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1 John 5:14-15 - The Power of Prayer

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Introduction: Coming to the conclusion of our study in 1 John we see that John gathers together some of the Themes he has dealt with thought this book.  One of the most important subjects in the Christian life is prayer.  If we want the blessing of God on our life, if we want to enjoy genuine fellowship with God, we have to know something of the dynamics and power of prayer.

One Crucial Reason the early Christians were on-fire for God

They Continued Steadfastly…in prayers (Acts 2:42)

Acts Reveals the Nature of Prayer in Empowering the New Testament Church.

(a)         The church was waiting prayerfully for the power Jesus promised them, and then the church was born (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-4).

(b)        When persecution threatened to stamp out the infant church, believers went to prayer, and then spoke God’s Word with boldness (Acts 4:23-31).

(c)         The growing church appointed additional leaders so the apostles could focus on prayer and preaching (Acts 6:1-4).

(d)        In response to Peter’s prayer, Tabitha was restored to life (Acts 9:36-43)

(e)         The prayers of Cornelius & Peter resulted in the gospel being preached to Gentiles for the first time (Acts 10:1-48).

(f)          Constant prayer by the church resulted in Peter being miraculously delivered from jail and possible execution (Acts 12:5-17).

(g)        Missionaries were sent out and elders appointed with prayer and fasting (Acts 13:1-3; 14:21-23).

(h)         Paul & Silas were miraculously delivered from jail, and the jailer and his family were converted, as a result of prayer (Acts 16:16-34).

 

Consider What the Epistles have to say about Prayer:

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; (Romans 12:12)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints---- (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; (Colossians 4:2)

Pray without ceasing, (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV)

(a)         Prayer should be second nature to a child of God, just like breathing.

(1)        Wherever we go, we should always be praying about everything that happens.

The Confidence That We Have (v.14)

1.       Our Confidence (assurance- bolness) is in Him. 

What Gives Us This Confidence?    

1)        Abiding in Jesus gives us confidence to stand before Him when He appears (1Jn.2:28-29)

2)        Keeping His commandments & doing the things that are pleasing in His sight (1Jn.3:21-22)

3)        Because of Christ & our faith in Him gives us boldness & confident access to the Father (Eph.3:11-12; Romans 5:1-2; Heb.4:14-16; we are accepted in the beloved Eph.1:6).     

4)        The Blood of Jesus Christ (Heb.10:19)

(a)      This Access Happened At the Cross (Matt.27:51)

(b)      This symbolized a new & living way to God (Heb.6:19; 9:3; 10:19-23).

If for any reason, maybe, persecution, ridicule etc., you are tempted to turn & run away from Christ, “hold tightly to the hope you have in God, because God can be trusted and He keeps His promises (Heb.10:23-25).

       What Must I Do With This Confidence?         

1)        Hold Fast & Keep our confidence in Christ Until the End (Heb.3:6, 14; Col.1:21-23)

2)        Use This Confidence—You Must Ask. 

Much prayer fails because it never asks for anything.  God is a loving God, & a generous giver – He wants us to ask of Him.

1.         John 16:19-28—‘in that day you will ask me nothing’.  After His ascension & the sending of the Holy Spirit, believers will no longer ask Jesus since He is not present.  Now they are to ask the Father in His name. 

Then Jesus says in (v.26-27), In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request the Father on your behalf; Jesus is saying you don’t need to ask me to ask the Father, you can ask Him yourself, 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father.

Asking in Jesus’ name is not a “magic formula, it means: your asking on the basis of Jesus’ merit, & whatever would honor and glorify Him as to build His kingdom. 

At the Last Supper Jesus told the Twelve, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). The requirement for receiving is to ask in Jesus’ name, that is, according to His purpose and will.         

