“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
1 John 5:14
To many, God is just a wish-granting machine. He exists only to be begged and pleaded for the things that we want. If we don’t get it, we grumble, complain, and sometimes question his very existence. I can’t even count how many times I’ve prayed asking God for things that I wanted. A lot of the time, I didn’t get what I asked for.
Does that mean God was ignoring me? No. Does that mean He doesn’t want me to have good things? No.
It simply means that what I was asking for did not line up with God’s will for me. You may ask, “Why should we even ask for anything then, if we’ll only get the things God already wants to give us?” And it’s a good question. The answer is that we shouldn’t want anything that is contrary to God’s will. Why would you want to ask for something that God doesn’t want for you? Think of it this way: God knows everything. He Knows you. He knows what you want. He knows what you need. He knows what will happen in your life and how every little possibility would pan out. And most importantly, He wants what is best for you. So, who would you trust with the answers, yourself or God? The only logical choice is God.
If He knows what is best for us, our concern shouldn’t be getting what we want, but rather, wanting what he wants for us. Because in the end, that’s the best thing for us anyways. So why do we pray about the things we want? Because God wants us to ask, he wants us to know and be confident that he will answer us and give us the things that we want, if they are aligned with his will. He wants us to know that he is a Good Father and that he wants to give us good things. But would if a clueless child asked their father for a deadly snake as a pet, would a good father really give it to them? No. A good father would spare his child from the danger of the thing that he wants. That’s what God does with us. If a child asked his father for a puppy, a good father might see fit to give them one. If so, he would give it to his child and take joy in the child’s happiness. That’s why God wants us to pray and to ask. Because he takes joy in giving us good things.
So pray. Pray for the things that you want and pray fervently and confidently. But also pray that God will help you to align your desires with his own. That way you know what is good, and what good things to ask for. Certainly then, you will receive the things you ask for.
Help us to align our hearts with yours. Help me to learn to want the very things that you want for me, and to despise the things that are contrary to your will. Let me pray with confidence that you are a good Father who gives good gifts to his children. Thank you for making me one of your children.
In Jesus’ Name,