Summary: Message 24 from 1 John dealing with the prayer that God promises to give life to the one sinning.
Life Giving Prayer 1John 5:13-17
Last week we talked about the power of faith. This is the victory that overcomes the world ¡V our faith. Faith and prayer go hand in hand. We trust God to hear and answer our prayer. Prayer demonstrates our dependence on God.
Another one of the marvelous marks of the new birth is an inside track with the God of the universe. We have a most magnificent promise regarding answered prayer. John repeats this basically identical promise 9 times in his writings. This particular promise has to do with our prayers on behalf of a ¡§sinning brother.¡¨
What does the Bible say we should do when we see a loved one committing an obvious sin?
Like many life dilemmas, there are a number of equally Biblical options.
NOTE: Anyone who wants a copy of the Sunday School notes on prayer can pick up one from the office.
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 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. 1 John 5:13-15
The true child of God has the assurance of God¡¦s ear. This is the confidence that ¡§He hears us!¡¨
Not only does He hear us but He promises to grant our request. These are all present tense verbs indicating a continuous state of asking and hearing. Keep on asking. Keep on knocking.
PERSPECTIVE ON PRAYER
Prayer was never intended to be viewed as a parachute to be opened only in case of emergency. Neither is prayer a criminal cringing before an unmerciful judge. Prayer is a dependent child conversing with his loving Father expressing his admiration and gratefulness and explaining his present need for help for himself, his family and friends. Put simply, prayer is continual communication between a needy creature and a loving Creator who is our Heavenly Father.
Our moments in prayer should never become an obligation or duty that we dread to do. We need to be careful that pray does not become a meaningless ritual. Jesus said that meaningless repetition does not impress God or bring results. Rather, we should view prayer as a privilege that we desire to do because of the goodness of our God and the greatness of our need. At times, we desire to pray long and hard because the heaviness of our heart requires that we linger longer to share our deepest hurts seeking His dynamic help. We pray longer because we want to pray longer, not because someone has proclaimed that long prayers are more effective or more spiritual. It should be as natural and invigorating to communicate with God as it was to communicate with our spouse in the early days of our courtship. Can you remember back that far? For some, it is a fresh experience easily remembered. Prayer is not like a forced daily one hour conversation with the principal or boss that we would much rather avoid.
It is a treasured moment with a beloved friend or partner who has demonstrated unconditional acceptance and has promised to share all of themselves and their resources to accomplish mutual goals. The greater the personal need, the longer the desire to talk. The deeper and more secure the friendship, the greater the willingness to share our deepest self. Corporate prayer is a group of people talking to a mutual admired friend who has the resources to address our deepest need. We gather to express our deepest gratitude for His friendship and past help as well as our desire for His continued friendship and help. Does your prayer life reflect that kind of relationship?
Filled with language foreign to your normal conversation.
Filled with meaningless repetition of old phrases and words.
More like ritual rather than conversation.
JESUS¡¦ PRAYER LIFE
Prayer was an integral part of the life of Jesus because relationship with His father was at the center of His life. Although all the recorded prayers of Jesus could be recited in 10 minutes, the Biblical record indicates it permeated His ENTIRE life.
HE PRAYED BEFORE DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TASKS
* The raising of Lazarus John 11:41-42
* The Garden of Gethsemane Lk 22; Matt 26; Jn 18
* The choosing of the disciples Lk 6:12
HE PRAYED DURING DIFFICULT TIMES
The first and last words on the cross were prayers. Forty strenuous days of temptation was thoroughly resisted with prayer and fasting.
HE PRAYED AFTER A DIFFICULT AND TRYING DAY
And after bidding the crowd farewell, He departed to the mountain to pray. Mk 6:46