1 John 3:7-24 During my lifetime, there was a movement that many coined as "name it and claim it." Many preachers and teachers were saying you could have anything you asked God for—all you had to do was believe and claim it by faith. It is true that even Jesus says whatever you pray about, believe that you have it and you will receive it. However, one must read this promise in context. Jesus also shares that for this to come to pass in our lives, we must fulfill a condition. That condition is to abide in Him and allow His love and Word to abide in us. Jesus tells us we must keep his commandments. He says, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you-.-.-.- This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:7, 12-13, KJV).
In our reading today John again gives the major condition for answered prayer. "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment" (v. 23).
All of us want to see our prayers answered. Our prayers will all be answered if we pray according to God's will. John in another letter shares that if we pray anything according to God's will, He hears us, and we have the petitions we require of Him. Do you realize one of the main reasons for unanswered prayer is that we are not praying according to God's will?
What is God's will? His will is simply that we love Him with all our hearts and keep His commandment to love one another. I have yet to see a bitter, unforgiving, jealous, prideful person receive answers to his prayers. Why? God never even hears his prayers. When we pray with unforgiveness in our hearts, God cannot forgive us, and our prayers fall to the ground. There is one prayer, however, that God always hears. That prayer is the prayer of repentance. Is there any unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, jealousy or lack of love in your heart today? Confess it to God, and He will not only forgive you, but He also will cleanse you of all unrighteousness. After you are cleansed, daily abide in His Word and in His love, and you will begin to see God answer your prayers because God will pray through you the prayers that are according to His will.
Lord, I realize today You hear my heart before You hear my prayers. Cleanse my heart so my prayers will soar into Your throne room.
READ: Daniel 11:1-34; 1 John 3:7-24; Psalm 122:1-9; Proverbs 29:1