Does Praying Boldly Imply Presumption?


“And this is the boldness which we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us:  and if we know that He heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the the petitions which we have asked of Him.” – 1 John 5:14,15 (ASV)

The Mightiest Prayer Warrior I Ever Met

The mightiest prayer warrior I ever met was a man from my church that prayed boldly. We were at a prayer meeting, and the first time I heard him pray, I was blown away. It was like a spiritual sonic boom. I opened my eyes and turned around and looked at who on earth had the audacity to pray so boldly that he knew that God would answer him.

Does Praying Boldly Imply Presumption?

I always thought that praying boldly was somewhat presumptuous, saying that God had to do what you were saying. How ridiculous to think that we could boss around the God of the universe. It was up to God whether He would answer us in the negative. Most people refer to answered prayer as those requests that get an affirmative answer. But God is God, and He can do whatever He wishes.

How Exactly Does a Person Pray Boldly?

After hearing this man pray, I was amazed at his Scriptural accuracy in how he knew the heart of God and prayed according to the heart of God. He knew certain commands in Scripture that were God’s will, and so he stated them matter-of-factly, and then asked God to do it. God, follow through on what You have said. That’s what he was saying.

Teach Me to Pray Boldly

A few weeks ago I was fasting in prayer for a woman’s marriage, and I called my best friend to help me get through the afternoon slump, which is the hardest time of fasting for me. She took up the challenge and prayed over the phone. She heard the prayer requests, and she prayed boldly that God would convict this man’s heart directly. “Rebuke him of his sin, Lord, because that is Your will. Help him to repent and turn and do what he ought to do in his marriage.”

Guess what? A miracle happened! It was like scales dropped from this man’s eyes, and he asked for forgiveness for how he treated his wife. This just happened suddenly as he was directly rebuked by the Lord in his spirit, just as my friend’s bold prayer had stated.

I wanted to cheer. My spirit cheered when my friend prayed with boldness for his repentance. And my heart cheered when God fulfilled my friend’s prayer the next day. I asked my friend how she learned to pray so boldly, and could she teach me?

She said that the person in charge of the prison ministry prayed like that, and she just loved it, so she started praying boldly, too! She and I laughed at the audacity to hold God to His Word and know that He will answer because it is according to His will.

What if the Prayer is Not God’s Will?

All of us want our own will to be done, and not until we understand the heart of God can we align our will to His to ask what He would want us to ask. And when we do, He always answers us. We have the conviction that God will answer because of who He is. So we can boldly state it as so. That’s what’s so liberating about this kind of prayer.

There are other kinds of prayer where we don’t know the will of God. God doesn’t want every sickness healed instantly, or He would do so. He allows sickness to draw us closer to Himself, and what if the presence of sickness in our lives is keeping us from sinning? What if eternal qualities are being forged that are worth more than any amount of money? I would rather pray that God would cause the sick person to cling to Christ and be strengthened by His presence, because for sure that’s the will of God. You see the difference?

And yes, we can ask that someone be healed in the same way Jesus asked if the cup could pass from Him. It was not sin for Jesus to pray something that wasn’t ultimately the will of God the Father, because Jesus was willing to endure the answer to prayer that was harder, to go to the cross and bear the sin of the world. In the same way, if we are willing for God to answer in His timing and in the way God wants to do it, we will experience joy in God’s presence in the midst of difficulty.

Here is the audio that explains how to pray boldly:

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9 Responses to “Does Praying Boldly Imply Presumption?”

  1. Wow this was very thought provoking and enlightening. I had never looked at prayer like that. I know when i pray I ask that God help those involved to accept His will and no matter what His will is to help them so Satan can not use their pain against them. I need to look more into this praying boldly.

    • Susan says:

      It’s exciting for me to be learning about how to understand the heart of God so that I can be fully confident that my prayers are in alignment with the will of God.

  2. Ticia says:

    This is a good explanation of the concept, which I’ve not really thought through very well.
    It’s the sickness or the things that can be refining us that always hang me up. I spent years praying for a friend to be healed and that wasn’t God’s will. Ultimately that friend died, and it was hard for a lot of us because he was so young. And there’s a lot of times I still don’t really understand God’s plan in all of it and I still ask God why, but I know it’s all good in the end.

    • Susan says:

      Grieving for people who have passed away is really hard. God takes people home for many reasons, and it’s always better for a believer to be with Christ. It’s hard for the people left behind, though.

  3. Lisa Vaught says:

    I enjoyed reading your article today and it brought to mind a truth that we can easily forget, we are sons and heirs of all Jesus died for. As priests and kings to our God, we can pray boldly. We are no longer slaves, but sons and daughters who are seated in Christ in heavenly places.

    If I may interject, a second look at the topic of healing may be helpful. I cannot see any instance where Jesus refused to heal the sick. As he is the perfect picture of the Father and his will, we may need to find another reason why people are not healed when we pray. One of my favorite verses about the ministry of Jesus is Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

    I don’t think God needs to use sickness to keep us from sinning, as his mighty indwelling Holy Spirit is more than able to do the job. Hebrews 13:20-21 bears this out a bit. “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

    I wonder if the most important thing to do is to follow the man who was so inspirational. The beautiful scriptures were the basis of his prayer life and confidence. I think it can be very easy for me to stumble when I let life experience determine truth rather than His word. My focus now is learning to see myself as his beloved child and heir, and to remember John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” He truly comes to give us life. Sickness, poverty and premature death are not gifts he has to give me, but rather the thieving of the enemy.

    I hope it was ok to share these thoughts with you and I pray that they bring encouragement.

    • Susan says:

      You brought up some interesting points. We are definitely sons and daughters of God, and He has brought about healing in many people’s lives.

      Joni Eareckson Tada was never healed from her paralysis, and as a result, she has reached way more people for Christ and has shown people how to endure and have joy in the midst of difficulty.

      God is always good. It is the enemy who seeks to destroy us, and for some reason if he has God’s permission, it will cause us to be sanctified. We see this in the book of Job.

      • Lisa Vaught says:

        Yes, but thankfully, Job was healed and fully restored. And he himself admitted that it was his fears that opened the door for Satan’s attack. I am glad God can use us wherever we are at (I.e. Joni) ,but I still believe that as Jesus never refused to heal people, we as New Testament believers can trust this this is God’s plan for us. It can be a struggle of faith when we or people we know don’t seem to receive this gift, but it would seem the problem lies with man and not God and his word. Does that make sense? Thanks for letting me share. God bless.

  4. DONNA MILLER says:

    I have lived with chronic pain for many years but Jesus is with me and I know He hears my prayers and feels my pain. I have learned to pray boldly. My boldness comes from praying God’s Word and for His will to be done on earth. He is a good God, always and forever. His ways are higher than our ways and so are His thoughts … ❤

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