Thursday, December 27, 2012
1st John Chapter 5 Part 9
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.
John clarifies the confidence of trust that we may have in God concerning the life of a prayerful Christian. The apostle touches on the topic of prayer numerous times in this small epistle, which should give us some concept of the importance of being, like John, a prayerful Christian. It is worship to pray to our Creator, and an intimate communication from the child to our Father in Heaven. We are told a few things about prayer in these two verses. First, if we ask anything according to God’s will He hears us.
There is not a merely a chance He hears us; it is not just possible that He hears us. He really and truly hears us from His throne in Heaven. God hears the prayers of His saints that pray according to His will. Only the saint concerned with learning God’s will can truly pray in it, and be assured that God hears him. The saint neglecting prayer, and neglecting the nourishment of the word of God cannot pray rightly. The godly kings of old had honor and glory heaped on their kingdoms when they first set their hearts to know God’s will and then walked accordingly, such as King Jehoshaphat, 2nd Chronicles 17:1-6; 20:3.
John follows this course of logic and concludes that if we know God hears such petitions we may know that He will answer us; more plainly, we will receive what we desire of Him. The definition for “petition” in Oxford’s dictionary is “an appeal or request, especially a written one signed by many people and presented formally to someone in authority.” It is in this position, either individually or corporately as a body, that we present our petitions to God. Jesus reminds us that while He is “our Father,” this Father we pray to is “in Heaven,” Luke 11:2. We have intimacy and majesty in the person of our God, and this is the God with whom we may have confidence of trust that our petitions, requested according to His good and perfect will, shall be answered. Individual prayer is healthy for our spiritual walk; corporate prayer unites the body of Christ in mutual consent over a matter, and for that brief time they are one in God’s will, even as Christ and the Father are one. There is great need in the church for such submissive prayer.