Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
—1 John 5:14-15
This is a powerful promise! Is this the confidence we have in God? The only reason many Christians don’t ask God for help is because they aren’t confident that they will receive what they have asked of Him.
This promise makes it clear that we must ask for God’s help according to His will. How do we know what God’s will is? God’s Word is His will. We don’t have to add “if it is your will” at the end of a prayer and wonder what is going to happen if we know what His Word says about it. When we know His will and are praying in agreement with His Word, we can be confident that God has heard us and that we shall receive what His Word promises.
These verses in 1 John 5:14-15 indicate God hears us when we pray according to His will. This certainly doesn’t mean that the Lord doesn’t know what we pray or only hears certain prayers we pray. He hears every word that every person speaks (Matthew 12:36). But these verses are speaking of God hearing and granting our requests. The Lord never answers prayers that do not line up with His will.
In the New Testament, God has already provided everything we could ever need through the atonement of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. The prayer of faith is our positive response to what Jesus has accomplished through His finished work. The prayer of faith only appropriates what the precious blood of Jesus has given us through grace.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24).
The word “therefore” Jesus uses in Mark 11:24 indicates that the message in this verse is important. Jesus says that for you to have what you ask for in prayer, you have to believe that you receive it.
When you know what you request in prayer agrees with the Word, you can believe your answer has been provided by God. You believe that it “will” come to pass in the future. This future could be in an instant but the word “will” signifies future tense.
The Lord answers our prayers that meet the prerequisites of His Word but He moves in the spiritual realm. His workings are not always immediately evident to our physical eyes. By faith, we believe that He is answering our prayers before we see any physical evidence. If we cannot believe until we physically see something, then we have doubt (2 Corinthians 5:7). Doubt will cause us not to receive the things that we have asked that are according to God’s will (James 1:5-7). But when what we ask of the Lord agrees with His Word, all the evidence we need is our faith. It is the evidence of what we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1).
Just as the fig tree did not immediately die after Jesus cursed it, receiving what we ask God for in prayer can also take time (Mark 11:20). By placing our faith in the Word and the absolute truths the priceless blood of Jesus purchased on our behalf, we can believe that when we ask according to God’s will, we know He hears us and that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.
Is this the confidence you have in Him?