Have or Have Not?
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: ~1 John 5:14
The story is told of how little Johnny had been misbehaving and was sent to his room. After a while, he emerged and informed his mother that he had thought it over, and then said a prayer. “Fine”, said the pleased mother. “If you ask God to help you not misbehave, He will help you.” “Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me not misbehave,” said Johnny. “I asked Him to help you put up with me.” All kidding aside, how do you know if God will help you and answer your prayer? This is a concern to many Christians and also the focus of this morning’s devotion. How do you know if you have or have not when it comes to answered prayer for help?
There will be a positive COMPLIANCE.
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight,” I John 3:22. A major principle about answered prayer is that there will be compete and total obedience towards the commands of God. The reward of obedience is the blessing of answered prayer. Keeping God’s commandments is an absolute essential if we want to see consistent answers to prayer. When we boil down the dos and don’ts of the Christian life, obedience is a non-negotiable matter. God is well-pleased when we obey Him. We can trace most unanswered prayers to the fact we are disobedient in some area.
There will be a personal CLEANSING.
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me,” Ps. 66:18. A second requirement for answered prayer is a pure and cleansed life. A heart filled with unconfessed sin impedes answered prayer. There are sins we are conscious of, and those we may not have realized we committed. Gossip, carrying grudges, envy, bitterness, lust, anger, unforgiveness, and negligent behavior are many common sins that are committed, but Christians struggle in confessing. The sin of unthankfulness is often omitted because we do not think of it as something grievous. The fact is that all sin separates between us and God. Sin breaks fellowship, defiles us, and hinders our praying. Daily and continuous cleansing is a necessity for answered prayer.
There will be a persuaded CONFIDENCE.
“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,” I John 5:14-15. When we pray for things that are according to God’s will, He hears our prayers. God’s will is always God’s best for us. It is getting done on earth what God wants done in heaven. Is what we pray for glorifying to God? Is what we are praying for an exercise of faith? Is it asking God to do what we cannot? We have a strong confidence that what we are praying for will be answered.
There will be a peaceful COMFORT.
“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears,” Ps. 34:4. God gives us peace of heart when He answers prayer. When we ask for help, we tend to be heavy-hearted and excessively burdened. God takes this heaviness away as a means to demonstrate that the answer is a done deal.
Let us learn to pray with the confidence of knowing that the answer is on the way. God delights in answering our prayers when we meet His conditions.
Have a confident God Morning!