“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
Prayer is a conversation between God and believers in Jesus Christ. I recently read that two things must be continually considered when we go to the Lord in prayer. First, when we pray we must remember who God is. Secondly, we must also remember who we are. God is not to be perceived as some sort of cosmic Santa Claus who is available in order to satisfy our every whim and want.
Consider this when engaging in prayer. God is the creator; we are the created. God is the redeemer; we are the redeemed. God is the justifier; we are the justified. God is holy; we are unholy. God is the shepherd; we are the sheep.
Jesus said to His disciples that biblical prayer is the result of a right relationship with Him and the Father. If believers continue to remain in Christ by being obedient to the Word of God, and displaying such obedience by evidencing the resulting fruit of the Spirit, then believers can be bold to ask God whatever they wish and it will be done for them. The reason why their request will be answered is because the request has been saturated by, and reflects obedience to, the Word and will of God.
This in essence is the idea behind Psalm 37:3-4 which says, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” To trust means to be confident and to rely upon God. To delight means to take pleasure in God: who He is and what He does. Such a person will have desires reflective of their trust and their delight in the Lord. Therefore, their prayers will be granted because those prayers will reflect their desire to trust and delight in the Lord.
Dr. Burk Parsons explains that, “John 15:7 records Jesus’ words that when we abide in Christ and He abides in us, our prayers will be effective. In other words, when we lean only on Christ and seek to have His teaching shape our lives, God will grant us fruitfulness when we pray for it. This is not a guarantee that obeying Christ means we will receive everything we could ever want; rather, as Christ’s words abide in us, we will come more and more to pray for what He wants, and therefore we will see results.
This is the understanding behind I John 5:14-15 which says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
Let me encourage you to always saturate your whole heart with the Word of God prior to going to the Lord in prayer for the will of God. The will of God will always reflect a proper understanding of the Word of God.
Soli deo Gloria!