And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
The word “confidence” in this verse is interesting. It literally means “freedom of speech.” So what John is saying is, if your prayers are going to be effective, they have to be free – free of your selfish desires, free of what you want, and free of what you think you need. Instead, you should be praying according to God’s will and His desires for your life.
When Jesus was teaching the disciples to pray, he told them to say, “your kingdom come, your will be done.” This is the mentality we should all have when we go to the Lord in prayer. Because the purpose of prayer is not to get our will done in heaven, but to get God’s will done on earth.
If you go to the Lord in prayer, predetermined that you want His will to be done rather than your own, then you can be confident that God will answer your prayers. In fact, the more determined you are in praying to seek God’s will and to carry out His will, the more confidently you can approach Him.
Sadly, we don’t always go to the Lord in prayer with such confidence. We aren’t totally convinced that He is going to answer our prayers, so we pray half-heartedly with little faith. This is what happens when we are focused on the wrong things, when we are so wrapped up in praying for our own will and desires. But once again, if we pray asking for the Lord’s will to be fulfilled in our lives, He is eager to answer those prayers. So go to Him today, praying according to His will, and be confident that He will answer you.
Dear Lord, free me of my selfish desires and my ideas of what I want and need. You know me better than anyone, and your will for me is far better than anything I could dream up on my own. Lord may your kingdom come, and your will be done in my life. Help me to trust that you know best and give me the confidence to have faith in your methods and your timing. Amen.