15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
The scope of our prayers is found in two phrases of this verse: “whatsoever we ask” and “the petitions that we desired of him”. Together, these 2 God-sanctioned “perimeters” instruct us that as long as we are asking according to His will (v. 14) and are sure that He will hear us or attend to our prayers, there is no limit as to what we can ask. We can ask whatever we would, as long as His will permits.
Some people seem to be disheartened by their unfounded thinking that if they are only allowed to ask within God’s will, they will somehow miss the best things in this life. Such a notion is far from the truth! Nothing is greater or better than God’s will. No human mind can ever imagine or grasp all that God has planned for His people. The apostle Paul quotes from Isaiah 64:4, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Paul further assures us that God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Consider also the promise of Psalm 84:11 – “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
What an assurance that we (who pray according to His will) have – “we have the petitions that we desired of him”! The apostle John had already taught this truth in 1 John 3:22 – “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
It is not enough for us to merely desire to achieve great things by prayer. We must believe in the Lord and His promises, and go to Him in prayer, submitting our petitions that are according to His will. Only then will we have what we desired, and more.
Prayer is the means of access to God in order to procure all His great and wonderful blessings. God is our inexhaustible source of grace, wisdom, strength and all good provisions. Through the ages, His people have bowed down in prayer to drink from the living stream of His blessings. Let us not foolishly neglect this open channel of blessing to all His people.