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
How many times have you heard someone say that this verse must mean they can have anything they ask for, but they forget to add “according to his will?” Dr. Snyder talks about this very thing when he says, “So much strange Bible teaching has come from the idea that if we pray in just the right way or use just the right words then God will open the floodgates of heaven.”
He explains what this verse really means: “When we become the kind of people who prefer God’s will over ours, even though we may want what we want very intensely (which isn’t wrong), God will say yes more often than he says no. He wants what he wants even more than we want what we want, because he knows that what he intends for us is better in the long run than what we dream about for ourselves.
“So let this be your North Star as you’re praying. Tell God your deepest longings, knowing that they may really be in line with his will (sometimes our dreams are put there by God in the first place), but leave open the possibility that his plan is still greater and may lead more directly to your desired destination.”
TODAY’S PRAYER: Think about the real “Lord’s Prayer,” the prayer he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion. Its essence was this: “Your will be done.” He repeated it three times. It’s the best way to pray for something, anything. Say it often and with real conviction.
TJ Bates leads our prayer journeys on Theology Mix. A close friend of our admin staff, she's one of the most Christ-centered, hospitable, down-to-earth, fun, prayerful persons you will ever meet. TJ has spent her life devoted to serving God (knows everything you need to know about pastors, churches, and their ministries), and will drop everything and travel anywhere her help is needed. Everyone needs a TJ in their lives!