This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 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
Have you ever shared something deeply important and then realized the person you are speaking to isn’t even listening? It’s frustrating when we communicate what’s on our heart and mind only to be ignored. The good news is God always hears our prayers. The apostle John assured his readers that if we ask anything that is according to God’s will, He hears us. How do we know God’s will? Through the Scriptures. Every promise God has made to His people reveals His will for us. So when we pray in alignment with His promises, we can be certain we are praying His will. Although there are times when we might not be sure if a specific situation is the will of God or not, we can always be confident He will hear us, and He will do what is good and right and best for us (Romans 8:28). As our relationship with God deepens and matures, we will want only the things He wants us to have, and we will be motivated to ask for those things that bring glory to Him.
Lord, thank You for hearing my prayers. Please reveal Your will for my life. Lead me to pray in alignment with Your will and to long for the same things You desire.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. — Hebrews 11:6
It’s safe to say most of us would like to grow in faith. After all, the Bible says without faith it’s impossible to please God. It’s notable that the disciples asked Jesus to “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). The disciples weren’t the only ones who petitioned Jesus for more faith. A father in desperate need of healing for his sick son said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). As we approach God, we must believe not only that He exists but that He will reward those who diligently seek Him. Knowing God rewards those who earnestly seek Him can serve as a motivation to persevere in our pursuit of God. The Scriptures reveal that Jesus is the “perfecter of faith,” so like the disciples and the father with the sick son, we can approach Jesus with confidence and ask Him to increase our faith (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).
Lord, I pray You will continually increase my faith. Help me to identify areas of unbelief and replace them with the kind of faith that is powerful enough to move mountains.
I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one — I in them and You in Me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. — John 17:22-23 NIV
It’s staggering to contemplate that just before going to the Cross, Jesus took time to pray not only for His disciples but for all future believers (John 17:20). In the High Priestly Prayer, Jesus prayed to the Father, “I have given them the glory that You gave me, that they be one as We are one — I in them and You in Me — so that they may be brought to complete unity.” Even as the horrors of Calvary drew near, Jesus’ thoughts focused on the unity of His church. Jesus prayed that all believers would be so unified that it would be evident even to unbelievers. The love Christians have for one another and the desire to share the Gospel should be readily apparent to the outside world. Through the unity we share with our brothers and sisters in Christ, we demonstrate to a watching world that God loves His people just as He loves Jesus.
Father, let there be unity in Christ’s church. Please empower me to love my brothers and sisters in Christ, as Your Word commands.
Excerpted with permission from Draw Near to God, copyright Zondervan.
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