible defines SIN as the transgression of GOD's Law. If you judge yourself by the standard of GOD's Law, would you be guilty in at least one point? I know I am guilty in many points! Thus, by repenting, you are confessing to GOD that (1) you are not able to live a sinless life according to His Holy standard and (2) you are accepting the blood atonement of Jesus Christ for your SINS. A man who is spiritually washed by the blood of Jesus Christ is BORN-AGAIN and avoids the SIN Judgment. Else, one day, he will have to prove to GOD that he lived a sinless life. Can you be that perfect?

(17 Aug '10, 01:52) Concerned Citizen
showing 2 of 3 show 1 more comments

if the petition is selfish, it may not be in tune with the divine plan;

but then mankind has been out of tune with the divine plan for many centuries.

the law of cause and effect and your past actions is probably what is bringing most of what is happening

to you now.

why not look inside yourself for where you are and what you are doing?


answered 13 Aug '10, 21:56

fred's gravatar image


your disclaimer says you are not religious, but are you spiritual? Your questions are making assumptions about religious dogma, which has nothing to do with truth. I don't think you quite understand the concepts of omniscience, omnipresent, and don't forget omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Understand and ponder these words and you will answer your own questions.


answered 14 Aug '10, 05:10

RPuls's gravatar image


Im a bit confused with Concerned Citizens answer. I was under the impression that Christians believed that Christ had removed the law! Didnt paul say that where the law is removed there is no sin? Remember Concerned Citizen you did say that sin was a transgression of the law!! you said that not me. Lets say that the government removed all the speed limits,not i would stress a very sensible thing to do but bare with me. If these laws were removed you could not be held liable even if you were caught doing 200mph. Now if the law still stands then yes we would all be declared guilty,but if you really believe that Christ achieved what he did then how can anyone be declared a sinner,repentant sinner or un saved? Im of the opinion that Jesus removed the law,IF he did remove the mosaic law then how can anyone be classed a sinner.Yes im sure people do wrong things all the time BUT there not classed a sinner. I was very touched by a message from Mike Williams on Gospel Logic/Gospel Revolution.He explains this far better than i can. But having said this i respect these views as i once held them myself.I also respect the people who hold them and moreover their right to hold them. Graham


answered 02 Sep '10, 10:20

Monty%20Riviera's gravatar image

Monty Riviera

COOK: SIN is the transgression of the Law [I John 3:4]. Jesus Christ came to save SINNERS [I Timothy 1:15]. He did not REMOVE the Law. He FULFILLED the Law [Matthew 5:17]. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that BELIEVETH [Romans 10:4]. Do we then make void the Law through faith? GOD forbid: we ESTABLISH the Law [Romans 3:31]. When a REPENTANT SINNER accepts the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, GOD gives him the Spirit of Christ which enables him to please GOD in thought, word, or deed. A man cannot please GOD in his FLESH or NATURAL spirit [Romans 8:8].

(02 Sep '10, 16:04) Concerned Citizen

Ok so if this mosaic law,remember given to ONLY the jewish nation is still in effect. Im with you up to now,HOWEVER the law consists of some 614 different aspects so as a non Jew how many of these do i comply with? Do i stick to ONLY the ten commandments or do i subscribe to any particular church organisations list. Remember that there is no mention of a partial removal ( or fullfilling ) of the law ,so its either all still active or none of it is.When Christ nailed the law to the tree which bits did he nail there. I must stress that this mosaic law was NEVER given to the gentiles.

(02 Sep '10, 17:28) Monty Riviera

COOK: Jesus Christ FULFILLS the WHOLE Law of Moses. Today, there is no physical temple of worship or repetitive blood atonement sacrifices in Israel. The temple of GOD is the body of each BORN-AGAIN Believer (Jew or Gentile) and the eternal and divine BLOOD of Jesus Christ is THE blood atonement for SIN. However, AFTER spiritual conversion, the Law still TEACHES the Believer (Jew or Gentile) about moral conduct that is pleasing to GOD in order to obtain BLESSINGS. You are confusing the ETERNAL standing of a Believer (Salvation) with the DAILY judgment of a Believer (Sanctification).

