The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.
At Wichita Bible Church (WBC), we have been preaching through I John. I John is a book that tests the authenticity of one’s faith and helps build assurance of one’s salvation or condemns them as a child of the devil.
There are some very helpful resources on I John is you plan on preaching or studying it yourself in the near future. Some of those resources – in no particular order – are
- I. Howard Marshall – The Epistles of John
- Susan Heck – Before the Mirror of God’s Word
- Colin Kruse – The Letters of John
- Robert Yarbrough – 1-3 John
But my favorite commentary – albeit brief – is John Stott’s work called The Letters of John. Stott is profound on more than one occasion in each chapter of his work and I often turn to him as a guide for illustration Scripture and provoking my own heart in a particular text.
As I have been preparing for this Sunday’s sermon on I John 3:11-24, I came across this list he produced on page 149 that I found very helpful and plan on using this Sunday for my congregation here at WBC. It is a list of conditions one must meet in order to have their prayers answered. I would encourage you to write them down in your Bible and then meditate on the Scriptures that are cited.
1) Prayer must be offered in Christ’s name – “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24)
2) Prayer must be for God’s glory – “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (Jas 4:2-3)
3) Prayer must come from a heart that is not cherishing sin – “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Ps 66:18)
4) Prayer must come from a forgiving heart – “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25)
5) Prayer must be exercised in faith – “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matt 21:22)
6) Prayers needs to be backed by an obedient life – “And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (I John 3:22)