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How to Pray with Confidence – 1 John 5:14

19/07/2014

How to Pray with Confidence.

Text: 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 15And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Prayer is an essential part of the Christian life, so as soon as John has established that we KNOW that we are eternally saved, with a heavenly destiny, through faith in Christ, he moves on to prayer… and that same confidence that we have in our eternal salvation applies to our prayers. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, If we are truly saved:-

1. We will pray ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.if we ask any thing according to his will,
People just love ‘how to’ sermons! John uses the ‘how to’ technique to teach us to pray effectively, in a way that will always guarantee an answer. But in this case, there is no mystery to it, and you don’t get a list of tips or principles. John just states what is totally obvious, – God is sovereign, and nothing happens without him ordaining it or permitting it, so if our prayers reflect his will, he will hear our prayers, and what are are praying for will certainly come to pass. So the first thing we need to know is this…

  1. What is THE WILL OF GOD? There are people who agonise over finding the will of God ‘for them’. God’s will is sometimes hidden and is sometimes revealed! Let’s try to distinguish between the two:-
    1. God’s Hidden Will. His secret will. God ordains everything that comes to pass, for he has sovereign authority over this creation, He made it, and He sustains it and he orders it. There are things that God has not chosen to reveal to us, and we cannot know them and we must simply trust him. We leave these things with the Lord.
    2. God’s Revealed Will. There are many areas, however, where god’s will is perfectly plain. It is revealed to us.
      1. Revealed in his word. It is his will that we should only worship him, that we should keep the Sabbath Day holy, that we should honour our parents, that we should not steal or murder our commit adultery, or be jealous, and that we should repent and confess our sins and be forgiven. On all of these matters there is no doubt about what the will of God is, and our response to that will is to obey it! 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6  If you want to know the will of God read his word, read it in context.
      2. Revealed in our conscience. God has, to some extend written his will upon our hearts. Paul explains this for us in  Romans 2:14-15, Our conscience is an inbuilt check on behaviour, which to some limited extent mirrors God’s revealed will. What had happened? Her conscience had spoken to her, and reminded her of god’s law, his revealed will. Which says ‘thou shalt not steal!’
  2. Our will and His Will. So, on the subject of God’s will, the regenerated heart should be predisposed to surrender his or her will to God’s will, knowing that his way is always perfect, and accepting that whatever our life’s path may hold, God is in charge, and we can fully trust him
  3. Praying the WILL OF GOD. So, let’s draw this all together in some practical sense.
    1. We will always be mindful to pray that God will bring us into conformity with his revealed will.
    2. Where we are concerned with God’s hidden will, with the future, with our plans, without family, our wellbeing, we will pray, “Father, I do not know what lies ahead, but I trust you, and whatever comes to pass, I pray that your will might be done, so that you might have all the glory. James 4:13-15

And Jesus taught us to say, when we pray, ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven’.

2. God will HEAR our Prayers! he heareth us: 15And if we know that he hear us. 
Do you know, the very fact that God inclines his ear to us, and hears us, is in and of itself a great blessing, and an answer to those prayers. Psalm 40:1-2. Let’s see

The prayers that God Hears. The prayers of his saints. See the characteristics of these prayers…

  • Prayers that are offered in faith, Matthew 21:22
  • Patient and persistent prayer. Luke 18:1-5
  • Prayers that are offered in obedience. Psalm 66:18,
  • Prayers that indicate a submission to God’s will. Luke 22:42, Romans 8:28, 1Peter 4:19.
  • Prayers that are offered humbly, with a repentant heart. 1 Chronicles 7:14-15

God hears our prayers. It is a wonderful thing in itself. He never turns away his ear from those he loves and has redeemed.

Prayers that God does NOT hear. Psalm 66:18-20 Examples of unheard prayers:

  • The prophets of Baal. 1 Kings 18:28-29 A
  • The sailors on Jonah’s boat. Jonah 1:5

Do you see that in each of those examples, they were fervently and passionately praying? They were misdirected prayers. They were praying to the wrong deity!   Yet when believers pray, and pray asking for god’s will to be done. God hears us.

3. He will ANSWER our prayers according to His Will. whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
You see He knows what is best – so he doesn’t always give us what we want, for he knows what is best for us, even it that seems to be hurtful to us, and detrimental to us at the time.

So, we have confidence when we pray, praying in accordance with the will of God, seeking that his will be done in our lives and in this world, our prayers are always heard and always answered, and we will be content with whatever that answer may he, because we know that we are his, and that we are his for eternity; we are his redeemed children, we want to please him, we want to do his will, and that give us confidence when we pray.

Now read HEIDELBERG CATECHISM LORD’S DAY 10, Q/A 27, LORD’S DAY 45, Q/A 116-117
© Bob McEvoy

From → 1st John

One Comment
  1. stephen cummings permalink

    Timing of your message is prefect Bob. Today I seen a man unwell on the road sadly he pass away on me as I try to bring him round until the emergency services came to help me to do the right thing.
    I was left standing on my own asking plenty of questions like why me Lord I dont what im doing, but we might not understand but our Lord is always in control.

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