Quietly Through 1st John (Week 18) :: Confidence and Compassion in Prayer (1 John 5:14-17)

Good morning, friends, and thank you so much for poppin’ over for another week in 1st John. If you were here last week looking for a post, I’m sorry that I left you wondering what was going on. I wasn’t planning to take a week off from blogging, but I started a new job and I just didn’t have the time or energy to keep up with my writing schedule. Prayer, please. Anyway… here is week 18 of our study. Only one more to go and we will have studied John’s first epistle!

Confidence and Compassion in Prayer

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him.

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. (1 John 5:14-17)

Ideas to Consider

  • What does it mean to pray with confidence?
  • Why can we pray with confidence?
  • When we see a brother or sister sinning, what are we to do?


(This is just a little bit of what I took away from the passage. Remember, I’m human and severely flawed. Don’t just take my words as God’s truth. Be sure to be led by the Spirit, not me.)

My four year old is a pretty confident kid. He is an all out, no fear, do-it-boldly person. No matter what it is. Whether it’s climbing on furniture, jumping off stairs, crashing his bike, wrestling his dad, or trying to convince me he needs another piece of candy, he simply has no fear. We should be the same way in prayer.

When we, as believers washed in the blood of the Lamb, come to our Heavenly Father with a request, we should do so with confidence. We can be frank, blunt, bold, and fearless with our requests and we can pray like this when our prayers are in line with God’s will.

And what is His will? That we believe in and obey His Son, that we walk in the light, be gospel focused, desire to give glory to Jesus, and that we live Him and love others.

God also desires that we pray for fellow believers when we see them in sin. Now the passage gets a bit confusing here as John talks about sins that lead to death and sins that don’t. There are several different ideas on what this means. I won’t attempt to explain them, though I have linked to another commentator at the end of this post, because I’m not sure what to make of these two verses myself. I will say this though: pray for one another.

Often times when I see a person falling into sin my first reaction is to think of ways I can help. I imagine situations where I can tactfully bring up the sin and then share my wisdom on the subject. How silly, right? Yes, there are times when the Holy Spirit prompts us to correct or rebuke in love, but those times often follow much prayer.

Confident, bold, fearless pray should always be our first reaction when we see a person in sin.

Confident, bold, fearless pray should always be our first reaction when we see a person in sin. Click To Tweet

Prayer that is spoken according to God’s will, prayer requests that are made because of our love for our brothers and sisters, prayer that asks that others experience God’s love, and prayer that is spoken so that Jesus receives the glory will always be heard by our Father. So prayer these prayers with confidence.


Thank  you, Father for giving us prayer, for allowing us to come before you and confidently speak our requests. Please teach us to pray for your will to be done, in our lives and in the lives of others. When we see others sinning, may our first reaction be to come to you on their behalf. In the name of your Son I pray. Amen.


  1. Consider the underlying motives of your own prayers? Do you often pray for the Lord’s will to be done? Or are you seeking something different?
  2. Do you pray with confidence? Why or why not?
  3. Is there someone who you know that needs to be prayed for? Take some time now to pray the Lord’s will over his or her life.


Here are a few study ideas to do between now and next Tuesday. I suggest doing one or two a day in order to keep you thinking about the passage all week long.

  • Start or continue a double entry journal.
  • Hand write the passage.
  • Did this passage make you think of other passages in the Bible? Share those passages with the rest of us in the comments.
  • Read Matthew 6:5-15. How is this passage similar to today’s reading in 1st John?
  • Read this commentary by David Guzik explaining a couple different ideas about sin leading to death.
  • Write a summary of what you’ve learned from this passage. If you are a blogger, write a post and share it in the next #QuietlyThroughThursday LINK UP.
  • Read 1 John 1-5. Yes, ma’am, the whole thing.

Catch up on previous post by clicking the image below.




1 comment

  1. It seemed so strange that there are two distinct thought processes in that section of Scripture. But by that time, our confidence and boldness are built up so much! haha!!

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