‘If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.’ John 15:7 (NIV)
Nearly everyone has at least one store that really thrills them. It may be a clothes store for some, a trinkets store for others. It could be music or bookstore or perhaps a hardware or sporting goods store. Whatever that store may have, we just love to visit it. Perhaps we get more than a little nervous looking at all the things we can find there. We are humans. We have a secret bent towards the things of this world which catch our attention. Could Jesus have been pointing our attention to all the little or not so little things that our hearts set themselves upon? Or do the Saviour´s words direct our sights on considerably higher goals?
The Christian may feel that we have overcome our tendency towards earthly things. We have set our hopes on one day walking streets of gold hand-in-hand with celestial beings. We would be the children of heaven. This may give us a sense of superiority. This may make us feel like the pull towards the delights of our temporary home are not so strong. But have we tested ourselves to see which way our hearts lean? What are the things that our hearts goes out to? What is it that we find ourselves returning again and again to our knees to beseech the Lord for?
Do we ask God for the removal of inconveniences in our lives? Do we come before the Lord to find us a good job or help us with our financial situation? Are we brazen and ask Him for that new car we had our eye on or that house we dreamed of? Do we ask Him for happiness to come to ourselves or our love-ones? What exactly are the things we pray for?
Jesus speaks. He teaches. He instructs and He promises to answer our prayers. But who are those blessed children who will get what they want? If we look at the things that we are asking for, will it tell us whether or not we are the kind of petitioner Jesus says will receive what we are asking for? Who is asking for God´s Spirit to rule over our preferences? Who is asking to suffer for the salvation of the people who oppress the poor? Who is asking that the toll be taken from them to ease the pain of another? Who is asking that our aspirations and comfort are set aside so that the power and love of God may be displayed in our lives? Who is asking Jesus to teach them to suffer graciously so that we may perfect our faith? Who is asking to take the same steps Jesus took looking to Another World and not our own? Who is actually asking to gratify God at any cost to themselves? Who is really throwing caution to the wind and asking for a miracle instead of what the natural courses would bring? Who is asking Jesus for the kind of things God would be moved to grant us?
We hear Your encouragement to ask of God. We hear the promise of fulfillment of those petitions. But we also see that something is wrong with our asking. Please teach us what it means to remain in You! Teach us what it means to have Your words living in us! Then teach us to ask for the things God wants us to ask for! Only then let Your power flow! When we are truly found in You, give us Your miraculous answers to our prayer! Let this be our prayer today that we grow close enough to You today that You will be in us and show us what we really should be asking for!