Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ask in Confidence! - October 9th, 2011

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
1 John 5:14-15

History and Context:
1 John does not name an author, but it has been labeled as John's. This is because the style is extremely similar to the unique style of the Gospel written by the Apostle John. The date of this letter is probably at the close of the first century when the Christian faith was around 50 to 60 years old. At this time John was probably the last of the original apostles and the church was struggling to not be influenced by surrounding ideas and philosophies. Most notable was gnosticism: the belief that the physical and spiritual were completely separate, and that all things physical were evil and all things spiritual were good. This belief led to much immorality as they believed that what was done in the physical didn't matter and could not effect the spiritual, but it also ultimately led to the denial that Jesus came in human flesh and therefore the denial of Jesus' death as a spirit cannot die. These uprooted the very core of the Christian faith and John ultimately wrote this letter to counter that philosophy.

The Text:
Here John is talking about prayer. He is talking about a confidence that we can have in prayer. He says that we can have anything that we ask of God under two conditions. First we must have confidence in Him. In other words, we must have faith in Him and trust Him. Secondly we must know His will and ask accordingly. As long as we can pray in confidence, according to His will, He will hear us and we will have what we prayed. So the question is how can we know His will? We can know His will through His Word and through close fellowship with Him.

The Challenge:
Get to know His will! Then pray accordingly. We miss out on so much because we do not pray. The Bible even tells us that we do not have because we do not ask. We need to get to know God's will so that we can pray in confidence and then we can know that we will recieve what we are praying for. Start praying! Pray for your friends and family, pray for your city, pray for your coworkers or fellow students, and pray for yourself.

The Prayer:
Lord, help me to get to know your will so that I can pray in confidence. I want to pray according to your will and help bring your kingdom on this earth through my prayers. Thank you Lord! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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