We Can Be Confident That God Answers Prayer (1 John 5:14-15)
1. In his letter John mentioned 3 areas in which God's people can have confidence. a. We can have confidence when the Lord appears (2:28). b. We can have confidence toward God (3:21). c. We can have confidence that God answers prayer (5:14-15). 2. In our lesson we are examining passages that relate to the last area -- "we can be confident that God answers prayer."
I. LET US FIRST EXAMINE SEVERAL GENERAL PRINCIPLES RELATING TO PRAYER
A. Prayer is basically defined as "talking to God." B. (1 Timothy 2:1) Various ways of talking to God include "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks." C. God's people are repeatedly instructed to pray. 1. Ephesians 6:18 2. Philippians 4:6 3. Colossians 4:2 4. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
II. THE BIBLE STATES MANY TIMES THAT GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
A. See: 1. Matthew 7:7-11; 21:22 2. James 5:16b. B. We must keep in mind that God's response to prayer: 1. may be positive (James 5:17-18) 2. may be negative (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44) 3. may be different than requested (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
III. THE BIBLE REVEALS THE CONDITIONS FOR ACCEPTABLE PRAYER
A. We must pray "sincerely" (Matthew 6:5-6, 7-8). B. We must pray "in faith" (Matthew 21:22). C. We must pray "persistently" (Luke 18:1-8). D. We must pray "in humility" (Luke 18:9-14). E. We must pray "in the name of Christ" (John 16:23). F. We must pray "with proper motives" (James 4:3). G. We must pray "fervently" (James 5:16b). H. We must pray "with our lives in good standing with God" (1 Peter 3:12). I. We must pray "while doing the Lord's will" (1 John 3:22). J. We must pray "according to God's will" (1 John 5:14-15).
1. We can certainly be confident that God answers prayer. 2. Let us: a. remember that God answers prayer in various ways b. meet the conditions for our prayers to be acceptable to God. 3. Let us be encouraged by the examples set by Bible characters who were devoted to prayer, including: a. Jesus b. Daniel c. Nehemiah d. the apostles.