We hear this phrase often, or at least I have in my lifetime. I always associate it with a spiritual truth. It has been my experience that it is a law of the universe. I will make a few observations about this. Ask and you shall receive.
Notice there is no timing on this. We cannot predict when the request will be fulfilled. One of the things we can do to receive more readily is remove obstacles from receiving what we say we desire.
Example: I want a loving relationship. Obstacle: I live with a guarded heart.
The desired wish does not always arrive in the package we requested or imagined. Sometimes I think we want things to happen without our investment of time and attention for its proper development. Or we put conditions on the desire and then expect a certain presentation.
Example: I want peace in my life. Presentation: When I end the chaotic relationships in my life and experience peace, I get pulled back into them leaving me in a roller-coaster that offers no lasting peace.
We hold opposing wishes. With this condition we remove our wish-fulfillment potential as soon as the desire is formed.
Example: I want honest relationships. Opposing wish: I want to feel safe and stable so I continue the relationships I have even when something in me feels there is dishonesty.
We don't notice when the wish is granted. We are so busy with the next thing we want, we do not live peacefully and in gratitude of what we have. We often already have much of what we want, we are not in touch with it or giving it our attention.
Example: I will be happy when I buy a new car. Reality: I am not happy for long and so I wish for the next thing I think will make me happy.
This week I am focusing on writing a business plan for the year(s) ahead. With this big project, I need clarity of purpose and a deep honesty about my commitment to what I am doing, meaning I need to know how I will put my actions behind my intentions and words. As I have been thinking and writing, my email inbox has been delivering me messages of support and guidance, helping me with my process. I could have discarded some of them as "extra" emails that I don't have time for. Wouldn't that have been unfortunate?
Ask and you shall receive.