This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. — I John 5:14 NIV
Do you have confidence when you pray? Or, do you lack confidence? Our verse for today says that you can have confidence when you approach God in prayer. You can have confidence if you meet a certain condition.
What is the condition? The condition is that you must ask in accordance with God’s will. You must ask for things that God wants you to have, not for things that He doesn’t want you to have. No doubt, God could give you whatever you asked for if He chose to do so. However, He is your heavenly Father. As such, He has no interest in giving you things that will not be helpful for your development as a Christian. Indeed, He has no interest in giving you things that would harm you or harm those around you.
What things are in accordance with God’s will? There are many. James 1:5, for example, says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” I Thessalonians 4:3 says, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…” Obviously, many more examples could be given. In short, anything sanctioned by the Bible is in accordance with God’s will and anything not so sanctioned is not.
If some cases are a bit murky, then it is certainly God’s will to ask for guidance. After all, God Himself says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (Psalm 32:8). God can clear things up by giving you guidance about what you should or shouldn’t pray for.
If you meet the condition, our verse says that God will hear you. He will, in other words, listen to what you are praying for instead of ignoring it. And, as the next verse in Chapter 5 says, “… if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (I John 5:15).
Clearly, then, you can approach God with all the confidence in the world that He will give you what you ask for – when you meet the condition, when you ask for things that are in accordance with His will.