Bible Study

1 John Bible Study, Day 27: Ask Anything According to God’s Will

Today’s passage: 1 John 5:13–15

Focus verse: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)

When we pray, do we think God hears us? Does he answer our prayers? All of them? The Bible says so. Consider what Scripture teaches.

First, we can have assurance that God does indeed hear our prayers.

John writes that we can be confident God will hear everything we ask and will grant everything we request. But there’s a condition that’s easy to miss, and it’s a critical one.

John stipulates that God will hear our prayers and answer them when we align our requests with his will (1 John 5:14–15).

The challenge for us then is to discover his perspective and pray according to his will. This may not be as hard as we think. Paul writes that we already have the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14–16).

The Holy Spirit can reveal to us the will of God. It’s simple. Each thing the Holy Spirit tells us to do is the will of God. We can count on this because God would never tell us to do something contrary to his will.

For some followers of Jesus, hearing the Holy Spirit is a daily part of life, while others struggle to hear from God, even once. But we should all lean into this and be open to hear from the Holy Spirit.

In this way we will know the will of God.

Another way to know the will of God is to read his written word, the Bible. The Father also reveals his will to us through Scripture. For example, he is not willing that anyone should perish (Matthew 18:14).

Therefore, it’s aligned with his will to pray for the salvation of others. But we must also act according to our prayers.

We plant (tell them about Jesus) and then trust God to make the crop grow (1 Corinthians 3:6) and produce a harvest (2 Corinthians 9:10).

A third way to know the will of God is to spend time with him. As we do, we will get to know him better and develop a stronger sense for what he wants, for his perspective, and for his will.

Enoch can serve as our example in this. He walked so close to God that the Almighty whisked his faithful follower into heaven (Genesis 5:22–24).

We find a fourth way to know God’s will—his good, pleasing, and perfect will—is to not conform to the world, but to transform our thinking by renewing our minds.

When we do this, we’ll understand what God’s will is (Romans 12:2).

In these four ways we can know God’s will. 

When our prayers align with his will, he will answer our requests. But answered prayer isn’t the goal; it’s the outcome.

Our aim should be to know God’s will. May we focus on that.


  1. Can we really ask God for anything? Why?
  2. How do we react when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want or when we want? 
  3. Which of the four ways to know God’s will is the most helpful to you?
  4. Which of the four ways to know God’s will do you need to use more?
  5. What should we do to better align our perspective with the will of God?

Discover more about God answering our prayers in 1 John 3:21–22.

Tips: Check out our tips to use this online Bible study for your church, small group, Sunday school class, or family discussion. It’s also ideal for personal study. Come back each Monday for a new lesson.

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Discover practical, insightful, and encouraging truths in Love One Another, a devotional Bible study to foster a deeper appreciation for the two greatest commandments: To love God and to love others.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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