How to Have Confidence in Prayer, Part 11 (Praying Through the Bible #435 with Daniel Whyte III)

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Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: 1 John 5:14-17

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.

Sam Storms said, “Sin is deadly, and if we would have life we must avoid it. Let us therefore come to the aid of our brethren by praying for one another. if the sin of the brother for whom we pray is not sufficiently severe and persistent to put his physical life in jeopardy, God will answer our prayer and restore this brother to the fullness of joy and spiritual energy in his daily life with Christ.”

In this message, we are going to continue looking at what John has to say about having confidence in prayer and how to pray for our fellow Christians who are in sin.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says about this passage: “The words, a sin that does not lead to death, can be easily misunderstood. All sin ultimately leads to death, but the expression “that does not lead to death” should be understood in the sense, “not punished by death.” The distinction is between sins for which death is a rapid consequence and sins for which it is not.
When a Christian sees another Christian sin in a way that is not fatal, he is instructed to pray for him and God will give him life. However, John reminded his readers that there is sin that leads to (that is, “is punished by”) death. There is no need for the word a before “sin.” John was not likely thinking of only one kind of sin. The New Testament example cited earlier was a flagrant violation of the sanctity of the Christian community. It is not necessary for a Christian to be absolutely sure which flagrant sins are punishable by swift death as long as he can recognize many which are not. He is commanded to pray regarding sins which are not punishable by swift death. Even for other sins, where a greater seriousness seems attached to them, Christians have the freedom to pray. John’s words about fatal sin are, I am not saying that he should pray about that. But this clearly does not forbid prayer even in the most serious cases. But naturally in such cases believers will submit their prayers to the will of God. In contrast, with regard to sins not punished swiftly by death, Christians, on the basis of this verse, should be able to pray with confidence.
This verse affirms that there is genuine scope for the kind of prayer John enjoined in verse 16. All wrongdoing is sin, but out of this broad spectrum there is sin that does not lead (swiftly) to death. This passage has suffered a great deal by the concentration of expositors on the question of what kind of sin is directly punished by death. John’s emphasis, however, is on sin not thus punished. It is for this that a believer should pray. When he does so, he is demonstrating his love for his brother and is thus obeying the frequently repeated command of this letter to do so. At the same time, he is exercising faith in the name of God’s Son, since his loving request for his brother is in Jesus’ name. Prayer for one’s sinning brother is therefore in obedience to the single two-pronged command of 1 John 3:23: ‘And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.’”

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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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