“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”
because we keep His commandments
The word “because” gives the reasons God answers prayer. We can have confidence that God answers prayer according to two conditions. The two qualifications for God answering our prayer in this verse are these: 1) we “keep His commandments” and 2) we “do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” God’s commandments are His precepts or principles for living the Christian life.
The believer who lives in the habitual condition of applying the principles of God’s Word to experience receives answers to his prayers. Does this mean that God answers prayers for a quid pro quo? That is, does God give us according to how much we give Him? God does not grant answered prayer and give us certain benefits because we measure up to His expectations but because we meet His conditions for prayer.
What we do off our knees is important to what we say on our knees.
Some people pray regularly, but they do not receive answers to prayer because they do not know the principles of the Word. We cannot pray effectively without knowing the Word. We cannot pray effectively without walking in the Spirit. We need to “pray in the Spirit” (Ep 6:18). God does not answer the prayer of a carnal Christian (Ps 66:18; Jas 4:2,3; 1 Pe 3:7).
What we do off our knees is important to what we say on our knees. How we live has a direct bearing on answered prayer. This is not to say that God’s answer to our prayer is conditional on obedience. God answers prayer because we fashion our asking according to His will. God always answers prayer, according to His will. We know His will by what is revealed in the Word.
Jn 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Jn 15:7, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
1 Jn 5:14, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
God never promises that we will receive anything we ask. That would put us in place of God. God would have to rearrange the universe to answer a finite prayer.
God does not answer prayer according to quid pro quo, “If I give something to God, He will give something to me.” He does not give as an exchange of favors. We can make no religious bargains with God. No, God answers prayer because our prayers are fashioned according to His will. The more we fellowship with Him, the more we know His will.