There is a common misconception that God promises to give us "absolutely anything" we ask for, no matter what.

1 John 5:14 states, "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us." This verse emphasizes the assurance we can have in our relationship with God. It assures us that when we pray according to God's will, He hears us.

While it is true that God promises to give us anything we ask for, we must remember that this promise is not to be taken as a blank check or a guarantee of receiving everything we desire. God is not a vending machine or a robot, he is a loving Father who desires the best for us. Just as a loving parent would not give their child something harmful or detrimental, God, in His infinite wisdom, knows what is truly best for us. Sometimes, what we ask for may not align with His plan, and in those instances, He may choose to answer our prayers in a different way or not grant them at all.

This verse, part of John’s closing words in his letter, underscores an unwavering confidence in God’s responsiveness to our prayers. However, there’s a catch. God listens to us if we ask anything according to His will. We shouldn’t anticipate answers that contradict His divine plan, and passages such as John 16:24 “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. cannot be used to demand always getting what we want”. 

Throughout the Bible, we see numerous instances where individuals prayed and received answers from God. For example, in James 1:5-6, we are encouraged to ask God for wisdom, and He will generously give it to us. Additionally, in Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus teaches that if we ask, seek, and knock, we will receive, find, and have doors opened to us.

It's important to note that the phrase "according to his will" is significant in understanding 1 John 5:14. This means that our prayers should align with God's purposes and plans. We should seek His guidance and submit our requests to His sovereign will. Jesus Himself modeled this in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed, "Not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).

How should we cope with disappointment when God denies something we desperately desire? The psalmist offers insight: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11). And we have the promise that we can have confidence in approaching God: “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).

By praying according to God's will, we demonstrate our trust in His wisdom and authority. We acknowledge that He knows what is best for us and for His kingdom. It also aligns our desires with His purposes, allowing Him to work through us in ways that bring glory to His name.

1 John 5:14 teaches us that when we pray in accordance with God's will, He hears us. It reminds us to approach prayer with confidence, knowing that our Heavenly Father is attentive to our petitions. As we seek His will and align our desires with His purposes, we can trust that He will answer our prayers in His perfect timing and according to His infinite wisdom.

The believer can know he or she has eternal life and know God hears their prayers. However, this verse specifies that getting a positive answer to prayer is based on asking "according to his will." This phrase is used only two other times in the New Testament. In Luke 12:47, a parable is told about a servant who did not act "according to his [master's] will" and received judgment. And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished”. Luke 12:47

 In Hebrews 2:4, “God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will”. mentions gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed "according to his will."

Verses such as this clear up the common misconception that God promises to give us "absolutely anything" we ask for, no matter what. God is not a vending machine, or a robot. He acts according to His ways, not ours. He hears our prayers, but it should come as no surprise that He responds to those prayers according to His will.

Let us seek His guidance and trust in His perfect timing. As we align our desires with His will, we can rest assured that He will provide for us according to His abundant love and wisdom.

May you find peace and comfort in knowing that God's promises are true, and His ways are higher than ours. Trust in Him, and He will guide your path.

God bless you.