Pray With Confidence

We can trust God to answer with what is best, even when it’s not what we requested.

1 John 5:14-15

Prayer is the Christian’s most powerful God-given means for effecting change. Yet we’re often unsure whether the Lord will answer our appeals. Today’s verses assure us that He hears and grants our petitions when they’re in accordance with His will. But knowing God’s will can seem perplexing—we aren’t always sure whether our requests fit that condition.

Here’s what we do know: Anything that God commands us in the Scriptures is His will. This includes everything pertaining to our sanctification, holiness, and spiritual growth (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). And there are other attitudes and behaviors God forbids in His Word. For example, we can’t expect Him to answer any request motivated by pride, jealousy, selfish ambition, or sinful desires (James 4:3-5). As for insignificant matters (like what to wear or eat) or issues of conscience, such things are left to our discretion (Romans 14:1-23).

But what about petitions that don’t fit these categories? When we’re uncertain whether our request is according to God’s will, we must submit it Him, release our grip on the outcome we want, and trust the Lord to answer rightly. Remember, our confidence is not in the answer we want, but in the God whose knowledge, wisdom, and power are perfect, infinite, and eternal.