This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him.- 1 John 5:14-15
This is a principle I learned from Dr. Bill Bright’s Transferable Concept booklet, “How You Can Pray With Confidence.” And before I get very far with this post, let me say that Dr. Bright’s Transferable Concepts should be a must read for every new Christian. They go through some basic principles of the Christian faith in easy to understand and actionable ways. When I was on staff with Crusade I tried to get every one I discipled through these wonderful booklets.
“If you know you are abiding in Christ, are controlled by the Holy Spirit, and are praying according to the Word and the will of God, you can expect God to answer your prayers.” – Dr. Bright
You can expect God to answer because when you are abiding in Christ and controlled by the Spirit, your requests will be in line with the will of God. And, if in line with the will of God, according to 1 John 5:14-15 we have what we ask. And, if we know the promise has been given to us in the Bible, then we are even more confident with it being in line with God’s will. Many of the other Transferable Concepts build off this principle.
- How You Can Love By Faith – the Scriptures tell us to love one another (John 13:34). Therefore if we pray for God to help us to love someone, then we can trust we are praying in accordance to God’s will and trust 1 John 5:14-15 by walking out our love for that person by faith that God is answering our prayers. This is the way we can love our enemies.
- How You Can Introduce Others to Christ – first of all, pray for them. Scriptures say that God does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Therefore when we pray for someone to come to Jesus, we can trust in 1 John 5:14-15 by thanking God for someday bringing that person to a saving knowledge.
Basically, the point is to find passages of Scripture that reveals God’s heart or plan and pray them for yourself or others. Now, all of sudden the Bible comes alive and we start living our lives as if we believe what it says is true.
The resource that I like for this concept is Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore. This book categorizes many verses and personalizes them into prayers. This is a perfect book for your first steps in this practice. My wife and I both have a copy of this book because when we first started using it, we needed our own copies as it was a regular partner in our prayer times.
Praying Scriptures expands your view of God and what you would naturally pray for by yourself. Just today I was reading through Romans 8 and was stopped by Romans 8:8 where it says that those who are controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. I found myself praying if there was any areas of my life still controlled by the sinful nature. I prayed for my church that it would be led by the Spirit. I prayed for leaders. This is not my normal prayer topics, but it is definitely on God’s heart. Scripture allows into God’s heart. It shows us how God’s kingdom works. Prayer taps us into the source of power to live the Spirit-filled life.
Prayer is connecting with God—sharing your heart with Him and coming away with His heart. Scripture enables you to enter in and empowers you to have confidence before God.