1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us:…
I. THE PROPER QUALIFICATIONS OF PRAYER, WITH RESPECT TO THE SUBJECT MATTER OF IT.
1. What we pray for must be as to the matter of it, innocent and lawful. To pray that God would prosper us in any wicked design is not to present ourselves as humble suppliants to His mercy, but directly to affront His holiness and justice.
2. What we pray for must not only be lawful in itself, but designed for innocent and lawful ends.
3. The subject matter of our prayers must be according to the ordinary course and events of God's providence, something possible. We must not expect that God will interpose by a miraculous power, to accomplish what we pray for.
4. What we pray for ought to tend chiefly to our spiritual improvement and growth in grace.
II. HOW FAR, WHEN WE PRAY ACCORDING TO GOD'S WILL, WE MAY, WITH HUMBLE CONFIDENCE, RELY ON THE SUCCESS OF OUR PRAYERS.
1. Whatever God has promised absolutely, He will faithfully and to all intents and purposes perform (Numbers 23:19).
2. Where the promises of God are made to us upon certain conditions or reserves, we have no right to the performance of them any further than is agreeable to the reason of such conditions.
(1) God alone perfectly knows what would be the consequence of His granting us our requests.
(2) The heart of a man is very deceitful; it is not easy for him at all times to discover the secret insincerity which lies at the bottom of it.Conclusion:
1. If prayer be a means of giving us access to God, and procuring for us so many and great blessings, it is just matter of reproof to Christians especially that this duty is so generally neglected among them.
2. What has been said affords good men matter of great consolation, even when they do not find the return of their prayers in the blessings they pray for. God intends the very denial of their requests to them for good.
(R. Fiddes, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
WEB: This is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us.