(02 Sep '10, 19:08) Concerned Citizen

I wasnt aware that God was judging me on a daily basis.We must agree to differ on that one.Also that God was somehow blessing me on account of my performance..this is an alien concept to me too. Not sure youve really understood the Gospel Concerned Citizen.You appear by your writing to be still very much under the law.I dare you to listen to Mike Williams preach the REAL Gospel . Hea on Gospel Logic/Gospel Revolution. After all this site is about the QUEST isnt it.Just another quick point,where does Jesus link being born again to believing??

(03 Sep '10, 07:27) Monty Riviera

COOK: I'm NOT "under the law". I'm under THIS: "For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of GOD: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast". Concerning daily judgment and blessing: "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby". Do you study the Bible, COOK?

(03 Sep '10, 14:28) Concerned Citizen

COOK: Concerning "born again & believing": "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that GOD hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. As many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of GOD, even to them that BELIEVE on His name: which were BORN, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of GOD. Being BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of GOD".

(03 Sep '10, 14:48) Concerned Citizen

COOK: Concerning Mike Williams' Gospel Revolution: "Christian Universalism" is NOT Biblical. This "gospel" is NOT the "REAL" gospel. This "gospel" is a SATANIC HERESY! Please feel free to ask this Question on Inward Quest: "Does Mike Williams' Gospel Revolution conform to the Bible?". Then, please list a few of Mike Williams' teachings from the Bible in your Question description. I will gladly respond with the required and appropriate Biblical verses to demonstrate how the Bible can and will expose any FALSE Biblical claim. Let GOD be true, but every man a liar. Thanks for reading.

(03 Sep '10, 15:13) Concerned Citizen

Ok ask yourself these questions 1.If we could contro being born again why didnt Jesus tell the chap who asked how to be born again. 2.Why didnt ANY and i repeat ANY other new testemant writer mention being BORN AGAIN. 3.Look in the bible and see if there is any passage which lists the phrasae born again with salvation. PLEASE PLEASE dont fire back a load of scripture at me.I know them all and have mis quoted them AT people for years.Just try to think this through.

(06 Sep '10, 08:59) Monty Riviera

Heresy,Satanic,Appropraite biblical verses,False biblical claims. Yours or mine?

(06 Sep '10, 13:34) Monty Riviera

COOK: First, read [John 3:1-21]. Then, 1. Jesus Christ told "the chap" what to do in [verses 14-16] 2. John, Paul, and Peter ALL refer to BORN AGAIN, BORN of GOD, and BORN of the SPIRIT. These are identical and point to GOD's SALVATION 3. See [verses 3,5,6,7,8,15,16,and 17] for the relation between BORN AGAIN, BORN of the SPIRIT, ETERNAL LIFE, EVERLASTING LIFE, CONDEMNATION, and SALVATION. You must READ the whole passage in order to see all these things. You claim to "know them all", but you've not quoted ONE Biblical verse in any of your comments. Why is this, COOK? My claims have verses.

(06 Sep '10, 20:22) Concerned Citizen
showing 2 of 10 show 8 more comments

well see God as your father and yourself as a child if you ask your father to help you with something and it is right will he not help you? jesus said that we should all talk to the father not just recite prayers that he made. pray with you hearth and mind in accordance with the father.

Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.



answered 30 Aug '11, 02:37

white%20tiger's gravatar image

white tiger

God has already given us everything. It is up to us to receive it or accept it. Asking or praying is a way of connecting us to our desires. It is a way of launching our desires and allows us to have the faith that we will receive what we want. The Bible tells us to pray and ask for what we want, so it doesn't go against the Bible.


answered 01 Apr '12, 12:13

Fairy%20Princess's gravatar image

Fairy Princess

Click here to create a free account

If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website

Related Questions