1 John 5:13-15 - God Hears You
Christianity doesn't just offer you warm fuzzies, it promises you confident knowledge of your salvation and a Father that hears you.
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Read 1 John 5:13-15
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 117
Q. How does God want us to pray
so that he will listen to us?
A. First, we must pray from the heart
to no other than the one true God,
who has revealed himself in his Word,
asking for everything he has
commanded us to ask for.
Second, we must acknowledge our
need and misery,
and humble ourselves
in his majestic presence.
Third, we must rest on this
even though we do not deserve it,
God will surely listen to our prayer
because of Christ our Lord.
That is what he promised us in his Word.
As John begins to close his letter, he makes clear his intention in writing it: so that those who read it might know that through faith in Christ, they have eternal life. Not only is this the theme of John's first letter, it's the theme of the entire Bible: that you might know and have certainty. God performed miracle after miracle so that the world might know that He is God; right before He went to His death on the cross, Jesus prayed that His people would know His Father, and thus know eternal life.
Contrast the confidence Christians have compared to those lost in the dark world. Society cannot tell you how life began or what happens after it ends. Nobody, this world tells us, can confidently delineate between right and wrong for anybody but themselves, or even know the difference between something as basic as male and female. And you certainly can't bow your head and talk to a God you can't see and truly know He hears you.
This is the wonderful Good News the Bible proclaims: "This is the confidence we have in approaching God [whom we know with certainty!]: if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."
Ah, but there was a caveat there! God only hears and grants those things which are according to His will.
This is why most of the prayers we read in the Bible focus on the first two A's: Acknowledging who God is, which reminds you of God's awesome power, grace, mercy, and peace, and that He receives our prayers because of His Son, and Aligning our lives with His will.
When you follow this pattern and make acknowledging and aligning the bulk of your prayers, you can be confident that God hears that which you Ask for.
Certainly it can often seem like the prayers you pray simply float up into the ether and never reach listening ears. Maybe you've been praying for something good and godly for years on end, but haven't experienced any sort of result or even an indication that God even hears or cares about what you've prayed so earnestly about.
Let passages like this one here in 1 John build your confidence that "God will surely listen to your prayer because of Christ your Lord."
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, whom we can confidently approach in Christ;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the confidence to know God is listening to your prayer, and that you will ask Him for things according to His will;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - John 19