Praying and receiving exactly what we ask for is the whole idea behind faith in God. God has not made promises He doesn’t intend to keep. He actually instructs us to remind Him of the very things He has promised.
Thoughts on Praying
E.M. Bounds said “Praying people are a help to the work of God, while prayerless people are a hindrance to it. The ministry of the Holy Spirit and prayer go hand in hand. The Holy Spirit never rests upon prayerless people. He never fills them or empowers them.” He goes on to say “There is nothing whatever in common between the Spirit of God and people who do not pray.” I agree that we must have the Holy Spirit’s influence if we are to believe God and have faith to pray effectively for the advance of the Gospel.
Have Faith in God
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:22-24
Have faith in God is a simple command to those of us who are walking with God. It’s a mystery to those who are not intimate with Him. Faith always requires some fact or evidence to rest upon because faith can only be exercised where the will of God is known. The promises of God are the will of God in those particular areas. Why else would God make a promise if He had no intention of fulfilling it?
The word of God is filled with promises that we can use in prayer if we believe them. To have faith that a promise will bring an answer when we pray, we must have faith in God who made the promise in the first place. We can only have faith in Him if we know Him. This is exactly what Jesus meant in Mark 11:22. When we come to know a person of integrity, we come to trust that person. Trusting the person causes us to believe what they say…the same is true with God.
So, wherever we find a promise in the Scriptures which we can apply to our situation, we can consider using it as the basis for our faith. This applies to promises, commands, and general principles found in narratives, if the meaning of those passages can be seen to include our particular situation. The Bible is filled with promises and principles which we can use in prayer. Whatever situations we may find ourselves in, we should simply look for a passage that clearly applies to that situation, and use it in prayer.
Live Close to God
Intimacy with God is personal; it’s an expression and a response of our love for Him. Intimacy takes time to develop. No one falls in love with a person they are not familiar with; they must get to know them. As we spend much time alone with God our hearts and minds are influenced by His great love for us. His love continually draws us and fills us with great desire to spend more time alone with Him.
When we know God intimately we will love Him with all our heart, and obeying His word becomes easy because it is now something we long to do for the one who has captured our heart (John 14:23-24). As we continue to keep (or walk in) the light of His word, truth continues to be revealed to us. The liberty that we come to experience from living like this is sometimes overwhelming.
In this kind of relationship with God a great capacity to believe what He says is formed within us by the Holy Spirit. When we read the word of God our hearts begin to respond in the affirmative to every promise we see. This is how simple faith in prayer is developed. Continued exposure to God’s presence develops a hearing heart within us. It is quite natural to believe we will receive what we ask for from the one who we’ve come to adore.
God can easily trust those who adore Him with great answers to prayer because they would not be asking for things He is not willing to give. This brings us back to the necessity of knowing Him intimately. When we delight ourselves in Him, He places His desires on our heart. When we are really in love with someone we come to share the same desires.
Imagine the influence the Church would have in the world by living in the Presence of God and using faith to pray down the necessary solutions for the issues society is facing. This is God’s desire for the Church in the world in every age.
All of this is made possible by the Holy Spirit in the life of those who are drawing nearer to God in prayer. What power and influence the Church would have in society if more believers would learn to live a lifestyle of prayer and fasting when seeking God and searching the Scriptures to obtain answers for others. How rapidly the Gospel of Jesus Christ advances and sets people free from the corruption of sin in the world when more of us have faith to Pray without ceasing! – JSP