Prayer: Personal Gratification or Kingdom Fruitfulness?

As I left the house this morning, I grabbed a CD containing the message “Ask Whatever You Wish” by John Piper. As always when listening to John Piper, my heart was challenged by his passionate preaching. In this message he was dealing with the statement by Jesus in John 15:7,

If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.

Piper explains that this verse, understood in its context, is pointing to prayers prayed to produce fruit for the furtherance of the kingdom of God. One paragraph of this sermon stands out:

Prayer is not for gratifying natural desires. It is for fruit-bearing, for the glory of God. Another way of saying it is this: if you want God to respond to your interests, you must be devoted to his interests. God is God. He does not run the world by hiring the consulting firm called Mankind. He lets mankind share in the running of the world through prayer to the degree that we consult with him and get our goals and desires in tune with his purposes.

The key, says Piper, to having answered prayer is to be filled with the Word of God. This is stated explicitly in John 15:7, “If … my words abide in you …” then “ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” Piper put this together in a memorable way at the end of his sermon. The thought is expressed poetically as:

More saturated by the word
More surely will our prayers be heard

I highly recommend that you read the entire sermon by clicking the above title or by clicking here. If you would like to hear the audio CD, just request a copy from me. I have permission to distribute it. For more John Piper audio sermons check out his radio broadcast page here for the current broadcast and approximately thirty archived broadcasts.


  1. Actually, the CD says that anyone has permission to duplicate and distribute the message as long as no charge is made for the service. Do you want one? Anyone?

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