1 John 5:14-15

Knowing what to pray is the secret to successful praying. Adrian Rogers did an excellent job of teaching on this subject several years ago in a sermon called, “How to Pray For Friends and Influence People.” If you would like to listen to it, here is the link:

Adrian Rogers: How to Pray for Friends and Influence People

In it, he revealed how to pray successfully. John knew how. Read what he said:

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

In order to know what His will is, we need to read Ephesians 3:14-21.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, What reason? It’s back in verse 8, “to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches Christ.” These riches are wrapped up in our relationship with Christ, who has made them our inheritance. Not only for later, but He dips into them as we need them, “And my God will supply all your needs according to [out of the abundance of] the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. “What riches?” you might ask.

15 from whom every family[a]in heaven and on earth derives its name. We derive our identity from His identity, from His name. Our last name is different; it’s now “GodSon,” heirs with Christ Jesus Himself (Romans 8:17). We should take great comfort in that name.

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell [abide, rule] in your hearts through faith. Our inner being is who we are on the inside. It’s who makes the decisions for our lives. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, we are strengthened with His power to live as He would live were He us. In other words, we become “little Christs,” which is exactly what the term, “Christian,” means. An attainable goal? I should say so, since HE is the ONE who is doing it!

Christ dwelling in our hearts makes the difference. The term, “dwell,” means constant and consistent habitation. Christ lives in our hearts and never leaves the premises! He also rules our hearts. “He’s not just resident, He’s President!” Thankfully, long-suffering is one of His attributes.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. We are loved by God–did you get that? He wants us to learn through knowledge and through experience the vastness of His love for us. Just look at what He did for us: He left heaven and came to earth, was born a human, lived 33 years, died on a cross, went to a tomb, rose from the dead, and ascended back to His throne JUST SO WE WOULD KNOW HOW MUCH HE LOVES US.

—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Here’s the prayer part. We can confidently pray these things:

  1. That we may be strengthened by His power as the Holy Spirit works in us;
  2. That Christ would rule in our hearts as LORD;
  3. That His Spirit would empower us to begin to grasp His never-ending love for us;
  4. And that we would be filled to the brim with all the fullness of God. May He spill over onto others because we are so full of Him!

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, When we call on Him, we get ALL of Him. When we ask these things, we are SURE He will grant them. Why? For His glory!

21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. “In the church” is us. We bring Him glory when we pray these things for ourselves and for others, when we expect Him to do above and beyond what we could ever ask or imagine, and when we allow Him to work through us.

Now we know what John means when he says, And if we know that he hears us, we know that we have what we asked of him.” I’m excited to start praying these things for you! Please pray them for me, as well.

Abba, according to Your Word, I can have confidence that You will answer my prayers as I come boldly before Your throne of grace. May you strengthen my brothers and sisters in Christ–and me–to grasp Your love for them as well as your church; may we treat each member as Your beloved child, and may we be Christ to them as You fill us to overflowing. Don’t give me what I ask–give me far and above what I can even imagine! I love You, Abba. May I be filled with You today so that people can know You through me.

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