1 John 5:14-17
REAL CHRISTIANITY (1 John) #18 of 18 Lessons
We laugh at some of the unintelligent things people do.
But there are times when a lack of intelligence is wasteful, hurtful or downright dangerous.†
Believe it or not, one of the times that a lack of intelligence can hurt us is when we pray.† If we donít know what to pray for and how when we pray, we will be wasting our own time and Godís time.† Godís work and Godís will are accomplished in response to our prayers.† God has ordained that Christians should pray and that He will accomplish His purposes in answer to our prayers.
1 John 5:14-15 - And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Notice that we can come confidently or boldly to God.
We donít need to be wimpy in the way we ask our requests.
Notice that our confidence is in Him, I believe it is referring to God the Son here, the Lord Jesus Christ.† Indeed Jesus promised that He would answer our prayers. John 14:13-14
When we ask something in Jesusí name, we have to believe that it is, as it says in 1 John 5:14, according to his will.†††
If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.†
When God hears us, it is with the intent of answering our request. He will answer it.†††
Thatís great.† But it gets even better!
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
When we pray according to Godís will, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.† Itís already accomplished before we see the answer!
This promise behooves us to pray two ways, obediently and intelligently.
We must first pray obediently, doing what God tells us to do, confessing sin, and serving Him.
1 John 3:22
We must also pray intelligently according to his will.
Every one of our requests must be yielded to Godís will instead of being our own selfish ambition.
Jesus taught us to pray thy kingdom come, thy will be done.†††
Although I am to yield myself in prayer to Godís will being done, I must realize that in many, many, cases, I already know what Godís will is, so I can ask for it confidently in the name of the Lord Jesus.
I would like to share with you six areas in which you can pray and mostly know what the will of God is before you ask.
When you pray intelligently, you should pray for:
If you know Jesus as your Savior, youíre a saved sinner, but youíre still a sinner!† You have a new nature and a new want to serve God, but you still have a tendency to sin and to have spiritual difficulties.
So how do you pray for yourself?
Praying for yourself is easy when you remember that you canít do anything without Godís help!
You canít think right without Godís help.
You canít live righteously without Godís help.
You canít speak or teach about God without Godís help.
You canít witness without Godís help.
You canít successfully raise a family without Godís help.
You canít assist others without Godís help.
You canít resist temptation and Satan without Godís help.
John 15:5 - I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
God has provided you with a wonderful gift that you can ask for at anytime.† Whenever you need it, you can ask for it.† It is the same gift that helped save you.† That gift in his grace!
You were saved by grace, his unmerited enabling favor! Ephesians 2:8-9
You can obey any command by His grace.
You can forgive by His grace.
You can witness by His grace.
You can endure hardship by His grace.
You can flee temptation by His grace.
You can live righteously by His grace.
You can witness by His grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 12:28 - Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
Whatever it is that you know that God wants you to do, you should consistently ask God for the grace to accomplish it.
If you read Scripture and are convicted that youíre doing something wrong or need to do something right, ask Him for the grace to do it.
Another thing that you should ask for continually is the filling of the Holy Spirit.† Ask God to control you through His Spirit.† It is His will that you be filled with the Spirit, ask Him! Ephesians 5:18,
We fail so miserably in our Christian lives because we fail to pray for ourselves in total helplessness to a God who will enable us if we only ask!†††
1 Timothy 2:1-2 - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Romans 13:1 - Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Prayers need to be made for all, but governmental leaders especially need our prayers.† We should pray for them, starting with the heads of state like presidents, prime ministers, and kings, and praying for all in authority over us.† They have great responsibilities and need our prayers.†††
The goal of our prayers is that we might lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty.† When we are able to live in peace with others it is easier to spread the Gospel in peace.
We are to pray for all men according to verse 1.
The great majority of those men are unsaved people who need to hear the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In 1 Timothy 2:3-4 Paul tells us Godís opinion of prayer for all men, especially rulers.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 - For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
∑ I believe that this means we should be praying for those we know who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.
∑ I believe that this means we should pray in general for those in our neighborhood, city, state and country who donít know Christ as Savior
∑ I believe this means that we should pray asking God to send missionaries to all areas of the world, especially those we know to be in need.†††
Luke 10:2 - Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
∑ I believe this means that we should be praying for our missionaries that their outreach will be effective.
God is burdened for the souls of men and women.
As His children, we should have the same burden.
That burden is first reflected in prayer, then giving to missions, and then going ourselves.†
We should pray for:
One of the great responsibilities we have as Christians is to pray for each other.
Ephesians 6:18 - Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Most of the time all we know to pray for is those who are sick.† This, of course, is an important prayer and Biblical.
However, there is more to prayer and the Bible shows us several ways we should pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. One way to do this is to pray a ďblessingĒ upon fellow believers.
Numbers 6:24-26 - The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:  The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:  The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Another way to pray for the saints is to pray the way Paul prayed for them in Ephesians 1:17-21, Ephesians 3:16-21, Philippians 1:-11, and Colossians 1:9-14.
There is another way to pray for the saints found right here in 1 John.†††
1 John 5:16 - If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
This is a very controversial verse, and there are many opinions out there as to what it means. This is how I understand it.
Notice that the one who is sinning is a ďbrotherĒ.†††
We are talking about a fellow born-again Christian here.
So, the sin unto death can not be Spiritual death in hell, but physical death.
The ďsin unto deathĒ is evidently not a specific sin that causes physical death, but can be any sin.† The sin unto death seems to be an ongoing sin habit or a great sin that causes shame to the cause of Christ.† If the person refuses to repent, he or she could be removed and taken to Heaven ďprematurelyĒ.
Ananias and Sapphira are examples of this in Acts 5.
Another example are those found in 1 Corinthians 11:29-31.
Johnís main concern however, is not for those who have gone to extremes in their rebellion against God.
John is talking about praying for those Christians we know and we see sin in their lives.† It might be as simple as a lack of church attendance, or a bad attitude towards someone.† It might be that they are being a poor testimony in some way.
All Christians will have times when sin is in our lives, simply because we are human.
1 John 1:8 - If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
John is saying that we should pray for these people.† We should ask God to speak to them, to work in their lives to bring them to repentance. Their sins donít seem to be extreme, and God will give them ďlifeĒ, as we pray.
We should pray for that brother or sister because we love them and want them to have abundant life that comes from getting right with God.
There are going to be times when God will use you as the answer to the prayer. Galatians 6:1-2
When there is a situation that concerns us, we can pray for it, believing God will work.
Philippians 4:6-7 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Jesus taught us to pray, ďGive us this day out daily bread.Ē
I believe that ďbreadĒ covers all our basic needs.
We have a legitimate need we should pray, believing that God will supply it.
The one who is living for the Lord and giving sacrificially himself can expect Godís provision.
So letís pray intelligently for: