Confidence and Carefulness in our Prayer Life – It all begins with our Confidence in God. 1 John 5:12-17

 At the same time, I was pondering the implications of the Lord’s offer in Isaiah 56:24-25, Holy Spirit led me to rediscover another passage which deepened my understanding of that promise. I read 1 John 5:12-17 with new eyes in my heart.

I find our current text difficult to understand! In verses 14 & 15, I struggle to understand how the promise really applies, because frankly, it does not line up with my experience.

In verse 16, I struggle to understand the exact meaning of the “sin unto death,” and thus I’m not sure how to apply this to my prayer life.

So today I face a difficult task. I’m sure that John wrote these verses to boldly encourage us to pray, and so I want to encourage you to pray more faithfully.

God is a prayer-hearing God (Ps. 65:2). But at the same time, I can’t gloss over the tremendous difficulty our text creates for my prayer life.

It is simply not always true to my experience. John, who is echoing here the repeated promises of Jesus (Mark 11:22-24John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:24), says that if we ask anything according to God’s will, He will answer favorably. “No” is not an acceptable answer. It must be “yes” every time!

Over the years, my “prayer batting average” is pretty low. I have prayed for the salvation of people who have not gotten saved. I have prayed for the restoration of sinning Christians, who have not repented and been restored.

I have prayed mightily for the reconciliation of many Christian marriages and friendships which have been broken up for what I always sincerely believed to be reconcilable differences. I find people give up too easily on themself and God.

Some try to get God off the hook saying, “Don’t worry about it” as a statement of “Oh well, I failed, He gives people free will anyway to walk away, so I will.”

But if God cannot subdue a sinful person’s will, then He can’t do anything!

To me, I sometimes find myself believing that means that sinful man, not God, is sovereign! “Just quit!” And it means that prayer is useless and impotent. If God promises to answer our prayers, then He has the power to answer them!

I’m sure that the fault is with me, not with God’s promise!

I do not like to quit on anything especially myself and of the utmost God.

I am probably lacking in understanding God’s perfect will and lacking in faith.

But I could not find many preachers or teachers on this text who would admit to having the difficulties with “faith and delayed answered prayers that I have.

So, this has not been an easy devotional to prepare, because if I am honest, I have to faithfully expose my own failures in prayer to you! My prayer has been that perhaps by sharing my struggles, you will be motivated to keep “swinging” in your prayer life. Maybe one day we will all improve our batting averages!

1 John 5:12-17 NKJV

12 He who has the Son has [a]life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, [b]and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Confidence and Compassion in Prayer

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.

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

The power of ‘prayer’ is so easily forgotten, but it is so powerful! We have the ability to talk with our God about anything at any time.

We can approach God’s throne of grace with confidence because of Jesus, knowing that He hears our prayers.

If you have been doubting whether God is hearing your prayers, I hope and fervently pray this devotional message is ‘reaching,’ encouraging for you.

“…. All because we do not carry everything to God in Prayer”


The answer to our prayers is prepared before we pray.

The desire to talk to the Lord about our needs comes from Him.

Prayer begins in the mind of God, invades our minds, is formulated into a clarification of what He wants to do or give, and then is articulated in our expressions and our words. He is more ready to hear than we are to pray!

It is a privilege to be able to come to God and ask him anything.

He always wants to know what is deepest on our minds, souls and hearts.

Just like any other quality relationship, openness and communication is integral. When it comes to our relationship with God, it’s no different.

Just like this verse says, when we come and ask anything according to God’s will, he will hear us. God will always hear and answer our prayers.

God’s answer won’t always be what we want.  Sometimes God may tell us no or wait. We might think we know what is best for us, but the truth is God knows even better! We must remind ourselves that God is in control of our lives.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails

I love how we can pray at any time.

Each day I find myself talking to God at different points in the day.

It might be before meals, when I’m out with friends or at church.

We don’t have to do anything special or be in a certain place, we can just pray from whenever and wherever we are, and we can talk to God just like we would talk to a friend or will start up a random conversation with a complete stranger.

We don’t need to use big words.

No matter how big or small our requests are, God wants to hear them, and He wants us to give Him all that is on our heart because He loves and cares for us.

He knows what we are going to say before we say it (Isaiah 65:24), but that shouldn’t change the way we relate to God when we pray. We can confidently pray about anything, anywhere to our God who is always waiting to listen.

Maybe you have been praying for a friend who has been sick for a long time.

This is the case for a parishioner at church who has been sick for a number of weeks now, with what is essentially sounding like an undiagnosed illness.

The whole church has been praying for him and yet he remains sick and, on some days, even seems to get sicker and sicker, with no recovery in sight.

Does this mean God isn’t listening to our requests?

No, of course not.

God hears all our prayers and all we can do is to be obedient in prayer and trust God’s perfect will for His life.

Just like I said before, God always knows exactly what is best for us.

Of course, God can heal that person anytime, but there is a reason He hasn’t.

We don’t know what that reason is, but He does and that is where trust is so important. We must trust God’s plans even if we don’t understand them.

It’s another reason why we can approach God in prayer with confidence.

We might have our own plans and ideas, but we can confidently and boldly lay them all before His Throne, at His feet and know with confidence that God will direct our lives in the best possible way, according to His perfect Will for us.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight

I want to encourage you to be obedient in prayer.

Remember we can approach God with confidence when we pray.

We shouldn’t doubt whether He will hear us or not. He loves us and God will always listen to our requests.

God may not answer our prayers in the way we want, but He will answer them according to His will.

God’s ways are good and perfect.

We might think we know what is best for us, but our God knows best.

The Lord comes to us as the implementor of prayer.

The Apostle John asserted the secret of dynamic praying in the context of our life in Christ.

“He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 4:12).

The apostle John wanted his readers in the early Church to be confident, sure of their young and maturing relationship, now and forever, in Christ.

He went on to state the reason why he had written was:

“that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

For John, the Son was Immanuel, God with us and within us, and continuing with us to guide us. His Christian life was not an anxious searching for the Lord but a moment-by-moment response to His impinging, invading imminence.

Then in 1 John 5:14-15, John “blows the Shofar,” sounds the same joyous note we heard in the Isaiah promise.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

I quickly checked the Greek text to review words I had studied so often before.

Now they came alive in new vitality and freshness.

The words of “confidence” and “in Him” leaped off the page.

Confidence is perresia in the Greek. The word means boldness.

It is a compound word made up of pan — all, and ressia — to tell, meaning freedom to speak boldly. Prayer is freedom to speak freely and boldly to the Lord who has come to be with us and within us and instigated our prayer.

The confidence we have in prayer is what “we have in Him.”

The confidence we have in prayer is what we have “toward Him” or “face-to-face” with Him.

Prayer, for John, was face-to-face communication with Christ as a part of the eternal quality of life we have in Him which gives us boldness. Face to face, eye to eye, first we listen to Him intently and then we can speak with intrepidity.

And who starts the face-to-face conversation? The Lord! John makes that clear in 1 John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.” He is the prime mover in salvation, the gift of faith, and the initiation of prayer.

In prayer, He makes known to us what His will is so that we can ask for what He longs to give. He calls us into His presence because He has the answer to our needs and questions. “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Our assurance that He hears us is that He is the one who first asked for the conversation. He would not call us to prayer and then refuse to listen or be inattentive to our prayer.

That’s the confidence, boldness, we have – prayer is our response to His call.

In the time of face-to-face communion, He makes clear what it is that we are to ask for in the needs He has come to us to help us solve.

So, when we do ask, it is with the confidence that we are asking for what He is prepared to release for us.

“And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

We know before we ask, because the content of our asking has already first been guided by Him.

The same assurance had been stated by John earlier in his epistle.

“And by this we know that we are of the truth and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 John 3:19-23).

By the measure of confidence, we have in His Words of Scripture, may we trust Him when we pray, because He knows us even better than we know ourselves.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Heavenly Father, I have trusted You for my salvation and desire to walk in spirit and truth, to abide daily in Christ, and to live in unbroken fellowship with You in the days I have left of my life.

I know You are a God that hears and answers the prayers of the righteous, and I pray that I would increasingly offer up my prayers and supplications according to Your will, so that You may be honored in my prayer-life, glorified through the words that I speak, the meditations of my heart, and the daily activities and actions that I live out, according to Your will.

This I pray in Jesus’ name, Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! AMEN.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: