“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
I John 5:14-15
Prayer is such an important part of our lives as children of God. It is much more than ritual or reciting memorized prayers. Prayer is conversing or communicating with the Almighty, Who becomes our Father at the time of our spiritual birth. It is spending time in praise and thanksgiving for the greatness and goodness of God. Prayer is petitioning or asking God for things, with the confidence that He hears us and will respond to our prayers. But how can we know that God hears us? How can we know that God will answer us? This passage and many others are given to us that we might confidently seek the Lord in prayer, being assured that He hears us.
Our confidence is based on our position in Christ. Because we know that God loves us and has accepted us through our faith in Jesus Christ, we can come boldly to Him in prayer. When Jesus was teaching His followers about the subject of prayer, He urged them to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). God is our Father.
We can also pray confidently when we are asking for things that we know are God’s will. The Bible clearly states, “if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” People can pray for many things because they want them, but if they are not certain that God wants them, they will lack the assurance and confidence in prayer. James said that one of the reasons we do not receive what we desire in prayer is because we “ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3).
Prayer should be much more than just telling God what we want to do; it should be more of asking God what He wants to do. How then might we know whether or not something is God’s will? We must be willing to yield our interests and desires to the Father, and allow the Spirit of God and the Word of God to guide us. We can be sure that many things we might pray for are His will because the Bible clearly teaches it. The basis of our faith is not our feelings, but the unchanging promises of God’s Word. When we ask God for things that we know are His will, we can be assured that He hears us and that He will answer accordingly.