Answered Prayer: The promise and benefit of keeping His commands

God answers prayer sermon

sermon notes on 1 John 3:22-23

Wutang song, cream, cash rules everything around me

  • Everything seems to come down to money
  • From food to fashion to friend groups, to neighborhoods, to education, to jobs, to laws, to cars
  • You need money for everything, and life for most revolves in some way shape or form around money.
  • As believers, cash don’t rule everything around you, but God does
  • Instead of relying on money for everything, we rely on God for everything
  • And because we rely on God for everything, we in turn rely on prayer for everything
  • We rely on prayer for:
    • Our daily bread
    • Getting our mind ready for each day
    • For getting through the many portions of our day
    • For dealing with conflicts
    • For physical needs
      • When we are tired on the road
      • When we have financial troubles
      • When we have a diagnosis from the doctor
    • For emotional needs
      • When we need help for our anxieties
      • When we are needing God’s love
      • When we have bad or destructive attitudes
    • For spiritual needs
      • When we need more of God
      • When we need revelation
      • When we need his grace because we can’t 
    • For our family needs
      • When our family members need something we can’t give them
      • When our relationship with our spouse or children or parents are on shaky ground
      • When we have a loss in the family
  • This is why the writer in 1 thessalonians 5:17 makes the declaration that we are to pray without ceasing, because if you are breathing you have a need of God or a reason to pray to God
  • In all that praying, we pray for a reason and we know who we are praying to 
  • In our text today, John is going to make it clear that as believers, if we keep God’s commandments and do what pleases Him, we can expect our prayers to be answered.


1 John 3:22-23
22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 and this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.


“Answered Prayer: The promise and benefit of keeping His commands”


22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

23 and this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.


  • Because
    • Up until this point we have been getting commands
    • Chapter 1-commandment-walk in the light as He is in the light
    • Chapter 2-commandment-don’t sin and keep His commandments
    • Chapter 2-love your brother
    • Chapter 2-don’t love the world or the things in the world
    • Chapter 3-purify yourself, sanctify yourself
    • Chapter 3-don’t practice sin
    • Chapter 3-last week-love your brothers and sisters in Christ
    • Up until this point we have gotten mostly big picture commands and the big picture benefit and promise of salvation
    • In our text today we get a very practical and profound promise and benefit of keeping His commands…answered prayer


22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.


  • Promise-*this promise of answered prayer from our heavenly Father is found throughout the bible*
    • 1 Peter 3:12 for the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.  But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil
      • 2 chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. 
    • Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 

9Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

    • John 16:22-24 22So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.


***So we see that we have this stunning promise of answered prayer, the next question we want to answer is, what can we ask for?***

    • Two questions need to frame our understanding and our expectation of this promise of answered prayer:
      • 1) will this answered prayer be for His glory or mine
        • Am I asking God for something just for me or am I asking something that would also be for His glory
          • Iow-in my prayer, is God on the throne or am I on the throne
            • Question of posture
          • Santa clause God
      • 2) is this prayer according to God’s will?
        • Ephesians 5:17  17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
          • Best way to understand God’s will is to see life through a biblical lense (2 timothy 3:16-all scripture is breathed out by God
            • To have our eyes and our heart trained to see life from God’s perspective
            • We do this by being saturated by God’s word and prayer
      • Those are the two tests that frame the answer to this question, what can we ask for?
      • 1 John 5:14-15– 14And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
  • Matthew 6:9-10  9Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
      • From the beginning of the prayer, we are saying God, let your will be done, not mine
    • Talk about arcades, rich with gold coins
      • They unlocked all the games at the arcade, but I couldn’t take them to the cornerstone,
      • Our prayers can be redeemed and answered only when they are in His will

why god doesn t answer prayers 

***so we understand that we can pray and expect to receive answered prayer when we pray according to His will, but How do we reconcile this promise with our experience of unanswered prayers?


  • Psalms 12:6 the words of the Lord are pure words (flawless), like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times
    • His promise of answered prayer found in our text today is flawless
    • It is pure, it has been refined
    • It is nothing but truth and grace 
    • If He says it, we believe
  • Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
  • So it we know that His promises are true, what are some reasons for unanswered prayer in the life of a believer?


22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him

  • This promise is conditional, here are some conditions that may keep us from experiencing answered prayer
  • 1) God isn’t going to answer your prayer that isn’t in His will that aids you in your sin
    • James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 
    • Passions-sinful pleasures
  • 2) if sin is in your heart, the Lord is not obligated to listen to your prayers
    • Psalms 66:16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 17I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. 18If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!


    • 3) husbands, our prayers can be blocked because of the way we love and live with our wives 
      • 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
  • Hindered- egkopto (cut into) -interuppted, hindered, or detained


  • 4) our prayers can be unanswered because we lack faith
    • Matthew 21:22  22“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”, 
    • James 1:5-7 5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
  • 5) our prayers can be unanwered because we aren’t persistent in our prayers 
    •  Luke 18:1-8 
1And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

    • Will he find this type of praying in you ______?
  • **praise team**
  • 6) Lastly, Sometimes we must submit to God’s will on a particular prayer
  • Luke 22:41-42 41And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.
    • This is a posture, because we have a loving Father, because our will is secondary to His will and His glory, when we don’t get an anwer or the answer we want in prayer, we can say “not my will, but yours, be done”


  • This benefit of being able to pray to the Father was purchased by Jesus Christ.
    • We didn’t always have this connection
    • Our sin kept us away from God
    • Our sin was leading us to eternal death
    • But God by His grace, instead of punishing us for our sin, punished His son instead
    • Not only that, but Jesus freely and courageously and selflessly gave himself as sacrifice for my sin and your sin
    • By dying for our sin, he wiped away our sin debt and purchased us unfettered access to God to become His sons and daughters
    • He rose from the dead with all power
    • Romans 10:13 says everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved
      • That is a prayer that is answered 100 percent of the time
      • Is there anyone that needs to pray that prayer today
      • If you know that you need God in your life, just call on the name of Jesus, ask for forgiveness for your sins, and follow Jesus and you shall be saved!
      • Lets pray.



Luke 11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

  • What can you ask God for?  Whats in His will for you?
  • Pray that God would fill you with His Holy Spirit
  • Pray that He would increase in your life and your flesh and sin would decrease
  • Pray that you would die daily
  • Pray that His will be done in your life
  • Pray that He will direct your paths
  • Pray that He would increase His grace in your life
  • Pray that you would seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
  • Pray for the needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ
  • Pray that God would reveal and grace you with spiritual gifts that would strengthen the body
  • Pray for your physical needs
  • Pray for the physical needs of others
  • Pray for the poor
  • Pray for your local church, and pray for the universal church
  • Pray for those in leadership in Christ church
  • Pray for government and governmental leaders
  • Pray for salvation for those you know at work 
  • Pray for salvation for your friends and family
  • There is so much in the will of God to pray for and so many people to pray for
    • Even as I compiled this list I was encouraged to pray more because you can never run out of things for God’s glory and in His will to pray for
god answers prayers unless he doesnt

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