December 21

1 John 5:14-15 14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him.

Jesus tells us to ask and promises that we will receive (Matthew 7:7). He also said that if we asked anything in His name, He would do it. John captures the essence of asking in His name by saying that we must ask according to His will. To ask in His name is to ask with His authority. That which is in His will has His authority. The Spirit led person prays the will of God into the earth. His heart is united with the heart of the Father. His desires are one with the Father's. David said that if we delight ourselves in God, He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). Because God is our delight, our desires come in line with His.

When we know our prayer is His will, we have perfect confidence that He will bring it to pass in His time. We pray with extraordinary faith. John is specifically referring to praying for a person who has stumbled. We pray for conviction first and then for repentance and restoration.

From the emphasis of this letter, we might draw the conclusion that there was a great deal of strife within the church. People must have been at odds with one another. That is probably why he emphasized that we cannot hate a brother if we are in Christ. We must love because God is love. Here is a key to changing our heart attitude. Pray for those people. Realize sin is the deceptive destroyer that is blinding their eyes. Let your animosity and blame be toward the sin and not the one caught in sin's trap. It will change your attitude and help you find God's heart for others. You will be praying according to God's will, and you can know that your prayers will be answered.

Consider: How does God want me to pray for the person I'm upset with? What is God's heart for that person?