Summary: 17th in First John Series
BOLDNESS IN PRAYER
INTRO: One of the areas where the Lord wants us to have boldness is in prayer. Notice that he mentions confidence, or boldness, along with the subject of prayer. Prayer and Bible study go together. When we read the Bible, God talks to us; when we pray, we talk to God. I am no authority in the matter of prayer. In fact I’m not sure there are any authorities when it comes to prayer. You have to learn how to pray and you have to study the Bible and find what God says in the Bible about the matter of prayer. God does things in answer to the prayers of His children.
I. THE DIRECTION OF PRAYER (v. 14).
Notice the preposition, “in.” You could translate that phrase before Him, or face to face with Him. It is talking about the direction of prayer. John is reminding us that prayer is intimacy with God. We address our prayers to the heavenly Father.
Access. — God makes it possible for us to have access to Him in prayer. That’s one of the most astounding concepts in all the world. To think that the God of this whole universe, has encouraged those of us who are creatures of dust to come into His presence in prayer.
Asking. — Notice that several times in these two verses he talks about prayer in the context of asking and receiving. That’s the simplest and probably the best definition of prayer. There are many ways that you can describe prayer and there are many facets of prayer. Sometimes prayer is praise, sometimes thanksgiving. But fundamentally prayer is asking God. You and I have the privilege of coming into the presence of God and asking anything we want to ask. In fact we don’t get a lot of things because we don’t ask God (see James 4:2).
II. THE CONDITION OF PRAYER (v. 14).
The Scripture has put a condition on prayer. The Scripture has said you must ask according to His will. That’s why we ought to study the Bible constantly on the subject of prayer. As we study the Scriptures we find that there are certain conditions which must be met in order to get our prayers answered.
Ask Believing (Matthew 21:22). — We must have trust in God, we must believe God if we expect our prayers to be answered.
Ask In Jesus’ Name (John 14:13-14). — That’s why when we pray we pray in Jesus’ name. To pray in Jesus’ name is more than just tacking that on at the end of your prayer. When you pray in Jesus’ name, what you’re saying is, I believe that what I’m praying for is something that would be consistent with the name of Jesus.
Abide in Jesus (John 15:7). — To abide in Jesus means to be in fellowship with Him. The point being that if we’re in fellowship with Him then we would not ask for anything that would be displeasing to the Lord Jesus or that would hinder our fellowship with Him.
According to His Will (1 John 5:14). — When we pray and say, “If it be thy will,” it is more than an empty, meaningless phrase. When we pray according to His will it means that we are understanding the condition of prayer. That prayer must always be according to the will of God.
1. Desire God’s Will. When you come to God in prayer, your first desire must be that the will of God be done in your life. Usually our tendency is to go into the presence of God and have it already worked out. But that’s not the way the verse says you’re supposed to pray.
Do you know why Jesus always got His prayers answered? Because He always desired the will of God. Jesus said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me.” Prayer is not getting my will done in heaven, it’s getting God’s will done on earth.
2. Discern the Will of God. How do you discern the will of God? Colossians 1:9 says we can be filled with the knowledge of His will. You discern the will of God in the Scriptures. There are some things in the Bible you don’t have to ask if it’s the will of God.
3. Do the Will of God. Remember what Jesus told us to pray in the model prayer? Jesus said when we pray we’re to pray, “Thy will be done.” God wants you to do His will. I want to ask you a question: If God, right here in this service, should reveal His will for you, would you do it? A lot of Christians think the will of God is like a cafeteria line, where you pick and choose what you want. You can’t expect to get your prayers answered if you’re not willing to do the will of God whatever that will is. If God revealed His will to you would you do it immediately?