New Defender's Study Bible Notes
4:3 receive not. The problem of unanswered prayer in spite of Jesus’ apparently unlimited promise of answered prayer (see John 14:14) is involved in the implications of prayers made “in my name.” One of the implied conditions, as indicated here, is that the prayer be unselfish—otherwise it would not really be in His name, for He would never pray such a prayer. There are other conditions also (e.g., I John 5:14; James 1:5-7). One’s motive in praying must be to the glory of God—that is, for God to get the glory from the answer.
4:4 enemy of God. Compromising with the present world-system—whether in philosophy, dress, behavior, or whatever—is surely one of the most prevalent characteristics of modern Christianity, even evangelicalism. This indictment of such compromise urgently needs emphasis today. See also I John 2:15-17; Galatians 1:4; John 15:19; 17:14; Romans 8:6-8; II Corinthians 6:14-18.