1 John 5:15
 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (ESV)
The Apostle John continues in this description of the blessing of knowing that God hears us. In the previous verse he made it clear that we need to be sure that we are asking in accordance with the will of God. This keeps us from treating prayer like a request for winning the lottery. God will supply our needs not our "greeds."
I want us to consider today how we relate to God when it comes to asking things of him. I think at times we are like the prophets of Baal in that great showdown between them and the Prophet Elijah. You may remember the story found in 1 Kings 18:20-40. Perhaps you will want to go there right now and read that passage.
When you come to the Lord in prayer and offer your requests do you truly believe that you will be heard? Or do you keep on begging and pleading? Perhaps you even make sacrifices in terms of giving money or doing good deeds in order to bargain with your Heavenly Father. This is very similar to the foolish self-mutilating actions of the prophets of Baal.
The Apostle John says that we can KNOW that he hears us, and that we can also KNOW that we have the requests that we have asked of him. I want you to be encouraged in your approach to God. He hears you. Shouting, sacrificing, or bargaining with him does not change things one way or the other. Trust me. I have been there. I might go there again. But, we need to be reminded of just how faithful our God is. I will close with these wonderful words from the Book of James:
 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. (ESV)