Is God’s will unconditional or is it conditional? Does His will just happen, or at times must it depend upon actions by others? This is the big question concerning prayer. What does the Bible say? The Lords prayer says this, ‘your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.’ Prayer is the release of faith, and faith is the release of God’s known and heard will. Apparently, the will of God doesn’t happen on its own all the time. From what the scripture says, at least some of God’s will is conditional on man’s ability to have faith, and his willingness to pray.
Daniel having to pray for the release of the Hebrews from Babylon, even after the allotted time of their captivity had passed. (Daniel 9:2-3)
God encouraging the watchmen to not stop beseeching Him until “Jerusalem becomes a praise and blessing to the world. (Isaiah 62:6-7)
God looking to and fro for a faithful person to stand in the gap, so God would not destroy the land. (Ezekiel. 22:30)
Jesus commenting on how he couldn’t do certain miracles in a region because of people’s unbelief. Which suggests that the reason we don’t see miracles today is that the church lacks the faith required to bring the miracles into effect. (Matthew 13:58)
God’s admonition in 2 Chronicles. 7:14 that “if my people…humble themselves and pray…” God would heal their land. The land’s healing was conditional upon God’s people humbling themselves and praying.
Even though God conditionally binds some of His actions upon the faith and prayers of His people, He is still sovereign. He requirements, and the decision to base His actions on those requirements, are His decision and His decision alone.
We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. John 9:31
…and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:27
Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. Colossians 4:12
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (15) 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. I John 5:14, 15
If the will of God always happens, then why are we exhorted to pray for it?
“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” John Wesley