Prayer Conditions Jn. 16:23-24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
There are prayer conditions that must be met before the Lord will answer our prayers according to his promise in Jn 16:23-24. Promise: God will hear and answer your prayers, 1 John 5:15. In this lesson, we cover the prayer conditions the Lord requires of us for us to benefit from and realize this promise in prayer.
Here are the prayer conditions:
Condition: ask the Father, Jn 16:23. See also Matt 7:7; Jas 4:2. The great failure in prayer is simply not asking. Prayer is not the last extremity, but rather the first necessity. The hardest thing about prayer is just doing it faithfully and regularly. We can learn a great deal about prayer from the Bible and from the experiences of others. But, until we pray, the promise of God won’t help us be better at praying. Address your prayer to the proper authority (Jas 1:17). And then persist in prayer. In Luke 18:1, the Lord instructed his disciples that, “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” In 1 Thes 5:17, Paul instructed us that we are to, “pray without ceasing.” When you think about those instructions, you see how hard it is to do what we have been told to do. If we would persist in prayer, we would accomplish a whole lot more than we do by posting on social media and expecting that one trip to the prayer closet is sufficient.
Condition: ask in Jesus’ name, Jn 16:23-24. You must pray to the Father in the name of Jesus because that name is where the power of your prayer resides (Jn 14:13-14, Acts 4:12, Phil 2:9). Then when the Father answers your prayer, you rejoice and God is glorified. God wants us to experience great joy in our salvation through answered prayer. And truthfully, the joy you get from the gifts he gives should be far greater than the gifts, themselves. Too often, however, Christians keep begging God for things, but never experience the real joy of their salvation. Ultimately, you are much better off having joy without the things than having the things without the joy (2 Cor. 8:1-2).
Condition: ask according to his will, 1 Jn 5:14. See an example of answered prayer in Matt 8:2-3. Contrast this with Paul’s prayer and God’s answer in 2 Cor 12:7-10. So often, men want God to do everything they ask just the way they ask him. However, since we do not know everything about God’s providential dealings, it is very important that we submit to God’s will in everything. Sometimes what we think God should do for us may not be the best thing, at all. Since we know that Rom 8:28 is true, then we must realize that God’s will is better even in the worst of circumstances than our will is in the best of circumstances. Consider Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane; he knew just how to pray (Mk 14:36). If you don’t know God’s will, then read His Bible and let the Holy Spirit guide you (Jn 16:13).
Condition: ask for the right reason, James 4:3. Too often, things in your life don’t turn out the way you think they should. And somehow, God ends up getting the blame. However, review the circumstances and see where you forgot to ask God for the things you realize now that you needed. Also, look at those things you asked for purely for selfish reasons. This may help you to understand what has gone wrong with your prayer life.
Condition: believe and don’t doubt, Mk 11:23-24. If you are going to take time to talk to God about something that you expect Him to do then believe in your heart, based upon the words of God, that He is going to do that thing. Count on Him to do it (Matt 21:22, Jas 1:5-7). Having the faith to believe that God will do something is based upon believing his word. That’s because, “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God,” Rom 10:17. These days, Christians profess to pray a lot but they are spending very little time in their Bibles. Consequently, their faith is shallow. If you are not spending quality time in your Bible, you will find that your prayer life is suffering. Read the Bible and believe it!
Condition: come boldly to his throne, Heb 4:16. God will give you grace. When you are in a difficult situation or you are experiencing a trying infirmity, the thing you want the most is to get healed or get out of trouble. So, come boldly to his throne with your request. And then remember that Paul showed us that sometimes getting loaded up with God’s grace is far better than getting healed. He learned to glory in his infirmities because of the power that Christ gave him when He sustained him with His grace (2 Cor 12:7-10).
Condition: pray with thanksgiving, Phil 4:6-7. God will grant you peace. Herein lays one of the biggest problems for Christians. You are all the time asking and begging God to change the circumstances you are in, to give you health, or give you the things that you need. But you spend very little time thanking Him when He answers your prayers. Consequently, you never experience the level of peace that keeps your heart and your mind, a peace that passes all understanding. You can handle anything with that kind of peace.
Condition: glorify God, Ps 50:15. It must be for God’s glory. Everything that God created He created for His glory, so your prayer needs to glorify Him (John 14:13). You may be finding yourself in a very difficult situation right now and you have probably been praying for God to deliver you. Just remember that God will provide the deliverance at the very moment in which He can gain the greatest glory. And if you have been delivered from a difficulty and have failed to glorify God, that may be the reason why your prayer life is suffering now. Tell folks what He has done for you and give God the glory (Ps 66:16).
Condition: don’t regard iniquity in your heart, Ps 66:18. When your heart is stuck on iniquity, your prayers don’t go much higher than the ceiling. God wants you in a right relationship with him. As your Father, he is going to “cut you off” to get your attention. He is not going to be ready at hand to answer your prayers until you are living for him.
Conclusion: There are certainly other things that can be said about prayer. However, there is enough information in these prayer conditions to keep us all busy for quite a while. Follow these prayer conditions and see what the Lord does.