1 John 5:14-15
And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know that He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.
—1 John 5:14–15 (NLT)
How do you pray? Start praying with confidence. The emphasis of prayer, as Jesus taught us, is not on what we want but rather what He wants for us. If we align our prayers with His will, we can be certain He will give a definite answer.
As Matthew Henry says in his commentary, our prayers must always be offered in submission to the will of God.
Sometimes answers are speedy, sometimes not so speedy. Ugh! That is the toughest part for me—I am not good at waiting. But if I ask in His will and timing, the answer will be granted in the best manner, although not always exactly what I ask for.
If you have read my devotionals before, you have read about my son, Scott, who lost a long hard battle with leukemia last year. I assure you there were many, many prayers pleading for healing. It seemed that every waking moment I was praying, requesting, petitioning, and yes, begging God that in His mercy He would see fit to heal Scott. My son was too young to die! He had so many years to continue serving God.
After God answered, by taking him home to be with Him, I knew that God did heal him. Not the way I had asked for, but in a much better way.
Scott was grateful for every moment of his suffering. In his prayer journal, after his death, we found the following entry:
Lord, I’ll go through anything, give up everything, endure anything that brings you glory and honor. I will do anything that will draw my kids closer to you, anything to strengthen their faith. Turn up the pain volume to any level necessary to keep my kids close to You.
You see, God was already answering Scott’s request, even though my heart was breaking to see him suffer. God’s answer is always the best answer.
Questions for reflection and discussion: Are you aligning your requests with God’s will? Can you think of a time when God answered your request in a different way than you wanted? Did the answer turn out even better than what you asked for?
This week's devotions were written by Donna Melby. Donna is the author of many short stories and articles, and has been a member of Wheaton Bible Church for three years. A widow with six children and fourteen grandchildren, her favorite verse is 3 John 4: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”