Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.

A Key to Answered Prayers?
Obeying God and Pleasing God

Summary: This brief devotional reveals two keys to answered prayer requests: obeying God and pleasing Him.

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1 John 3:21-22  Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

•• In approaching God in prayer, it is important that our hearts be right before Him — “if our hearts do not condemn us” (vs. 21).
 
•• Be sure to maintain an upright walk before the Lord. If you detect sin in your life, repent of it before God, and receive His forgiveness. Return to a place where your heart is not condemning you over unrepented sin.
 
•• From the secure standpoint of a heart right before God, then bring to Him your prayer requests concerning your legitimate needs. You will “receive from Him anything [you] ask, because...”
• ...because “[you] obey His commands and do what pleases Him”. We are given here two keys to answered prayer:
•• 1) God answers our prayers “because we obey His commands”.
• Fill your heart with the wonderful Word of God from the Bible. Learn its truths, its principles, its commands, and simply obey them.
 
• This obedience to God’s Word will open the door to answered prayer requests for you, along with reason #2 (below):
•• 2) God answers our prayers “because we ... do what pleases Him”.
• Let your heart’s determination be that of Jesus, who said, “I always do what pleases Him [God the Father]” (John 8:29).
 
• Let your attitude be that of Jesus: “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
 
• As Jesus taught in the Lord’s Prayer, let your prayer life be dominated by “Thy will be done!” (Matthew 6:10). Seek to please God, not yourself.

•• In sum:

• Keep your heart free of unrepented sin, thereby securing confidence in your heart before God.
 
• Consistently walk in obedience to His commands.
 
• Strive to do always that which is pleasing in His sight.
 
• And you will consistently find your prayers answered by God.

1 John 3:23  And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

•• In closing, let us look at one illustration John gives of how to obey God’s command:
Believing in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. Answered prayer involves our relating to God, through Jesus Christ, in faith.
 
Loving one another. Answered prayer is experienced by those who genuinely follow Jesus’ “second commandment” (Matthew 22:29) by loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

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©2008, 2015, James H. Feeney.
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Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.