“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” – John 15:7 (NLT)
Anything I want? Really? Today’s passage is probably one of the top 10 abused verses in scripture. We like the idea of receiving a blank check from the Lord, but this one comes with a few stipulations.
First, we are challenged here to remain in Him. The idea is not that Jesus has to chase us around to keep up with us, but that we are running after Him and that He is running after us simultaneously.
Second, His words are to remain in us. The idea here is that we are running after the truth of scripture. We desire to know it, and to do it.
When these two things are happening in the life of a believer, we will find that our prayers are being granted on a greater scale than we have ever experienced before. The idea is that the more we pursue Christ, and the more we know and do His word, then the more we will be asking the things that He would ask and the things that are important to Him rather than asking for things that are important to us.
If you don’t see many of your prayers being granted, you might take a look at James for another perspective on this truth…
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:3 (NIV)
With the Lord’s help, take a look at your prayer life. Is it more about what will make life easier and better for yourself and those you love, or is there room for prayers for discipline and learning from the hard times? Are there prayers for salvation and repentance for the lost and for those who are in rebellion toward God? Ask God to give you a passion for knowing intimately the Christ in you, so that your desires and requests will be His desires and requests.