A Remarkable Verse About Prayer

I’m working on my sermon for March 9 tonight, from 1 John 5:14-15 on the subject of prayer.  This is one remarkable verse, or actually two:

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.

The overriding emphasis has to do with the assurance we can have in the medium of prayer.  John wants us to know that prayer isn’t a hit-or-miss affair.  Notice the pattern of words:

We have that opening word:  Confidence
We have one occurrence of the word:  Anything
We have two occurrences of the phrase: He Hears Us
We have two occurrences of the phrase: Whatever We Ask
We have two occurrences of the phrase:  We Know
We have two occurrences of the phrase:  We Have
And we have three occurrences of that word:  Ask

This is the confidence:  He hears us… He hears us… Anything…  Whatever we ask… Whatever we ask… We know… We know… We have… We have… (so) ask… ask…ask….

There’s just one blessed condition:  according to His will.

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Thou art coming to a king. / Large petitions with thee bring, / for His grace and power are such / none can ever ask too much–John Newton

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