“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that 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 NIV
One of my first posts on Elevate Through Faith was called “God Promised” and in that post I discussed what I consider the ultimate promise: John 14:2-3, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going to there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”. I consider this the ultimate promise because my end goal is to be with Jesus on the throne (Revelation 3:21).
Throughout the Bible, there are several thousands of promises that God has given us. Because I know that God cannot tell a lie, I know that I can rest in these promises without hesitation or doubt. When I originally wrote the post “God Promised” I planned to do a series about God’s promises but did not know where to start because there are way too many to choose from. I recently received a mailing from In Touch Ministries and inside the package was an envelope with nine flash cards of scriptures with some of God’s promises printed onto them. I decided that this was perfect for me because it took away some of the agonizing that I would undoubtedly do if I had to choose the promises myself. So this is the first blog in my God Promised Series, so stay tuned for more!
This is the envelope that the flashcards are in.
1 John 5: 14-15 declares that if we ask God for anything that is in alignment with His will, that God hears us and that He will give us what we ask.
Let’s take a look at 2 Kings 20 which tells the story of how God granted a prayer from a righteous man, Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the king of Judah and in this text, he was deathly ill. The prophet Isaiah went to visit the king to give him a message from God. The message from Isaiah was “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness” (2 Kings 20:1 NLT). Hezekiah started to pray immediately because he was not ready to die. In his prayer to God, Hezekiah reminded God that he had lived a faithful life, devoted his life to serving the Lord, and lived righteously. Before the prophet Isaiah had left the grounds, God spoke to him, telling Isaiah to go back and deliver a new message from Him. Isaiah did as instructed and told Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria” (2 Kings 20: 5-6 NIV). God not only extended Hezekiah’s life, but He also gave Hezekiah a bonus blessing by delivering his city from Assyria. Remember God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV). What I love about this text is how confidently King Hezekiah approached God in prayer, not once did he ask God to add years to his life, he reminded God of why he deserved to live. God answered Hezekiah’s prayer because it is within God’s will to grant the requests of the righteous.
I love to write my prayers in a journal, I’ve been doing it for years. Recently I found one of my journals from 2013 in which I prayed for my husband to start attending church with me. I honestly forgot about this prayer until I found the journal a few weeks ago, and my husband and I have been attending church for years at this point. Finding a church home has meant so much to my family and we are both serving in our church. But the level of faith that my husband has reached since we became members is astonishing. But that’s not my point. My point is that I asked God in prayer for my husband to start attending church, and because my request was within His will, He gave me what I asked. And not only did He give me what I asked, He far surpassed what I asked. That is the Ephesians 3:20 blessing! God is so faithful that He goes above and beyond for His children. And God gets the glory for everything that has transpired since then. Our lives are so much better, our relationship with each other is so much better. And I credit it all to God!
As you see from my example, God did not grant my request immediately, because He knows what steps need to take place before He gives us what we ask for. There are definitely times where God will not give us what we ask for in prayer because what we have asked for is not within His will. But the truth is that most of the time we ask God for things that we aren’t even prepared to receive. Sometimes our character needs some work, sometimes other events need to precede our requests, sometimes we need to leave some of the people in our social circle, and other times we need to meet someone new who will be instrumental in our prayers being answered. Trust God’s timing and know that if your prayers are not answered immediately, they are at least in progress. How can I be so confident in this you ask? I am confident because God promised.