Promises about Prayer
John Chapter 15
Believers often complain that their prayers are not answered.
You'll hear them say:
These are common queries: perhaps you have even raised them yourself:
but I can assure you that God does answer prayer. Indeed, many of the
greatest promises ever made by the Saviour concern answers to prayer.
This Sabbath we will consider of few of those promises. I'm sure that
when we have finished you will see that, contrary to popular opinion,
astonishing answers to prayer are still obtainable.
- ‘For months I've wrestled with God about this problem;
but my prayers are not answered.’
- ‘What's wrong? Does God still answer prayer?’
- ‘Is He still interested in the human race?’
- ‘Or is there something wrong with me?’
To begin with let us understand that answered prayer does not
depend upon vain repetition, personal enthusiasmor
human intelligence. To obtain meaningful results in
prayer we must first recognize certain divine conditions.
Meet those conditions and you will get results, spectacular
results! Fail to meet them and your prayers will reach no
higher than the ceiling: you will be as ‘one who beats
the air.’ Also remember that more can be accomplished
by prayer than we believers remotely imagine. So many times we
pray without results: all because we do not understand and meet
those mandatory conditions: many of which are not even
known by folks in the church. So let us without further delay
learn what those conditions are.
2. The Believer’s Potential
Let me begin with the Master's instructions about a believer's
potential in this matter of prayer. It is a promise which
is prefaced with the words “verily, verily,”
which means “truly, truly.” In other words,
what the Master is saying is absolutely true. It is guaranteed.
It is an unequivocal promise which has the backing of the Son of
God! It cannot fail. Were it to fail, the Almighty and His
Son would lose credibility in the courts of heaven; not to mention
the doubt that would overflow the church. Here is that promise.
It comes in two parts: the first part outlines a believer’s
potential and the second specifies a mandatory condition
which applies to prayer.
||12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
||13: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.|
14: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Pause awhile, dear believer, and try to appreciate the astonishing,
yea almost incredible, twin facts outlined in that divine assessment
of a believer's potential:
During the next few weeks and months, think about this promise.
If possible, memorize it and then act upon it: because here is
invaluable information about a believer's future role, a promise
dependant initially on the Master going to his Father: which he
has already done; and that ‘the Father may be glorified
in the Son.’
- “The works that I do shall he do also - and greater works!”
- “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
What this message implies is that the followers of Jesus Christ
(Yeshua the Messiah) are potentially the most powerful
beings on earth: for they can - if they so choose - do greater
things than the Master himself! What are those greater things?
Are they walking on water, feeding thousands with literal loaves of
bread, raising the physically dead, or what? We are
about to find out.
3. Ask in the Master’s Name
The second part of the Saviour's promise is particularly important:
that's why it is repeated in the Gospel of John. Here it is:
||13: “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
||23: “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.”
Here we are presented with an amazing condition concerning
answered prayer. Again I ask you to concentrate on these verses
and, if you can, memorize them. Notice the three mandatory
parameters in prayer:
ASK in the Saviour’s Name.
- ASK. This word needs no explanation.
- ASK in the Saviour's name.
- ASK for things that will glorify the Father.
To ask in the Saviour's Name does not mean that we must tag
the name Yeshua, Jesus, Emmanuel, Yahshua or Yahoshua (or
any other variation of the name) onto the end of every prayer
to guarantee results. Try doing this and see how far you get.
Oh no; to ask in Messiah's Name means:
In other words, to ask in the Saviour's Name means to ask
as he would ask, with the right motives, the right attitude
and for the right things. Only when this compulsory condition
is met, will you receive astonishing, yea unimaginable, results; and -
dare I say it! - greater by far than the physical miracles the Saviour
performed during his earthly ministry!
- To ask for the benefit of His cause, for the spiritual welfare
of Yahweh's flock.
- To ask for the salvation of souls.
- To ask with the Father (Yahweh's) glory in mind, so that sin
may be overthrown in the lives of true believers.
- To ask in the right Spirit and with the right motives; not
for personal gain or luxury.
- To ask by the authority of the Son of God.
4. Unanswered Prayer
In his famous Sermon on the Mount the Master says this:
||7: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:|
8: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
How well known these words are: but how few find in them a
living reality. Why is this? The answers are legion, but here
is, arguably, the most probable:
||3: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
In other words, people ask for the wrong things and with the
wrong motives: for personal gain, glory or pleasure. I
will not expand on this thought, simply because everyone will
think that it doesn't apply to them. The fact is, most of us
have little or no idea how to assess our own motives.
We delude ourselves into thinking we have pure motives:
but He who weighs the soul knows better. The fact is we ALL
ask amiss and don't even know it. This is the number one reason
why most prayers go unanswered. Yes, we ALL ask amiss!
