“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” – 1 John 5:14
Jesus spoke a promise to His disciples that whatever they ask for in His Name, He would give. Yet many pray for the things they want and see no results. So what’s the problem? Well, exactly that. They are praying for what they want. You see, the disciples had walked and talked with Jesus. They knew the will of the Father as it had been relaid to them. They knew their shepherds voice and an other they would not follow. Therefor, they knew not to pray for what they wanted but to pray humbly and selflessly in accordance with God’s will, that He might be glorified.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” – John 14:12-14
Sometimes God is working to answer our prayers in His perfect timing, but sometimes He is not answering because He is not hearing our prayer at all. Why? Because sometimes our prayer is selfish, it’s what we want, it is for our glory and pleasure and not for His. As our opening passage states, we can have confidence that when we pray “according to His will“, He will hear. Which implies that when we pray according to our own will and against His, He will not. Remember that he is God and we are not. He is not obligated to serve us, but when we choose to serve Him, He will then equip us with whatever we need to get the job done. Be it authority, miracles, power, great exploits, or the very armies of Heaven.
It’s all for His glory, and His glory alone. So learn to hear the voice of your shepherd. True prayer is not about what you say as much as it is about what you hear. After all, true faith comes by hearing, not by saying, and true faith can move mountains. Remember to seek the Lord for His will, hear it, receive it, believe it, and pray in accordance with it. Jesus prayed for the cup of God’s wrath to pass Him by, it was the only prayer He ever prayed that was not answered, because it was the only prayer He ever prayed that was not in accordance with God’s will and He knew that. Therefor, He concluded with, “nevertheless not my will, but thy will be done“, and God sent an angel to strengthened Him. Examine your prayer. Is it in accordance with God’s will? If so then surely He will hear it. However, if it’s not you are wasting your breath and your energy would be better spent seeking Him for what His will is. It is more effective to ask God what He would have you do to serve His will, then to continue yelling at Him to serve yours.
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” – James 4:3
Lastly, God will give you whatever you ask within His will, only that “He” might be glorified. Some ask for things that are indeed God’s will, like salvations, healings, gifts, disciples, ministries, blessings, and so on; but their desire to obtain it is selfish and not solely based on God being glorified and magnified from it. It is for vain self glory and not for God’s, therefore God will not oblige. Nor does He have too. He is God after all. Yet, He is also just and not a man that He should lie. Therefore, if we will seek to know His will, then anything we ask of Him in Jesus Name that we need to walk out that will or help others do the same, being sure that it be done solely for His glory, He will give it, and that’s a promise you can stand on.
“And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness (covetousness), and in the bond of iniquity.” – Acts 8:18-23
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” – Colossians 1:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:9-10