13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
In this part of John’s concluding remarks he reminds us of why he is writing this letter: to assure us believers in Christ that we have eternal life. He speaks also of the confidence we can have in asking God for anything and being assured that he will provide it. But wait, is that really what it says? Look again. Ask anything “according to his will.” Well, that changes things. If I ask God to let me have a winning lottery ticket, um, that most likely is not in his will for me. But good health, a great job, and a wonderful spouse are in his will for me.
One Bible commentator has put forth that this phrase “according to his will” means “that which he has promised in his word.” Search the word for God’s promises and then pray for them. Here are a few:
Love (John 3:16)
Forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7)
Salvation (Hebrews 7:25)
Peace (John 14:27)
Joy (1st Peter 1:8)
There are many more promises for freedom, growth, health, family, strength, blessing, finances, forgiveness, guidance, marriage, and even deliverance from addictions, fears, or depression. You can find those here: http://www.amazingfacts.org/bible-study/gods-promises.aspx