14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
1 John 5:14-15
14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
That is somekind of promise. We have the promise that we can have whatever we want. All we need do is to comply with the conditional side of these verses. So we need to understand what “in My name,” “you abide in Me and My words abide in you,” and “ask according to His will” mean.
Let’s start with “in My name.” When we get together for Christmas we don’t normally hear about Pilgrims, Indians and Turkeys. We do very specific Christmas activities. So when we get together in Jesus’ name, then we need to be doing things that are specific to His name. We need to know what His name means.
“Jesus” is from the Greek for the Hebrew “Jeshua” which means “YHWH Saves.” “Christ” is from the Greek for the Hebrew “Meshiah” which means “the anointed one.” If I may interject an english word in between the two to make it sound like a sentence, then we have Jesus Christ means YHWH Saves through the anointed one.
Therefore, if we are asking in His name then we would be asking for someone’s salvation through Jesus Christ.
Next is “you abide in Me.” I would take that to mean that we are being obedient to Jesus’ teachings. Basically sumed up by, Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, both in word and in deed.
Then, “My words abide in you.” Seems simple enough. I would think this means reading, studying and memorizing scripture.
Therefore, if we are abiding in Him and His word abides in us then we are asking for His help so that we or others may be obedient to His word and we pray the scriptures. Beth Moore has a wonderful book on this called, “Praying God’s Word.”
Lastly, “ask according to His will.” I found 4 passages in the Bible that specifically define God’s will.
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
1 Thess 4:3-8
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
1 Thess 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Peter 2:15-17
15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men — 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Summing up these 4 passages we have believe in Jesus, be sanctified, don’t sin, rejoice, pray without ceasing, be thankful and do good works.
Therefore, if we are asking according to God’s will then we are asking for a deeper faith in Jesus, asking to be recreated in His image, asking for help against sin, giving praise, constantly being mindful of God in our lives, giving thanks, or asking for help in doing good works.
How does this look in practical application?
If you desire to be the MVP of the Superbowl then your prayer may look like this. Dear Lord, I want to be the MVP of the Superbowl so that I may give testimony of your saving grace in my life and help others to come to a saving faith as well.
Whatever your current heart’s desire is, is where you should start. Just remember to tie you heart’s desire to one of God’s desires. Now what will happen? As you continue to pray this prayer and to read, study, and memorize God’s word you will most likely notice a change. That is the sanctification part taking place. Your desire may begin to change.
How do I know this? I have experienced it myself and seen it in others. Good example is the Superbowl. I saw TBN interview about 20 players that played in the Superbowl this year. Not one of them said winning the Superbowl would be an answered prayer. Not one of them said playing in the Superbowl was an answered prayer. Everyone of them said they were so thankful to have the strength and the skill to play football at the level they had obtained. They gave Glory to God for being the source of that ability and said all the rest of this stuff was nice, but it is merely gravy to the meat that Jesus Christ had already filled them with.
Scripture and prayer sometimes change situations, but they always change you. Making you desire what He desires.