Prayer: Ask Whatever You Wish
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. – John 15:7-8
The words of Christ in this particular verse sounds extremely promising. Imagine asking God for whatever we desired and receiving it every single time. That’s exactly what Jesus is saying here in John 15. It’s easy to read whatever we want into this verse. This may cause us to go to God and wish for something at the store that we’ve been wanting for a long time. For many of us, it may cause us to go to God, asking for something that our heart has been yearning and breaking over. This is good, we should always let our requests be made known to God. Yet, isn’t there a catch in the preceding sentence? There’s an “If… then” statement, so God fulfilling our wishes is dependent on something.
Jesus says, if we remain in Him and His words remain in us, we will be granted what we wish. That seems surprisingly simple for such a lofty reward. Yet, this remaining and abiding we do in Christ comes at a price. As we remain in Him, continuing to grow closer to Him, continuing to increase our love and affection for Him and for others, we become more like Him. In the same way, when we allow His words to dwell in us, letting the Word of God take root in our hearts and minds, it also causes us to become more and more like Christ.
With a shift in identity and character, there also comes with it a shift of desires and wants. As we become more like Christ, His desires become our desires. As our union with Him continues to be manifested in our lives, all that He is becomes our, superseding all that we are, all that we do, and all that we desires.
Oftentimes, prayer isn’t solely about letting our needs be made known to God. Many times, it is a humbling of ourselves, so that through our communication with Him, he can guide our identity, our thoughts, and our desires to be more and more in line with His Son. This may initially seem unattractive. Of course, we enjoy the things we want and desire. Yet, what greater joy than to intimately abide with, and remain in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God!
Action Step: Read Psalm 37:4. Does John 15 help you better understand the order in which this Psalm is written? Spend some time in prayer, humbly placing your current wants and desires before Him, yet submitting yourself to Him, asking Him to continue making you more and more like Him each day.