"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples" (John 15:7-8). These words, spoken by Jesus, are a promise for every believer. We can't claim this promise for selfish means, but for those things that, as verse 8 says, glorify God, bear much fruit, and prove that we follow Christ. The first and most obvious question is this: What is it that resonates with the heart of God so much that he seeks out those whom he can bless?
The heartbeat of God is to reach people with the love and gospel of Christ. He wants his church to be on mission with him, making disciples who grow in their knowledge of Christ each day. If this is our prayer, certainly God will answer it and give us what we ask.
There is, however, a second and less obvious question: Are there any conditions to receiving this promise from God? Yes. We must abide in Christ and allow his words to abide in us. To abide in Christ means to dwell in him, to make our home in him. It means that we commune with him in a spirit of prayer each day. This doesn't happen without effort on our part. To set aside time each day to fellowship with the Spirit of God is easy, but it is also easy to forget. We must remember that we have access to the Living Water, who brings refreshment to our souls and power to live for him.
We must also allow the Word of God to abide in us. We must read it, listen to it, and meditate on it. It must saturate our lives. Turn off the distractions that bombard you and focus on the Scriptures.
This year, let's ask whatever we wish and watch God do it.