07-04-20dev vv 07-04-22.01
Title: “Confidence and Compassion in Prayer”
D-Theme: Developing confidence and compassion in prayer
M-Thrust: pray according to his will!
Text: 1John 5:14-15
• Is prayerlessness a problem in the church?
• Is prayerlessness a problem for you…?
• Have you ever had a situation where you felt as though…
• Your prayers weren’t being heard…?
• Your prayers were just so much babbling…?
• You weren’t getting through to God…?
• The heavens were brass—his ears were stopped…?
• That it was all just a waste of time…?
• Time of discussion with recounting of experience
• Would someone read......................... James 1:6-8
• 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord…
• I recently told my congregations doubt is the death of faith…
• Could we also say doubt is the death of prayer…?
• Because we must pray in faith believing…
• Because faith if the evidence of things unseen…
• …it is the substance of things hoped for…
• Our objective today is…
• Developing confidence and compassion in prayer…!
• Helping us and our people to pray with confidence…
• Rather than praying without faith…
• How can we pray so that our churches will be filled…?
• How can we pray so that our finances are met…?
• How can we avoid prayerlessness…?
• What do you think the answer is…?
• Someone read for us 1John 5:14-15
• 14Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
• What does this passage tell us…?
• We have confidence in Him to have the things we ask…
• When we ask for anything according to his will…
• We know that he hears us…
• And if he hears us we know we have our petitions…
• What does that mean to you…?
• Why is this important…?
• If we could really learn and apply what this teaches…
• How would our ministries be different…?
• How would our ministries be different if…
• …our people prayed… with confidence… with faith…?
• EWD—make a quick list of some of the benefits…
• Where do we get this confidence?.............. v. 14a
• Do the verses we have read tell us…?
• Or do we need to consider more of the context…?
• What does verse 13 tell us…
• 13These 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, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
• How has knowing that you have eternal life…
• Changed the content of your prayers…?
• Pause for answers…
• What does that confidence / assurance do…?
• Pass out the boldness handout
• How many of us feel that we can be blunt with God…?
• That we can be frank—that we can be bold…
• How intimidating is it to speak to a God we cannot see…
• To ask for things we aren’t sure he wants to grant to us…?
• But the assurance of eternal life gives us boldness…
• Would someone look up and read Romans 8:31-32
• 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
• So, now that we have this confidence…
• How do we pray?........................................ v. 14b
• that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us…
• What does it mean to pray according to his will…?
• J. Vernon McGee said… If you and I are in fellowship with Him, walking with Him, then our prayer would (should) be for God’s will in every circumstance. George Müller put it like this: “Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. It is laying hold of His willingness.” It is not trying to get God to do something which He is reluctant to do, but prayer is to be our thinking His thoughts after Him. This is the thing which gives us confidence when we turn to God in prayer. 
• Müller’s quote reminds of Jesus’ encounter with the leper…
40Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.
• So then if we can determine what God is willing to do…
• What he has already determined in his will to do…
• And we pray in accordance with his willingness…
• We will see dramatic results…
• So how do we discover what God is willing to do…?
• Seek him in the scriptures…!
2nd Peter 3:9
9The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
1st Timothy 2:3-4
3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
4Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
1st Thessalonians 4:3
3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
1st Thessalonians 5:16-22
16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies. 21Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
1st Peter 2:15-16
15For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—16as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.
• Ver. 15.—The point is not, that if God hears our prayers he grants them (as if we could ever pray to him without his being aware of it); but that if we know that he hears our prayers (i.e. trust him without reserve), we already have what we have asked in accordance with his will. It may be years before we perceive that our prayers have been answered: perhaps in this world we may never be able to see this; but we know that God has answered them. 
• What is our hope........................................... v. 15
• 15And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
• Developing confidence and compassion in prayer
• pray according to his will!
• God always answers prayer in accord with his will!
 McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (5:819). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 The Pulpit Commentary: 1 John. 2004 (H. D. M. Spence-Jones, Ed.) (141). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.