First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

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  "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
 . . .  Colossians 1:10  . . .
Seven Wonderful Truths About Genuine Believers
1 John 3:22 - Genuine Believers Have Power In Prayer

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 8/15/04


We have been looking at the seven wonderful truths about genuine believers as they are revealed in chapter three.


Genuine Believers are NOW Children of God – v 1-2a

Genuine Believers Will Be Like Christ When Comes – 2b-3

Genuine Believers Do Not Make A Practice of Sin5-6 & 9

Genuine Believers Know That They Have Passed From Death Into Life14-18

Genuine Believers Have Confidence Before God 19-21

Genuine Believers Have Power In Prayer -- 22

Genuine Believers Have The Gift of The Holy Spirit

Our message today is…

  • Genuine Believers Have Power In Prayer – 22

"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." 1 John 3:22

  • Definition of Prayer

While it may be wholly unnecessary to define prayer for those listening to this message, I have chosen to give you a definition.

Prayer is talking with God. It is the communication of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to Him. Prayer may be oral or mental, periodic or constant, sudden or planned, formal or informal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Exodus_32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1Samuel_1:15); "praying and crying to heaven" (2Chronicles_32:20); "seeking unto God and making supplication" (Job_8:5); "drawing near to God" (Psalms_73:28); "bowing the knees" (Ephesians_3:14).

  • Who Can Pray

Anyone can pray! In fact, there are millions of people who address prayers to God but God does not hear them. An example of this is found in Luke 18:10-14. Christ relates how a very proud, outwardly religious man (a Pharisee) went to the Temple to pray. However our Lord says, "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself…" That is, his prayer was not heard. His prayer was wasted, fruitless and futile. But why? There are many people who do not understand the principles of prayer. They do not understand what the first prerequisite of prayer is. Be aware that since prayer is communication with God, you must realize that no person in this Church Age may go directly into God’s presence, present their petitions to God and be heard. Here’s why. We are sinners and God is sinless. We are unrighteous and God is righteous (Habakkuk 1:13; Isaiah 59:2). If anyone will approach God they must go through a mediator and that mediator is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Therefore, a person who has never received Christ as Savior has no access to God in prayer. A person must have Christ as their Savior if they are to have access to God the Father. His shed blood cleanses us from all sins (1 John 1:7b), and His righteousness is imputed to our account. Therefore, believers have access to God only through Jesus Christ. That is what Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:18 "For through him [Jesus Christ] we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."

  • How To Have Power In Prayer

When I say, "how can we have power in prayer" I mean, how can we get answers to our prayers? After all Christ says in several places that we are to "Ask, and it shall be given you…" Matthew 7:7. Note first of all, that in order to receive answers to prayer, we need to prayer. James wrote in his letter – "…ye have not, because ye ask not." James 4:2

Second, God does not normally answer greedy, materialistic prayers focused on fulfillment of our own selfish pleasures. We see this in James 4:3 "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." The word translated lust is the Greek word hdonaiv hedonais (hay-don-is) from where we get our word hedonism. Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure. The great problem in our age is that people are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:4) and God has little interest in answering prayers that will marginalize Him. However, on occasion God will answer a selfish prayer and then let the one who made it suffer spiritual drought and estrangement from God. Turn to Psalms 106:15 -- "And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." This is a reference to how the children of Israel complained about the manna God sent each day to feed them. They wanted flesh to eat. They grumble among themselves, they griped to Moses, and they protested to God. The result was that God provided quail for them to eat, but He filled them with uneasiness of mind, and terror of conscience. But that is not all. Turn to Numbers 11:33 "And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague."

So, let’s review before we move on. If we want our prayers answered, we must pray and our prayers should not be for our own selfish pleasures.

Next, our prayers should be according to the will of God. Turn to 1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:" Our Lord’s model prayer stresses the importance of the will of God. It reads, "…Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10. The purpose of prayer is not to make our will known in Heaven but to do God’s will here on earth.

That brings us to our text, 1 John 3:22 - "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."

If we want our prayers to be heard and answered, the Apostle John says we must…keep his commandments. When we keep God’s commandments we are in fellowship with God and our prayers will be heard. However, there is another thing listed and that is to "do those things that are pleasing in his sight." Far too many Christians are satisfied with doing just enough to get by. While they claim the name of Christ, they have one foot in the church and the other in the world. It really is not their priority to "do those things that are pleasing in His sight." Before we make a decision we should ask ourselves two questions: Will this choice I make be in keeping with the commandments of God? And, will what I am about to do, please God? If you cannot answer, "Yes?" then you should not do it.

Old Matthew Henry says this: "Obedient souls are prepared for blessings, and they have promise of audience; those who commit things displeasing to God cannot expect that he should please them in hearing and answering their prayers." He then quotes Psalms 66:18 "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" and Proverbs 28:9 "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination."

Let’s summarize. First, if we will have our prayers heard, we must believe in Jesus Christ. Then, these are the principles for power in prayer –

We Must Pray

Our Prayers Are Not For Our Selfish Pleasures

We Pray In The Will of God

We Must Keep His Commandments

We Must Do Those Things That Please The Lord


Please click here for the Most Important Message of the Bible Concerning You. "
Is any of the following a blessing to you today?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:3

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

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First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

10550 S. Howell Ave. - Oak Creek, WI 53154

Phone: 414-762-7575

Pastor: David L. Brown, Ph.D.

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