It first considers the context of the stages of the Christian life taken from 1 John 2 v. 12-14 (children, young men, fathers), as these have an effect on our attitudes when we pray. The article then distinguishes Jesus’ teachings on prayer at the beginning of his ministry (Matthew 5 to 7) from those shortly before his departure (John 13 to 17). Only after having established these elements of context does the article suggests five qualities of the prayers that Jesus promised to answer according to John 14 v. 12-14 and John 15 v. 7.
Three Stages of the Christian Life and Our Relationship to Prayer
Three stages of the Christian life identified by John (1 John 2:12-14): As little children, we know we are forgiven, we have discovered that God is our Father who adopted us, and we pray to the Father for our own needs (Matt. 7:7-11). As young people, we are strong in Jesus, his Word dwells in us, we have overcome the evil one, and we learn that there is a battle to be fought in prayer. As fathers, at this stage we have developed a deeper knowledge of God, which gives us great confidence before Him. These stages are reflected in our prayer lives.
From Jesus’ First to Last Teachings on Prayer
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) — his first teaching — Jesus taught the basic principles of prayer: to address God as a good Father who loves to give good things to his children who ask for them. In John 13-17, Jesus speaks to his more mature disciples, in the context of Jesus’ last encounter with them, just before he was arrested, crucified, and then resurrected. He teaches them to pray as part of the work they are called to do as disciples:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14, ESV).
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7, ESV).
So then, What are the Qualities of the Prayers Jesus Promised to Answer?
- They are based on trust in the person of our Savior
“…he who believes in me […]”
- They support the work God does through us
“… will also do the works that I do…”.
- They are done in the name of Jesus
“…and whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). We see that everything depends on our own relationship to the Name: the power it has over my life is the power it will have in my prayers. (Andrew Murray)
- They are motivated by the desire to bring glory to God
“…I will do this, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. » (v 13)
This is the purpose for which Jesus, in glory, at the right hand of God, will do whatever we ask him. […The glory of the Father must be the essence of the soul, the life of our prayer. (Andrew Murray)
- They are consistent with the Word of God revealed in the Scriptures (Jn 15.7)
“If you abide in me, and my words in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
What step do I need to take to move forward in my prayer life? Let us remember that our prayer life is a reflection of our relationship with God, as well as a measure of who we are.
Murray M’Cheyne, a 19th-century Scottish preacher, said this:
What a man is on his knees before God is what he is, and nothing more.
Questions of Reflection and Ownership
What was the most striking aspect of this Bible presentation to you?
What is the importance of praying in the name of Jesus?
Can a prayer for a personal need be for the glory of God?
How do you respond to Murray M’Cheyne’s statement: “What a man is on his knees before God is what he is, and nothing more.”
What step would you like to take to grow in your prayer life?
This summary was produced using Google Translate and Microsoft Bing. For a more thorough treatment of this theme, please consult the original french version: Les qualités des prières auxquelles Jésus a promis de répondre.