“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.” — John 15:7
Certain promises have strings attached. Like this one from John 15:7. True, we may ask whatever we wish, but Jesus qualifies our prayers with two important conditions: We must be living in close fellowship with Him, and our requests must be in line with His will.
Some Christians think that prayer is a blank check. Just fill in the amount whenever you like, no matter what your spiritual condition, and God will cash it for you. Not so. When Jesus says, “Remain in me,” He’s talking about a consistent lifestyle of closeness to Him, not a sporadic spirituality.
And as far as the other condition, “If my words remain in you,” Jesus doesn’t mean that you have to have a seminary degree or a Bible school diploma. You can know tons of theology without ever letting it grip your soul. Jesus was referring to running Scripture through your mind over and over again in order to find new ways to please Him and bring Him praise. Whatever we ask will be given us if we walk closely with the Lord and remain consistently in His Word.
One more thing. For years I applied this prescription to my own prayer request for diving healing. I have sought to remain in the Lord and have His words remain in me. But after twenty-five years, I am still paralyzed.
The lesson? Sometimes God says... no. Or at least, not yet.
First John 5:14–15 says, “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.”
Lord, I’m asking only that Your will be done in my life. I have the assurance that You will always say “yes” to that prayer!