How to Have Confidence in Prayer


How to Have Confidence in Prayer

Bible Text: 1 John 5:14-15

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Introduction

  • By way of introduction, remember how we come to understand what the Bible tells us
    • False ways:
      • Allegorical – something different than what is there
      • Spiritual – new revelation from the spirit
      • Personal – what I get out of it
    • True way:
      • Grammatical – understanding normal language
      • Historical – written to people at a particular time in history (culture, etc.)
      • Redemptive – fits into God’s redemptive plan
  • John 16:13 
    • everywhere Spirit leads is truth? 
    • or Spirit leads into all of the truth? 
      • Grammatical interpretation ^ says second one. 
      • Historical interpretation asks “When?” 
        • by the time all the apostles were gone (apostolic age) 
        • all scripture delivered during this time 
  • Therefore,
    • all that the Spirit was going to say, he has said 
    • all that was said is all that we need, it is all of the truth 
    • we must study His words to see whether we are following them, or being religious.
      • We may know what we practice
      • But we may learn from Scripture that what we’ve done is not what is written
    • The Words of God. They are life. Not our religion.
  • Know! That’s confidence. 
      • 1 John is about knowing
      • It is written that we may know – verse 13
      • Clearly stated truth also declares what is not true.
      • John makes climatic statement and then add this on… since we know, and have this assurance, we should ask with confidence.

Interpretation & Explanation

  • While the point is to encourage us to pray, we must note the limit to prayer in the text.
  • If we ask anything according to His will (10+ words used in scripture to give us ideas related to will)
    • Counsels = things that will come to pass regardless of human actions – God wills something to be done.
    • James 4:3 uses a different word (same topic, same issue) – we do not have prayer answered because we are asking for our own desires.
    • His will = his inclination, desire, pleasure (things He wants done, but man participates)
    • John 14:13-14
      • praying “in Jesus’ name” comes from these verses
      • Many people use Jesus name in an empty manner (vainly) when they say these words
      • Some people consciously do not say these words to avoid taking the Lord’s name in vain
      • Means – coming to someone on the behalf of another.
        • Could I have….
        • So-and-so would like me to have…
        • Jesus wants this.
    • How can we know what Jesus wants? What to pray confidently for? – the Bible – John 16:13
  • Verse 14 – And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
    • This is the confidence that we have in him
      • Confidence = boldness
        • Hebrews 4:15-16
        • Hebrews 10:19-22
      • That he hears us
        • 1 Peter 3:12
        •  
  • Verse 15 – And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
    • If we know that he hear us
      • Whatsoever we ask
      • What should we ask?
        • Follow the Lord’s pattern
          • That the name/person of God be hallowed/magnified/glorified
          • That the kingdom of God (salvation of man) come to earth
          • That the will (desires) of God be done here on earth like they are done in heaven 
          • That our daily needs be supplied (see requests of the apostle)
          • That our sins be forgiven (past and present)
          • That we be protected from temptation and evil
        • Follow the apostle’s pattern (knowledge, grace, peace, wisdom, boldness, power for cleansing, love, patience)
          • Ephesians 1:17-19
          • 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
          • Colossians 1:9-12
          • Philippians 1:9-11
          • Ephesians 3:14-19
    • We know that we have the petitions
      • That we desired of him
      • Exceeding, abundantly – Ephesians 3:20-21

Application

  • The plan of redemption
    • God can do all things/any thing He desires
    • God wants us to ask Him to do the things He desires to do
    • We get to be a part of what God wants to do.
  • The Christ of salvation
    • Because of Christ, we may boldly/confidently come before God
    • He answers our prayers because we ask what His Son wants done
    • Christ’s will is in perfect harmony with the Fathers. The Father answers requests made in the name of Jesus
  • The message to the church today
    • Do you strive to have your prayers conform to the patterns of Scripture?
    • If so, you can have confidence in prayer.
    • Do you have a list? Do you think through and write out what are scriptural requests concerning the people, situations, and issues on your list.
    • If so, you can have confidence in prayer.
    • God has given us, his people work to do. We must have His wisdom, enabling, and power to accomplish it. We can have these things when we ask in Jesus name, according to His will.

Conclusion

  • Let us be biblical Christians
  • Let us pray biblical prayers
  • When we do….
    • We know He hears
    • We know we have what we ask for
    •  
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