This article was originally published in Edition (2) of Prayer Magazine, Spring 2005.

Faith Filled Prayers

A teaching on prayer by Kevin Sambrook.

Prayer is meant to be powerful and effective (James 5v16) producing results that will remain. Where prayer does not appear to yield results we quickly become discouraged and reluctant to pray further.

A wise man once said, ‘All failure ultimately is a prayer failure.’ God has not destined us to fail and so where our prayer is not effective, we may need to review of our prayer life.

Three things that will hinder prayer:

  • Failure to walk in love – faith works through love (Galatians 5v6). Unforgiveness and bad attitudes towards others cancels our power (Mark 11 v 25-26). Remember, love is a commandment.
  • Ongoing personal sin – (Ps 66v18) “If had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” NIV. Confess it and put it under the blood immediately (1 John 1v9).
  • Doubt – (James 1 v 6-8). Doubt is like woodworm in the structure, it will eat away everything that you’ve built through prayer before it becomes a reality.

PRAY FROM A KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD.

Hosea 4v6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” NKJV

Ignorance is not bliss, it is very costly. Ignorance is destructive. Ignorance is not God’s will for us:

Col 1:9-10

“For this reason, we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;” NKJV

Notice here that fruitfulness is linked with having a knowledge of His will. Grace and peace are also multiplied through knowledge of Him, His promises come by knowledge:

‘Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ NKJV

Having knowledge is wonderful but unused is quite useless – we must do something with it. Pray!

God’s Word contains all the knowledge that we need. Not only should it be our prayer manual but it should also become our mother tongue. We must live out the principle of Psalm 1:

Ps 1: 1-3

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, Whatever he does, prospers. NIV

PRAY ‘RIGHT’ PRAYERS

Jesus said that the power of our words changes things. In Mark chapter 11, He taught them this principle concerning prayer:

Mark 11:22-24

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast in the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them. NKJV

Jesus had the previous day cursed the unfruitful fig tree and then just walked away. He used words, faith filled words. He spoke to the tree and it dried from the roots up and died.

Here Jesus said that our words have power; use them wisely because we will have whatever we say. Many wrongly dismiss this principle for fear of superstition, but here lies the secret of a successful prayer life.

People either pray wrong things or undermine their right prayers by speaking things contrary to them afterwards.

Jesus said that what He had done should be the model for prayer when you pray.

He showed us three things that we must do.

Have faith in God – Hebrews 11v6 says without faith it is impossible to please God, but that He rewards those who have it and use it. There is only one way that faith comes and that is by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10v7). There is simply no substitute for getting into God’s word and meditating in it (the Hebrew idea is muttering it over and over).

This will build our faith. God’s Word covers every aspect of life. Find out what it says about the situation that needs prayer and meditate on that scripture. Talk to God about the mountain, then talk to the mountain about God!

Speak to the situation. Jesus said that whoever says to the mountain ‘be removed…’ Things must be addressed specifically. Pray and speak God’s word into the situation. Jeremiah 23v29 says that God’s word is like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces. Understand the principle of Isaiah 55v11, ‘So shall My word be that goes from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’ NKJV

Consistently apply God’s word to the situation and watch every obstacle break up and things begin to change.

Don’t doubt in your heart but believe that you receive when you pray. We must not doubt. James says that a doubter is double minded and therefore unstable and will not receive answer to prayer (James 1 v 6-8). People often worry about this but really the process of removing doubt is very simple and it involves focus. We were made to focus on one thing at a time only. Doubt will dissolve as we fix our minds on the Word of God. Think on it, talk about it, fill your heart with it. It takes time but it is not hard.

A good illustration would be a glass filled with black tea being placed under a running tap p cold, clear water. Left there long enough, all traces of the dark coloured tea would disappear and have been replaced by clear water. One of the best ways of maintaining faith and receiving answers to pray is through thanksgiving:

Philippians 4:5-7

‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ NKJV

Continually thank Him for answers UNTIL you see them physically manifested.

Once you have committed to this process, NEVER UNDERMINE IT BY FOOLISH CONVERSATION THAT CONTAINS STATEMENTS WHICH ARE THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU HAVE PRAYED.

Make a quality decision today to consistently put this into practice and bring forth fruit with patience!

Kevin Sambrook

www.rrm-ireland.org

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