5. Abiding in Him
Strange as it may seem, a believer may appear to meet these
mandatory conditions and still fail to get meaningful results.
Why is this? The answer - and I hesitate to say it - often lies
in the area of personal holiness.
||7: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
To abide in Christ means to be constantly in tune
with Him; to be faithful and obedient. In
other words we must not expect results from the Almighty
if we waver in our faith and doubt His word or His love.
Nor will we ever achieve any meaningful results if we
cling to sin.
His ‘words’ mean
His Message, His law. For His ‘words’
to abide in us, we must obey His message, His law.
As a result the more we abide in Christ, the more
righteous will be our lives and the more spectacular
will be the answers to our prayers. Righteousness,
and I cannot repeat this too often, is a mandatory parameter
if you want spectacular answers to prayer. The apostle James
reminds us of this fact.
||16: “...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
6. Fruitful / Lasting Results
Yahweh's main reasons for answering prayer is the salvation
of souls and that believers may exhibit the fruit of His
Spirit in their lives, fruit that will last for all time.
||16: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
This text links those guaranteed promises about prayer to the
salvation of souls: “that ye should and bring forth
fruit.” In other words it directs all intercessors
to the true purpose of prayer:
- To bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit in one's life.
||22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,|
23: Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
- And the winning of souls for the Kingdom of God;
souls who will not only accept salvation through Yeshua, but
will themselves glorify God in their lives and then go forth
to win others for the Kingdom of Heaven.
7. Joyful Results
The Most High wants His people to be happy. One of the fruits
of the Holy Spirit is joy. Answered prayer brings a
quality and quantity of joy far beyond anything this world
can understand, let alone offer. Here is the promise of Christ.
||23: “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.|
24: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
The first step in getting extraordinary answers to prayers
is to build up one’s faith. This is done by a daily
study of the Bible. The Word of God is clear about this:
||17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
||22: “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.|
23: For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
To be sure the Most High will always answer basic prayers, i.e.
for ‘forgiveness of sin’ and for ‘life’s
essentials,’ even when a person's faith is weak. But when
extraordinary things are requested, those ‘greater
things,’ (the high level spiritual realities which
the Saviour's physical miracles merely symbolized) then faith
is of paramount importance. That is why it is vital that we build up our
faith. Daily Bible study is the answer.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
(Romans 10: 17)
9. The Father’s Love
There is coming a time, and we somehow suspect that it has
already started, when the Father will so tune our attitudes,
aims, performance and prayers that we will begin to ask
for the right things, with the right motives, for the Father’s
glory and in the Saviour’s Name. The results will
astonish us all. Methinks that day has already come!
||26: “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:|
27: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.”
Let me here summarize the almost incredible - but absolutely
true - facts about prayer I have mentioned this Sabbath.
Facts which we, who call ourselves believers, would do well to
ponder, memorize and put into practice.
Also remember the Father's love. Yahweh is more anxious to answer
prayer than we are to pray. It is His pleasure to answer prayer.
It brings Him great joy. Indeed He is anxiously waiting for His
followers to pray for extraordinary results! He marvels
that so few believe enough to ask for them. Alas! there are so
few intercessors in His church. Most believers pray for
themselves, their families and their friends. Comparatively few
pray for the salvation of souls, the furtherance of
the Gospel, the welfare of the church and the
glory of God. This is why the truth is making so little
progress in the face of evil's onslaught.
- Greater things.
The Saviour has promised that his true followers would do
'greater things' than he did. This includes taking
the gospel to many more souls and seeing multitudes accept
Yahweh's offer of mercy and salvation.
- Ask in prayer.
To ask in prayer is a mandatory condition.
||7: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
- Ask in Messiah’s Name.
This means, to ask for the good of his cause, in the right spirit, with the right motives and for the right things. It certainly
does not cover requests for personal gain, luxury or power. Nor does it mean vainly repeating the name of Jesus (Yeshua or
- Abide in Him.
To abide in Him means to express your faith in God by obeying Him. As the old chorus says,
Trust and Obey, for there's no other way,
to be happy in Jesus: but to trust and obey.
||16: “...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
- Expect Results.
First look for the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace etc.)
in your own life. Second, look for the salvation of souls through
your word and example. Because after all is said and done, these
are the two main reasons why the Most High is anxious to answer our
prayers. He wants you and others to be saved and be happy in Him.
||15: “Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.|
16: And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.”
I'll end with an invitation to join me in prayer -
for extra-ordinary results, for greater things!
These will include:
You have the Master's promise that all these things are
possible if you ask in faith, with the right motives and for the
father's glory! Now go to it and pray.
- The feeding of multiplied millions with spiritual food.
- The healing of countless sick souls, the spiritual blind,
deaf, dumb and the moral lepers of society.
- The raising of the spiritually dead!
In the Son’s Name — For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader