that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us

This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him.
1 John 5:14-15 AMP
The key to answered prayer is praying according to the Father’s will. When we pray according to His plans and purposes we know that He not only hears us but that He will answer us according to His will. He has so designed the earth that He chooses to work and accomplish His purposes through the prayers of His people.
Now you may inquire “how do we know how to pray according to His will”. This simply comes a result of growing in our relationship with Him. As we draw near, study His word, and spend time in prayer, we come to know His heart and His purpose. We become more and more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and it is the Holy Spirit who leads us in prayer.
Often times the way the Holy Spirit leads us in prayer is the Lord will place a persons name upon our heart. We may have a picture of who they are come to our mind, or it may be a burden God places on us for a nation, city, government, or church. God has called us His people to be a house of prayer and time and time again in His word He calls us to pray. May we be obedient and respond as the Holy Spirit leads.

In deed and in truth

“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”

I John 3:18 NKJV

If we are to truly love as God has called us it requires action. Many will say that they love someone or they will even claim to love God. But if our actions don’t back up our words we are simply a liar.

God’s love is eternal and unconditional. As we walk with Him we become filled with His love. This is what truly defines us as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Abounding in love to all who call to you

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Psalm 86:5 NIV

The tells us time and time again to call upon Him.  One of the most powerful things we have on this earth in our relationship with Jesus Christ is prayer.  Through Jesus we are able to draw near to the throne of grace with confidence.  Our sin is gone and when we open our mouths and pour out our hearts, our Father in Heaven hears us.

He is abounding in love towards us.  There are many out there who believe that God is angry at them or some how holds there past over them.  But the truth is when we come to Christ and give our lives to Him, our past has been nailed to the cross.  Our sins no longer remains.

May our lives be a house of prayer.  May we seek the Lord with our whole heart.  May we remove every idol and every hindrance from our lives.  When prayer becomes the priority and focus, we become the sons and daughters God has called us to be.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV

The apostle Paul makes it very clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood.  Many times it is easy to get focused on those who may persecute us or oppose us because of the name of Jesus.  But behind every opposition to the gospel is Satan and his demonic forces.

When Satan rebelled against God’s rule in heaven he deceived a third of the angels to follow after him in his rebellion (Revelation 12:3-4).  These angels that followed Satan during his rebellion has become the demonic spirits that serve him today and carry out his plans and purposes.

But we are not called to fear the enemy nor live in fear.  We are called to put on the armor of God and take our stand.  We are called to stand against the wickedness of the enemy and use the weapons God has given us to advance His kingdom.

Our weapons are not physical but spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).  Through prayer and the truth of God’s word we have the ability to advance God’s kingdom anywhere upon the earth.  But it requires prayer and the truth of God’s word to advance God’s kingdom, without them it is impossible.

When we understand that we are at war and we are a soldier in God’s army it changes the way we live on a daily basis.  Through Christ we have been given authority and must use that authority in the place of prayer.

Asking God for wisdom

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5 NIV

God calls us to ask for wisdom.  He has not called us to walk this life in our own wisdom or understanding.  I believe this is where many young Christians struggle in their walk with the Lord in the beginning.

Before we come to Christ we are so use to relying upon ourselves and our own strength and wisdom.   But when we come to Jesus, He calls us to deny ourselves and pick up our cross.  The Lord calls us to decrease so that He may increase in our lives.

Often times the Lord will allow struggles, trials, and challenges in our lives to humble us and bring us to a place in which we are ready to listen.  Too often early on we think we have all the answers until we come up against something that is far greater than we are.  It is only through the strength and wisdom of the Lord that we will overcome.

No matter how big or small the challenge we face we must seek the Lord for wisdom.  For when we open our mouths and ask the Lord, He will pour it out abundantly in our lives without measure.  King Solomon was given an opportunity to ask the Lord for anything at the beginning of his reign and he chose wisdom.  Because he chose wisdom the blessing and abundance of the Lord was poured out greatly in his life.

May we today ask the Lord daily for wisdom in the place of prayer.  May we seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  All that we need is found in the Lord alone.  As we abandon our lives fully to Him we will experience the abundant life that Jesus promised us.  For the abundant life is simply walking in deep intimacy with the Lord in all things.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8 NIV

The Lord in His word tells us to ask, seek, and knock.  This happens in the place of prayer.  They speak of continuous action.  We are called to continue to pray without ceasing, being led by the Holy Spirit in the place of prayer.

The greatest thing we will face when pressing on in prayer is discouragement.  The enemy will lie to us and tell us to focus on our circumstances and tell us that nothing is being impacted by our prayers.  But we know that prayer works because time and time again in God’s word the Lord calls us to pray.  He has given us example after example of people throughout His word who accomplished mighty things because they were people of prayer.

In the book of James chapter five we are given the example of the prophet Elijah who continued in prayer that it would not rain and it didn’t.  See when God desires to move on the earth He moves on the heart of one of His children.  He reveals His heart unto them and gives them the strength and guidance each day to continue in prayer.

We must always remember that with the Lord nothing is impossible.  No matter how great the thing we are praying for that we must press on and continue in prayer.  We must grab hold and not let go.  We must be relentless like a lion who stalks their pray.  We will never know the full impact of our prayers until we get to heaven some day with the Lord.  But while we have time upon this earth may we be faithful people of prayer who simply ask, seek, and knock.

1 John 5:16-17: If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death. There is a sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for this [kind of sin]. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death [one can repent of it and be forgiven]. 1 John 5:16-17

When we see fellow brothers and sisters in the faith walking away from the Lord and pursuing the desires of the sinful nature we need to pray and intercede for them.  Every time a person begins to wander from the truth they are being deceived by the enemy.  The enemy we face is a spiritual enemy and the way we are victorious is by waging spiritual warfare that happens through prayer.  We cannot idle sit by and watch people walk to destruction.  Too many instead of praying and interceding for them spend time gossiping about what they are doing.  John doesn’t designate what the sin is that leads to death but the only sin that would lead to death would be to fully abandon faith in Jesus Christ.  It is only through Christ we have a relationship with God and have the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

Sin is wrong doing and living contradictory to God and His kingdom.  The apostle Paul in the book of Galatians chapter 5 writes of the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  The flesh and the Spirit are contradictory to one another.  Fallen human nature desires the sinfulness and wickedness of this world while the leading of the Holy Spirit draws us to the nature and character of Christ.  This journey we walk with the Lord is a journey that happens one step at a time.  We must pray for strength, wisdom, and understanding each day.  When we see our fellow brother and sister struggling we need to pray and intercede.  May we be a people filled with the love of Christ.  May His grace and mercy fill our hearts and drive every decision we make.

1 John 5:14-15: Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him.  1 John 5:14-15

We know that if we ask anything according to the will of God that the Lord hears us.  But the key is asking according to His will.  God’s plans and purposes are sovereign and He will never give us something in our lives that does not align with His will or will end up destroying us.  Sometimes our Father will simply say no and not tell us why He says no.  He simply tells us to trust Him and that His ways are higher than our ways.  But the way our desires align with the will of God is simply by abiding and growing in Him.  As we grow and abide we are transformed into the image and nature of Jesus Christ.  This simply means that our minds and hearts become one with His and we see the world as He sees it.  The very things we desire to pray are the very things that God desires to do in the earth.

Since we know He hears us we must go before His throne with confidence and without fear.  We must make prayer the priority of our lives.  Everything we accomplish on this earth is born out of prayer.  The Lord has simply told us we have not because we ask not.  Jesus told us that we must ask, seek, and knock.  Prayer is simply where the power of God is released into the earth and the Lord simply seeks those who will pray without ceasing.