Day Two – Read 1 John 5:13-15 ESV SOAP I John 5:14
Blessings (Laura Story) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMeFzFUbmJo&list=RDGMeFzFUbmJo#t=9
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God [which represents all that Jesus Christ is and does], so that you will know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have eternal life. 14 This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that [c]if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. 15 And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him. (AMP)
O – This is NOT a passage in which we see that God will just grant everything that we ask of Him – like a kindly grandfather who indulges his grandchildren with all the things that they ask for. No, this is a passage that reiterates the qualifier to answered prayer – that we pray according to His will. Period.
First of all, John points out that anyone who believes in the name of the Son of God will KNOW that they have eternal life. This is a “settled and absolute knowledge” (AMP) that we ALREADY have eternal life. Then, we have a “remarkable degree of confidence” in answered prayer: if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL – he hears us. This word “hearing” implies that it is more than listening – the act of taking the words in. HE HEARS US! And – if He hears us – we know that He will answer us. He will answer according to His will.
A – This verse also took me back to Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” and to Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” There’s a sense of confidence that I have in asking the Lord in prayer – that if I ask according to His will, that if I delight in Him (also seen as “rejoice in the Lord”), and if I seek His kingdom (His will) – He will answer ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. Maybe not when I want. Maybe not in the way I thought. Maybe not in the time frame I thought. Maybe not even the answer that I thought. BUT HE WILL HEAR ME – AND – HE WILL ANSWER!
P – Father God, thank you for this reminder today. Thank You for not just listening to me, but HEARING me. Thank You that I can have a settled and absolute knowledge that I have eternal life – in You. Thank You for the confidence that I can come to You. Father, give me the desire to seek You first, to delight in You and Your presence, to follow Your will – and to ask according to Your will. You are omniscient – You know all. You know my heart. You know my circumstances. You know my needs. And – You desire to meet them. Thank You for Your loving care – for me. Father, I delight in You today.
- (14-15) Confidence in prayer.
Now 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 hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
- This is the confidence that we have in Him: John has developed the idea of confidence in Him. In the previous verse, 1 John 5:13, he wrote to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know you have eternal life. Now, for those who knowthey have eternal life, John relates the idea of confidence in Him to prayer.
- If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us: In this, we see thepurposeof prayer and the secret of power in prayer. It is to ask; to askanything; to ask anything according to His will; and once having so asked, to have the assurance that He hears us.
- First, God would have us askin prayer. Much prayer fails because it neverasksfor anything. God is a loving God, and a generous giver – He wants us to ask of Him.
- Second, God would have us ask anythingin prayer. Not to imply thatanythingwe ask for will be granted, but anything in the sense that we can and should pray about everything. God cares about our whole life, and nothing is too small or too big to pray about. As Paul wrote inPhilippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
iii. Next, God would have us ask according to His will. It is easy for us to only be concerned with our will before God, and to have a fatalistic view regarding His will (“He will accomplish His will with or without my prayers anyway, won’t He?”). But God wants us to see and discern His will through His word, and to pray His will into action. When John wrote this, John may have had Jesus’ own words in mind, which he recorded in John 15:7: If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. When we abide in Jesus – living in Him, day by day – then our will becomes more and more aligned with His will, and we can ask what you desire, and more and more be asking according to His will. Then we see answered prayer.
- If something is God’s will, why doesn’t He just do it, apart from our prayers? Why would He wait to accomplish His will until we pray? Because God has appointed us to work with Him as 2 Corinthians 6:1says: as workers together with Him. God wants us to work with Him, and that means bringing our will and agenda into alignment with His. He wants us to care about the things He cares about, and He wants us to care about them enough to pray passionately about them.
- We know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him: When we ask according to God’s will; when we pray the promises of God- we have this confidence and so pray with real and definite faith.
- Prayer should be so much more than casting wishes to heaven. It is rooted in understanding God’s will and promises according to His Word, and praying those promises into action. For each prayer request, we should mentally or vocally ask, “What possible reason do I have to think that God will answer this prayer?” We should be able to answer that question from His Word.
- The most powerful prayers in the Bible are always prayers which understand the will of God, and ask Him to perform it. We may be annoyed when one of our children says, “Daddy, this is what you promised, now please do it,” but God is delighted. It shows our will aligned with His, our dependence on Him, and that we take His word seriously.
iii. It is not necessarily wrong to ask for something that God has not promised; but we then realize that we are not coming to God on the basis of a specific promise, and we don’t have the confidence to know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. – from David Guzik study guide – https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide_1Jo/1Jo_5.cfm?a=1164015