2.         Ask, Seek, Knock (Matt.7:7-11)—This Promise Is Valid Only For Those Who:

a.         Belong to the Heavenly Father.  Remember Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount were directed to His disciples (Matt.5:1-2), therefore, Everyone refers to those who belong to the heavenly Father.  

b.         Are living in obedience to the Father (1Jn.3:22), willing to do His will (John 7:17)

c.         Have the right motive in asking (Mark 10:32-44; James 4:2-3).  They were seeking honor out of selfish-ambition (see Mark 9:33-34).      

d.         Are submissive to God’s will for we cannot serve two masters (Matt.6:24).  Trying to serve two master is being double minded (James 1:7-8)

e.         Persevere: This is suggested by the present imperative tenses of ask, seek, and knock. The idea is that of continuance and constancy:

2.       Asking According To God’s Will

It is easy for us to only be concerned with our will before God, but true prayer is not telling God what to do, but asking God to do His will in us and through us. It means getting God’s will done on earth, not man’s will done in heaven. 

God wants us to see and discern His will through His word, and to pray His will into action. 

Jesus desired God’s will to be done in His life, He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 4:34); The Psalmist prayed “teach me to do your will, for you are my God” (143:10).

 

When You Pray And Ask God For Something, How Do You Know It Is God’s Will? 

Colossians 1:9 says that it is possible for us to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (Colossians 1:9 NKJV)

1)        The teaching of the Word of God.  God’s will is revealed in His Word.

2)        As you pray and as you surrender you will to the will of the Lord, the Holy Spirit will guide you into His will for your life.

How Does The Spirit Assist Us In Our Praying (Romans 8:26-27)?

1.         Somehow He puts an impression on your heart.  He takes His Word (John 16:13-15), makes it real in your life, and gives you a definite promise, assurance & direction.

2.         The Holy Spirit constantly intercedes for us even though we do not hear His voice (Rom. 8:26-27). He knows the Father’s will and He helps us pray in that will.

       Why Is It So Important To Pray God’s Will?

1)        Jesus taught us to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done” (Matt.6:10).

2)        Jesus had this in mind (John 15:7; 14:13).  This verse could be literally translated:

“If you are maintaining a living communion with Me, and My words are at home in your life, I command you to ask at once something for yourself, whatever you heart desires, and it will become yours”

3)        The Psalmist also had this in mind (Psalm 37:3-4; 1:1-3).

4)        Jesus himself demonstrated this in the garden of Gethsemane (Matt.26:36-42; Luke 22:39ff.)

5)        Jesus said we must “have faith in God… without doubting in our heart… believing we will receive (Mark 11:20-26).  In Jewish imagery, a mountain signifies something strong and immovable, a problem that stands in the way (Zech. 4:7). We can move these mountains only by trusting God.

 

2.       Assurance of the Answer (v.15)

When we have met the condition talked about we can be sure of the attainment of our Petitions.  We must realize that God answers prayer in at least four ways:

1)        Sometimes The Answer Is Direct, Often God Answers Right On The Spot.  Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' (Jeremiah 33:3)… Isaiah 65:24 says, “That before they call, I will answer”.  Genesis 24:12-15 says that before the servant of Isaac finished praying God sent the answer.

2)        Sometimes God Delays His Answers (1 Samuel 1:1-11).  Often times as with Hannah the reason being is God is seeking to bring us around to His purposes.  The Bible says 2 Chronicles 16:9  "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.  Jesus delayed in healing Lazarus in John 11.

3)        Sometimes God’s Answers Are Different.  You ask for a small bike, just anykind because you want it so bad, but your dad gets you a custom – super-deluxe - 10-speed. 

In our limited vision & small faith, we ask for something small but God wants us to ask for something big.

4)        Sometimes God Says “NO”. 

What Should I Pray For?

1)        When you see a brother sinning, ask God the He would give Him life (1 John 5:16)

2)        The Salvation of Lost Souls (1Tim.2:4; 2Pet.3:9)

3)        Our sanctification… Living a Holy Life (1 Thess.4:3)

4)        Understanding what the will of the Lord is (Eph.5:15-21)

5)        Submission – Getting along with those in authority over you (1Pet.2:13-15)

6)        Ask for God’s Wisdom (James 1:5-8)

7)        Ask for God to show us any sin in our life (Psalm 139:23-24)

(a)      If we have sin in our lives God will not hear (James 5:16 cf. Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 59:1-2; 1Pet.3:7)

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