“Prayer is a mighty instrument, not for getting man’s will done in heaven, but for getting Gods will done on earth,” wrote Robert Law. Some people hope that they will receive eternal life. John says that we can know we have it (v. 13). Our certainty is based on God’s promise that He has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. It is so easy for us to think that prayer is asking God for what we want, whereas true prayer is asking God for what he wants. Prayer is not only talking to God, even more it is listening to him. Notice the words “according to God’s will” (v. 14). We know that it is according to His will when it is consistent with His Word. For instance, we know that it is God’s will for a person to be saved because “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise; as some men count slackness but is long suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). We have the assurance that God hears our prayers (vv. 14-15). These are wonderful verses to give to a person who has just prayed the sinners prayer. You can show them how God has not only heard their prayers but has given them what they have asked for.
These were sins which a man might commit in ignorance, or when he was swept away by some over-whelming impulse. On the other hand, there where the sins which a man deliberately committed, the sins in which he defiantly took his own way in spite of the known will of God for him. A Christian may sin so seriously that God judges that sin with swift physical death (vv. 16-17). Ananias and Sapphire are cases in point (Acts 5:1-11). It is true that all sin ultimately leads to death, but the expression “that does not lead to death” (v. 16) should be understood in the sense, “not punished by death.” This exhortation is for Christians to pray for one another.
I need to be praying and looking for ways I can help others who have committed sin? I can be sure that when I am praying for people to be saved I’m praying in God’s will.
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I John 2:1-6Tests of true knowledge
I John 2:7-11God’s people are to love one another
I John 2:12-14Three categories of believers
I John 2:15-17Worldliness is a matter of the heart
I John 2:18-22The opponent of Christ
I John 2:23-27Jesus and God are one
I John 2:28-29Twisting the Scriptures
I John 3:1-3A clear description of God’s Children
I John 3:4-8Reasons why Jesus died on the cross
I John 3:9-12I have two dogs living in me
I John 3:11-16Don’t be surprised if the world hates you
I John 3:17-18Love is an action, not a feeling
I John 3:19-24Doctrine and love are both needed
I John 4:1-3Don’t believe everything you hear
I John 4:4-6Sure tests for true teaching
I John 4:7-12Love is an action
I John 4:13-21Pretending is not a mark of maturity
I John 5:1-5What must I do to be saved?
I John 5:6-08Proof that Jesus is God
I John 5:09-15Instrument for getting God’s will done on earth
I John 5:16-21Given over to the worship of Idols