If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
When I served on my church’s congregational care team, one of my duties was to pray over the requests penciled on pew cards during the services. For an aunt’s health. For a couple’s finances. For a grandson’s discovery of God. Rarely did I hear the results of these prayers. Most were anonymous, and I had no way of knowing how God had responded. I confess that at times I wondered, Was He really listening? Was anything happening as a result of my prayers?
Over our lifetimes, most of us question, “Does God hear me?” I remember my own Hannah-like pleas for a child that went unanswered for years. And there were my pleas that my father find faith, yet he died without any apparent confession.
Etched across the millennia are myriad instances of God’s ear bending to listen: to Israel’s groans under slavery (Exodus 2:24); to Moses on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:19); to Joshua at Gilgal (Joshua 10:14); to Hannah’s prayers for a child (1 Samuel 1:10–17); to David crying out for deliverance from Saul (2 Samuel 22:7).
First John 5:14 crescendos, “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” The word for “hears” means to pay attention and to respond on the basis of having heard.
As we go to God today, may we have the confidence of His listening ear spanning the history of His people. He hears our pleas.
Pause to consider what you’ve most recently asked of God. What motivated you to ask? How can you know that God hears you?
Father, I come asking and trusting You to hear me because You say that You do.
In 1 John 5:14–15, we find a conditional promise for answered prayer: God hears our prayers and gives us what we ask for when “we ask anything according to his will.” To pray according to God’s will is to “ask for anything that pleases him” (nlt) or “in accord with his own plan” (J. B. Phillips). The psalmist, painfully aware that God’s promise of answered prayer is conditioned upon a right relationship with Him, cautioned, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18). The apostle James warns that God won’t give us what we pray for when we “ask with wrong motives, that [we] may spend what [we] get on [our] pleasures” (James 4:3). A right relationship with Jesus is required: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).