“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
At last count, and this may be conservative, there are over 350 verses in the Bible dealing with prayer and most of those are promises that not only does God hear our prayers but He also answers them. Let me share with you just a few:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.”
– 1 John 3:21-22
Do you see all these promises of answered prayer from God’s Word? In the key scripture for today, the Apostle John tell us that we can have “confidence when we approach God in prayer when we pray according to His will.” So, the next question we might ask is, “How do we know what God’s will is when we pray?”
The best answer I know is the example of Jesus when He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:39,
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'”
I believe if we can pray like that, telling our Lord that all we want when we pray is that His will to be done (Matthew 6:10), then we can be assured that God hears us. “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we ask of Him.” Now that’s a practice and a promise worth keeping.
One final thought on prayer from Carlo Carretto, from Letters From the Desert, “Prayer is the sum of our relationship with God. We are what we pray. The degree of our faith is the degree of our prayer. Our ability to love is our ability to pray.” – Maranatha!