Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Confidence In Prayer

Temple Baptist Church - 7-8-2015
1 John 5:14-15

A.  Last week, I preached on having confidence in God. 
1.  I made a statement that needs to be repeated often: “If we can trust God with our eternal life, we can trust God with everything else that comes along.” 
2.  This omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God is our loving Fathers who wishes us no harm!  God wants the best for us more than we want the best for ourselves.
B.  This will be a simple message that should have There is much confusion concerning prayer and the answers that we get from God.
1.  There are those who demand of God when they pray.
2.  There are those who relate not getting what you want in prayer to sinfulness of a lack of faith.
C.  We do know that there are certain things that will cause us not to get our prayers answered:
1.  Asking for what is against the revealed will of God (against clear scripture).
2.  Unrepentant sinfulness in our lives.
3.  Asking that we might consume the answer to our prayer upon our lust.
D.  In our text verses, we find that our confidence in prayer is tied with the world “and” to our confidence found in verse 13. 
1.  We are saved, God wants us to know that we are saved; and God wants us to trust Him.  This three point outline is the gist of verse 13. 
2.  In verses 14, we find the same three point outline enveloped.  God wants us to know that we are saved, His, and can trust Him to answer our prayers in a perfect way. 
3.  Trusting God with our desires in prayer takes confidence in Him to do what is right.
E.  Now, laying those things aside, I want to look at our confidence in prayer when we are trying to live right and want God’s will in our lives.  This is as simple as interpreting verses 14-15 in their context and rightly dividing these verses.
1.  “And” – this word ties two equal structures and places them in a place of equality.  Both verse 13 and verse 14 are to be interpreted together.  You have to have complete confidence in God in order to have complete confidence in prayer!  Doubt God’s wisdom, doubt God’s power to answer, or to doubt God’s love for you is to doubt answer in prayer.
James 1:5-8  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  (6)  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  (7)  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  (8)  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  (Instability in verse 13 brings about instability in all spiritual areas of our lives.)
2.  “This is the confidence that we have in Him” – Our confidence in prayer is not confidence in asking and receiving what we want.  Our confidence in prayer is our confidence in God!  Not confidence that God will give us all that we want but confidence that God will give us what is right for us.
Jeremiah 33:3  Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.  (How often have we quoted this verse?  Notice with me that, in this verse, we call—God hears—God answers—but often in a way that we would have never expected—the answer will be great and mighty things which we would have never imagined.)
3.  “If we ask ask anything according to His will” – The key to always getting our prayers answered is to ask according to God’s will and not according to our will or wants. 
John 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  (Notice the “if,” which is conditional, in this verse.  In order to always receive, we must “abide” in the place of God’s will.)
4.  “He heareth us” – When we place God’s will above our will, He hears our hearts.  Though we want things, we are willing to forfeit our desires in order to accomplish God’s will in our lives and circumstances.  It is not that God does not hear all of our prayers, it is that He responds in a perfectly righteous way to our desires when our desires are make in the will of God for the glory of God.
Psalms 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.  (God sees us, God knows us, God controls our circumstances, and God’s ears are always open when we cry out to Him!)
5.  “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” – Our petitions, when walking with God and in the will of God, will always be right because they will always bow to God’s will and glorify God!  This is the confidence that we find in verse 14.  That God hears and will always do that which is right when His children ask of him in faith. 
Matthew 21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.  (Believing that God is good, just, wise, loving, and will do what is best for His children!)
a.  Will we always be as spiritual as we need to?  Probably not! 
b.  Will we always be happy with the answer or lack of answers that we get!  Probably not! 
c.  Will our lack of spiritually and lack of happiness change the mind and will of God?  Absolutely not! 
d.  Thus, we find where our confidence needs to be placed!
Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  (6)  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

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