We like to think that our wants are God’s will. Maybe, and maybe not. “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us…we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (vv. 14-15 NKJV). Your confidence in prayer comes from knowing that you are asking according to God’s will. And He reveals His will to us: (1) Through His Word. Find out what the Bible says about the thing you are asking God for. The story’s told of a lady whose only Bible reading was a promise box. Remember those? First, she reached in and pulled out a Scripture that read, “Judas went out and hanged himself.” So she reached for a second one and it said, “Go thou and do likewise.” Quickly she reached for a third one and it said, “And what thou doest, do quickly.” Seriously, don’t just read the promises of God; study the conditions that go with them!
(2) Through personal revelation. Hannah Whitehall Smith said: “I lay it down as a foundation principle…that God’s voice will always be in harmony with itself, no matter in how many different ways He may speak. The voices may be many, the message can be but one. If God tells me in one voice to do or to leave undone anything, He cannot possibly tell me the opposite in another voice…therefore my rule for distinguishing the voice of God would be to bring it to the test of harmony.” So, make sure you are asking in harmony with God’s will.