Q: I have a friend who says that a Christian can “name it and claim it.” She says that God will give us whatever we want, if we have enough faith. Is this true?
Suggested Daily Reading: John 15:7-17
John 15:7 is one of the verses in the Bible where God promises to give us the things for which we pray. “Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,” Jesus promises in the last part of the verse.
To correctly understand the second part of John 15:7, we need to understand the first part and connect them. The first part of the verse places an “if,” a qualifier, on the second part. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you.” What does this mean? It means that we must first be connected to and abide in Jesus and in His Word, the Bible.
How is the first part of this verse connected to the second? In this way: when we are abiding in Jesus and in His will, as communicated to us in His Word, God will hear our prayer and grant us our request.
Imagine for a moment a 10 year old boy who has selected a new bike, go-cart, swimming pool, camping equipment and several toys that he wants from the latest Sears catalog. He asks his Dad to buy these for him. The boy’s father knows, however, that purchasing everything that his son wants would not be good for him. Doing so would spoil him. Out of love for his son and for his best, his Father will deny his son’s requests.
No, John 15:7 does not mean that God will answer all my selfish and sinful requests, or all that I name and claim. It does not even mean that God will answer my legitimate requests in the time or manner that I think is best. What it does mean is that when my will is immersed in God’s will, when I abide in Him and His Word, then He will answer my requests. Why then? Because then I most deeply want that which God wants. My will is to do His will. God will then grant me all I ask for, because all I ask arises from that which I most deeply desire. Then I most deeply want what He wants for me. The Lord reigns in my heart, not me. I fight against selfishness and greed and pray to live more out of love to God and others.
When you pray, are you the servant asking God what His will is for you, and for grace so that you can serve Him well? Or, are you “god,” asking or demanding God to be your servant and to do your will, when, where and how you want it? If you are “God” and God is “servant” in most of your prayers, what can you do to correct this wrong?