Posted by: bshelley | April 7, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Entry for April 8, 2008

Today’s Verse: 1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. NASB

Ever wonder what it means to pray without any doubt that God will answer? Maybe you have been like me at times when I prayed almost apologetically for God. You know, “God I know you are very busy and this is just a small thing in the big picture, but if you have time would you please consider maybe …” Not a very powerful prayer, right? Or how about the always ineffective and seemingly humble, “God, please guide the doctors hands to do their best and maybe You could make the patient better, that is if you want…” We do not have to pray like that. In fact, we are not supposed to pray like that. Today’s passage says so. God promises to hear our prayers. God promises to answer our prayers. God only gives good answers to the prayers of His children. If we can internalize that, that is truly believe it, our prayers can be much more powerful. Not that there is some magic incantation necessary. It boils down to, are we willing to take God at His word? Seriously. We can express with the upmost confidence that God will save us and we will spend an eternity with Him in heaven because we believe His promises. Why is it so difficult for us to believe this one? Are we scared to put God on the spot? Are we apologizing in advance in case He dosen’t have time or does not “answer” our prayer like we think it ought to be answered? Sort of inconsistent when we put it like that, huh? Try praying asking that His will would be done in the situation no matter what. But you might say, “What if that is not what I want to happen?” …Really??? If God has the best possible perspective on any situation and only gives good answers to His children’s prayers…why would we pray for anything but that to come about? Knowing all this, we can not only pray asking in Jesus’ name, but we can also thank God right then as part of the prayer for His answer to our prayer. We don’t have to worry about “if” God will answer or even “when” He will answer. We can pray with the same trust in His faithfulness that we have in our salvation. Thank you Father for answering our prayers.

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Responses

  1. Many people tend to think that God and Religion are such complicated matters…however Hugh Prather explains religion so simply yet so deeply.
    See for yourself, what Prather says at
    http://dailylight.wordpress.com/2008/03/16/reading-131from-hugh-prather/

  2. Unfortunately, this passage is misquoted an awful lot. I always used to think that I could ask God for what I wanted and, as long as I had confidence, He’d hear me and I’d get it. That’s not true.

    Then, I got to the point where I realized it says “according to His will”. So, I figured that if I ask something according to His will (scripture), He would hear me and I’d get it. That’s not what it’s talking about either, but this is where many people teach at.

    In the context of the passage, John is talking about eternal life. He talks about the fact that the one who has the Son has life and how he’s written all this so that we would believe on Jesus and have eternal life. Then we have the passage in question. After that, John talks about believers praying for brothers and sisters who are in sin and how God will hear them and give them life on behalf of the prayers we’ve made…This is the confidence that we have, that if we pray for brothers and sisters in sin we can know that God hears us and that we have what we’ve asked!

    Great post Bryan!

  3. Thanks for your comments ateasetees. 1 John 5:13f is the fourth section of the letter which by my reading contains the conclusions reached in the foregoing. He states clearly in verse 13 that the point of the writing of the Epistle is that they might be assured that they have eternal life in Christ if they believe and keep on believing.

    The conjunction at the beginning of verse 14 certainly links the two thoughts. However, my reading of this section would lead me to conclude that certainly we have the promise of eternal life the realization of which should give them and us confidence. He goes on to make a practical example of how that confidence can express itsself. Because we have this assurance and confidence (even boldness), that we can also have the confidence that God hears our prayers and answers in accordance to His will.

    Jesus is making the same point about confidence in prayer for God’s children in Matthew 7:7-11.

  4. Bryan,
    I believe we have a lot in common Brother.
    I was in a “debate” on a site last year with some people, because I had been telling them some of the same stuff you have here.

    The most effective prayer is when we pray according to God’s will. We do that by finding His will for a matter in His Word. We pray according to His Word, and since He is not a man, that He should lie, He is Truth, then when we pray according to His will [ His Word ], it won’t return void. If what we are praying for is outside of God’s will [ His Word], then we are praying amiss.
    We shouldn’t expct God to bless anything outside of His Will [ His Word ].

    And , YES, we should expect with confidence that God hears our prayers and answers them, if they are in accordance to His Will. OF course, Faith has to kick in while we wait, for His timing and ours are two different things, amen!

    I was once accused of being in the “Word of Faith” movement. My reply was this, “No I am not a member of any movement, just The Kingdom. BUT, what would you rather me pray, with doubt and unbelief?””
    Our words must be “Faith-filled” words!!

    Love in Christ Jesus
    Jake

  5. Let’s see how loud I can say AMEN!!! We certainly see eye to eye on the subject of praying without doubting. Thanks for you encouragement. I enjoy reading your blog as well. May God richly bless your ministry! Bryan


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