GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
I write these things 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 that we have in approaching God: 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 what we ask of Him (1 John 5: 13-15).
Arrogance or assurance? Unbelievers accuse believers in Jesus of being arrogant because we claim to know that we have eternal life. Is it arrogant to know that we have eternal life when Jesus said . . . ?
God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16).
In John’s day, in the midst of severe persecution, it was dangerous to be a Christian. The Roman government, during the reign of Nero and those who succeeded him, launched a vicious campaign to exterminate believers because they refused to confess that Caesar was Lord. The Caesars made outrageous claims for themselves, titles which belonged to Jesus alone – Son of God, Prince of Peace, Saviour and Lord.
Domitian, who succeeded Nero on AD 81, was so cruel that he earned the nickname “the beast”. He demanded worship, and those who worshipped him received a mark by which they had access to the local market. Those who refused to worship his image were denied access to the market and could not buy or sell anything. Without the “mark of the beast” to protect them, they suffered for their faith in Jesus.
John wrote many things in this letter to encourage his readers to stand firm in the face of persecution. They had to be sure that they based their faith in Jesus on a solid foundation. John wrote to them from personal experience because he had known Jesus as a human being who had lived, died and risen from the dead.
The Holy Spirit lived in them. He had changed them from self-centred people to those who loved God and showed their love by obeying His commands and loving people. He reassured them that, if they had Jesus, they had eternal life despite the threats against them and the persecution which took many of their lives.
Just as God had saved them, given them His Spirit and showed them His love in the midst of suffering, so also He promised to answer their prayers. Unlike Domitian who demanded worship as a god, or the plethora of idols the Greeks and Romans worshipped, the one they worshipped was the true God. Jesus said He would answer their prayers if they asked “in His name”.
I will do whatever you ask in my name so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:13-14).
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you (John 15: 7).
These verses teach us that we must fulfil the conditions if we want God to answer our prayers.
- We must ask according to God’s will. It is always the will of God to do what brings glory to Him. We can be sure that God will answer us if what we ask for reveals His character. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and faithfulness, forgiving sins.
- We must ask in Jesus’ name. We know that He will answer us if our request is in line with the character of Jesus and the Word of God. God will never give us what falls outside of His righteousness, goodness and mercy.
- We must remain in Jesus and in His Word. We must keep trusting Him and doing what His Words requires of us. We will receive what we ask for if we keep Him in the centre of our lives.
We sometimes treat God as though He is obliged to answer our prayers because we quote His Word to Him. We almost hold up, “You said” to Him as a threat. You said it and, therefore, you must it otherwise you are a liar.
Many of God’s promises are conditional and the response depends on our willingness to do what He wants. Yes, God does answer prayer, but His answers always fit into the bigger picture and He always answers for our good. When He does not answer exactly according to our demand, we will see, in the end that what He did was the best possible answer for us,
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
For more details, check my website: