Board index Specific Bible verses, texts, and passages 1 John

I have a question about 1 John 5:14-15

Postby For Eternity » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:11 pm

1 John 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.” ‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭KJV‬

How is it possible for us to know that what we are praying is according to his will?
For Eternity
 

Re: I have a question about 1 John 5:14-15

Postby jimwalton » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:48 pm

The verse isn't saying that we need to first figure out what God's will is and then pray along those lines. Rather, it is saying that when we pray we understand that God will grant the requests that are His will or in a way that is for our ultimate good.

One poet expressed it like this:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise...
I asked for power, that I might have praise from men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things...
I got nothing I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.

Shakespeare expressed the same thought: "We, ignorant of ourselves, beg often our own harms, which the wise powers deny us for our good; so find we profit by losing of our prayers."

I find that often God doesn't answer prayer the way I prayed it, and I have to astute enough to see the answer, even if it's completely different than what I was expecting to see.

For instance, in the Bible, timing is one of the ways we have to be alert. Some answers take some time to come about, and they’re generally an answer to my prayer, but not the way I was praying for them to happen. I have to be alert and astute enough to recognize it’s an answer to my prayer, but it may have taken between several months or a number of years, and that’s not what I had in mind, but I can still recognize it as an answer to prayer.

2 Chronicles 32.20 is an example. Hezekiah and Isaiah pray for the deliverance of Jerusalem from Sennacherib, the emperor of Assyria. Jerusalem is delivered, sure enough, over a period of a few months. Then Sennacherib goes back to his own land and is assassinated (32.21)—but that assassination takes place 20 years later. The text puts them in one verse after another and regards it as an answer to prayer.

But we have another kind of example in 2 Samuel 14.31: David prayed that Ahithophel’s counsel would turn to foolishness. Interestingly, in 2 Samuel 17, David’s prayer is answer, but not at all in the way David might have prayed or expected. He asked God to make Ahithophel’s counsel as foolishness, but what happened was that Ahithophel gave good counsel and Absalom completely ignored it, which ended to the same effect: Absalom’s rebellion failed and David was delivered. This took months to play itself out. It wasn’t what David prayed for, but it ended up being what David prayed for.

The verses in 1 John are really talking about letting God be God. If we think we can figure out God's will before praying, we won't pray much. Also, if we think that by praying a certain way we can compel God to answer us, then we really want to be God, and God be a servant to do our bidding. Instead. the verse says pray with assertive confidence, but let God be the One to figure out how best to answer according to His will. And we have to learn (1) to accept answers different from our expectation, either in form or in timing, and (2) to see and discern the answers when they come.

We can talk more.
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