THERE IS MORE SAID IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW
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.
Ray Stedman said, God always hears every prayer that is voiced within the boundaries of His will.”
In our last few messages in this series, we have been looking at some background information regarding this passage. 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.
Here are some things we can learn about prayer from this passage.
First, we can have confidence in prayer because God hears our prayers according to His will. 1 John 5:14 says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” Unfortunately, for many Christians, prayer is a sort of experiment. Many Christians will say things like “there’s nothing left to do but pray,” as if prayer is an uncertain last resort, after you have tried all other “real” solutions. Contrast this attitude with what John shows in this passage. John declares “this is the confidence that we have in Him” and “we know He hears us.” Who is “we” in this verse. 1 John 5:13 says, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” If you believe on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, then you know for certain that you have eternal life. And just as you are sure that you have eternal life through Christ, you can be sure that God hears your prayers. John is certain about the power of prayer. He knows that it works, and His confidence arises from the certainty of God hearing prayer. Greg Allen said, “To say that God “hears” us means much more than that He simply hears the sounds of our words. It means that He is graciously inclined toward us with favor, and is glad to give His attention to what we pray. The whole thrust of John’s letter is to help us know that we are in fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ; and that, through Him, we truly have eternal life. God truly loves us; and He is a good Father, who is pleased to hear the requests of His children. The follower of Jesus Christ, who is seeking to walk in His will, can be confident that they are gladly heard by God.” However, there is a qualification. John says that God hears prayers “if we ask any thing according to his will.” There are many people who have perverted the meaning of prayer, using Bible passages that assure us of the confidence we can have in prayer, changing prayer into a way that we can get God to do our will. Prayer is never about that. God is not obligated to fulfil your wishes. When John says “any thing”, he does not mean that you will get everything you want. John wants you to pray about “any thing” in the sense that anything everything in your life should be brought before God in prayer. And then there is the phrase “according to His will.” Many Christians are more concerned with placing their own will in front of God and asking Him to fulfil it. God instead wants us to align ourselves with His will and pray for His will to be done. Steven Cole said, “Many who do not know God pray, but they are not seeking God’s will in prayer. Rather, they are trying to use Him (whoever they conceive Him to be) to get what they want. But biblical prayer is not trying to talk God into giving us what we want. Rather, it is submitting our will to His will. It is praying, as Jesus instructed, “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” It would be the height of stupidity to pray for your will to be done as opposed to God’s will. For one thing, it would mean that you know better than God what is best for your life. But He knows everything and He has assured us that He loves us far more than the best earthly father loves his children. So it only makes sense to submit to and pray for His will for your life and for others.” We saw how we align ourselves to God’s will in our previous messages in this series: by keeping God’s commandments and abiding in Christ. As we continue to abide in Jesus and He in us, our will becomes more aligned with His will, so that we can ask with confidence what we desire, and our desire will be according to His will. Such a prayer is sure to be heard.
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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.