Seems these days we’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We anxiously await the rest of the story, the results of the investigation. But in our salvation, we can rest assured.
John’s whole purpose for writing this letter was to assure his audience of their grasp on eternal life by virtue of their belief.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13
Based on this assurance, they could ask whatever was in sync with God’s will and he’d grant it. But there lies the rub. The only way I get my way is if I ask for exactly what God wants!
14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 John 5:14-15
What kind of incentive is that? How do I know?
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
Well, Jesus operated in such a fashion. He said, not my will but his. (Matthew 26:39) The question is, would there be a better way? It’s not a matter of hitting the bullseye but couching every prayer with that caveat. What he’s going to do is answer the prayer, not according to our will, but his, and we’ll see his wisdom, maybe, at some point. One thing we know for sure is that he hears us. In this, we can be confident. And if we ask him to align our thinking with his, he’ll most assuredly do that too!
That’s where we want to be. Many times we look back and see that our requests would have resulted in disaster. We prayed fervently and didn’t get it and we were upset and disappointed, but he knew better.
…we ask to be overridden…
When we pray “Father, take this cup from me,” always follow-up with, “But not my will but yours.” We ask for what we think we want, but we ask to be overridden. So we’re not only confident he hears us, but we know he’ll right the situation according to his perfect will.
It is also important to point out that he may very well have answered your prayer but on a different timetable. I was wanting the perfect wife at 22 but got her at 28. Don’t throw up your hands. He’s got this under control.
One final note. Hezekiah asked to be healed from his sickness and got 15 extra years on earth. The thief on the cross asked to be saved and was that very moment. We can’t give up on prayer out of frustration that God will do whatever he wants anyway. There are two sides to this coin.