This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
Since we talked a little bit about prayer yesterday, I wanted to keep talking about the confidence we have through Christ in prayer.
Since the verse today,starts off by saying,” This is the confidence” then we need to back up to verse 13 to see what John is referring to.
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. 1 John 5:13
Our eternal life is the confidence we have in approaching God. We are signed,sealed and delivered in His kingdom.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13
When we have confidence in our identity in Christ, we can approach God boldly and not be afraid to ask for things.
But it is important to note that the verse doesn’t say, “confidence that since we have #HolyConfidence our prayers will always be answered, but instead that he hears us.”
So does that mean anything that you pray he hears?
No, anything you pray according to his will hear hears you.
The greek word for will is “theléma”, which refers to wishes and desires, but not our own desires and wishes, God’s.
On a broad scale we know that God’s will for us to follow Him and spread the gospel, but for very specific things, it can be harder to know God’s will, so what do we do then?
How do you ask for things in prayer if you don’t know what His will is?
What happens if we ask for things that God against His will?
Sometimes we don’t know His will, God has chosen not to reveal everything to us.
but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; 1 Corinthians 2:7
And that’s a good thing! I don’t think we want all of that power and responsibility (at least I don’t!) But along with the mysteries of God, we also have our humanness that can sometimes guide our prayers instead of being led by the Holy Spirit.
But do not fear! The same spirit inside of us that is giving us the confidence to approach God, is the same spirit that is interceding on our behalf!
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:27
When the spirit intercedes for us he is communicating to God for us. The greek word for intercede is, “entugchanó” which refers supplication (the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.)
He is pleading to God on our behalf. I don’t know about you, but the very fact that the confidence inside of us through the Holy Spirit is leading us into asking things according to His will is amazing (there isn’t even a strong enough word to describe it!)
Another important fact to note is that John is clear that God hears us, not that He answers our prayers (or answers them in the exact way we expect or hope)
God doesn’t always answer our prayers, but He always responds.
This is easier when we are talking about praying about direction, wisdom, insight, and things of that nature.
It is harder to wrap our minds around this same idea when we are talking about sickness,divorce, or even an unexpected death.
Many times the response isn’t changing our circumstances, but changing our hearts.
A dear friend of mine lost her husband to COVID-19 a few months back. I know I was among hundreds of others that were praying for a full recovery while he lay sick.
My friend prayed fervently in faith for him to make a full recovery, and it was devastating on her (and I’ll go ahead and speak for others- everyone that was praying for him) when that didn’t happen.
She demonstrated an extraordinary amount of faith in the prayers she prayed and the decisions she made. So if she (and everyone else) prayed in the Spirit, why didn’t it line up with God’s will?
I truly believe that our prayers we pray while being confident in the Spirit (even if they don’t turn out the way we want them to) are still according to God’s will.
Praying for the miracle healing, to be free from the chains of addiction, or anything of that nature IS in God’s will because it demonstrates faith.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Here is my big thought for question for today (otherwise I feel like I could easy go on and on about this topic because I’m super passionate about it)
How can you demonstrate confident faith when you pray?