Eternal Life and Answered Prayers

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. – 1 John 5:13-15


Monarch Butterfly on Cone Flower – 3 | Mercer Botanical Gardens | June 2018

A mother of two lay in the hospital with a diagnosis of cancer. The diagnosis was severe and completely unexpected. She was given five years to live. She called the elders of the church and they came to her hospital bed and anointed her with oil (cf. James 5: ). Part of that process included praying for her healing, and part of that prayer was to assure her that her sins were forgiven. It was a peaceful and grace-filled time that afternoon.

There is a connection between having eternal life and confidence in prayer. One of the ways this becomes obvious is on occasions like the woman above. The ability to pray with confidence is predicated on the fact that there is nothing in the way of God’s attention or willingness to answer our prayers.

God’s gift of eternal life is foundational to answered prayer, hopeful living, a gracious demeanor, and a meaningful life. It’s not only about pie in the sky in the sweet by and by. God’s desire for us to live forever should let us know that he has good will, great patience, and infinite love toward us.

John wants us to know this. He wrote to these Early Church believers so that they would know they had eternal life and that they could also have confidence in prayer. The young woman referred to above eventually succumbed to cancer, but she had eternal life, and that was never taken from her. The answer to our prayers for her healing came in the form of a merciful healing when God takes us to himself and we embrace his presence and gracious love for all eternity.

1 comment
  1. Today would have been my mother’s 84th birthday. She succumbed to cancer at 67, meeting Jesus in death on July 10, five days later. I learned to pray aloud at her bedside and at her request that I pray – even a nonverbal praying person does her best at the bedside of her dying mom. I asked for healing because it seemed to provide hope and I prayed for peace for her to move though whatever was ahead of her. And I prayed that should she go to Jesus’ side she’d see that we (the family)were ok. I prayed and cried all at once through it all an it was not eloquent. Even so I knew my Lord had heard it all. I clung to that confidence like never before. Confidence in HIM is what walked her into eternity with Jesus and walked those left behind forward in the days to come … and still does – for us who believe in HIM. He is our stronghold and fortress. In what shall we fear?

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