If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:7–8
God knows why he does not always do what we ask for. But there are a thousand wishes for which we simply have no reason to think that they should come true. Paul wanted to get free of the angel of Satan, but the Lord said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:7–9). We have to see ourselves as poor souls.
The promises about prayer are not given superficially. So even when God does not answer us, he still remains faithful and true to his promise. And he does answer prayer, but ultimately he wants to see fruits in those who pray. Only then will he receive honor for what he has done. Then the praise which we owe him – and which is so often lacking – will be given. Since we are allowed to ask for whatever we wish, our prayers should be focused on something higher, aiming at God’s kingdom and its fulfillment.
In the end the Lord will, in some way or another, bring about everything we have asked him for. Everyone who asks is dear to him; for the one who comes to God stands closer to him than the one who does not ask. God considers every sincere prayer. But his answers are often different from what we expect. And yet how often he answers in such a way that we must marvel and adore.
Although so much is still lacking everywhere, let us wait patiently for the great time of grace that is to come; it will not fail to appear. Then God’s mercy will unfold, so much so that we will all be changed.
Therefore, keep on praying. The angels will carry your requests to the Father, and his reward will not fail to come.
Johann Christoph Blumhardt