1 John 5:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 5:14, NIV: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."

1 John 5:14, ESV: "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us."

1 John 5:14, KJV: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:"

1 John 5:14, NASB: "This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

1 John 5:14, NLT: "And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him."

1 John 5:14, CSB: "This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."

What does 1 John 5:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After emphasizing confidence in eternal life, John comments on confidence in prayer. The believer can know he or she has eternal life and know God hears their prayers. However, this verse specifies that getting a positive answer to prayer is based on asking "according to his will." This phrase is used only two other times in the New Testament. In Luke 12:47, a parable is told about a servant who did not act "according to his [master's] will" and received judgment. In Hebrews 2:4, the author mentions gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed "according to his will."

Verses such as this clear up the common misconception that God promises to give us "absolutely anything" we ask for, no matter what. God is not a vending machine, or a robot. He acts according to His ways, not ours. He hears our prayers, but it should come as no surprise that He responds to those prayers according to His will.