I want to share a few testimonies of answered prayer. Jesus said that if we’d do certain things the answer to our prayers was guaranteed:
Mark 11:23 … whosoever shall say … and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe (Believe what?gm) that those things which he saith shall come to pass; (What will happen?gm) he shall have whatsoever he saith.
If we can believe in our heart that what we say will come to pass, Jesus said we’ll have what we say. So it all begins with believing in your heart. A few years ago I finally understood what Jesus meant when he said believe in your heart and this understanding has transformed my prayer life and allowed me to pray much more effectively.
What I came to understand was that when Jesus said, “believe” he meant know in your heart. He meant to perceive in your heart that something is so. I came to see that, “believing” is the very same thing we do when we’re trying to be led by the spirit, when we’re trying to receive direction from the spirit in some area of our life. The same urging that tells me, “Go this way,” or “Don’t go that way,” tells me, that I have the thing. I came to understand that believing is the same thing we do when we’re trying to walk in the spirit, trying to walk in love, or forgiveness, for example. The same prodding on the inside that says, “Tell him you’re sorry,” or “Don’t be anxious,” lets me know what will come to pass. Believing, being led by the spirit, walking in the spirit are all the same thing. All work the same way.
You can see then that ignoring or avoiding the leading of the spirit would make it difficult to receive answers to prayer. You can understand why it would be almost impossible to receive if you refused to walk in the spirit. You can see how hardening your heart to God would also keep you from believing that what you say will come to pass. The number one area in which Christians harden their hearts is finances. Face it, being okay with the idea of robbing God is pretty much the definition of a hardened heart and most American Christians, over 95%, are God robbers, which probably explains why they have such difficulty getting their prayers answered. Some Christians who’ve hardened their heart to God are so far gone they’ve convinced themselves that God does answer their prayers, when it’s really the prayer of their pastor or some faithful Christian friend, on their behalf, that is getting answered. But hey, if you’re okay with robbing God it’s easy to lie to yourself about a lot of other things too.
So here’s how I’ve learned to pray. I first check on the inside, in my heart, in my spirit, to see what my heart says about the situation. I’m looking to see, in Jesus words, what I believe will come to pass, what my heart says will come to pass. Once I know what my spirit is saying, once I know what I believe will come to pass, then I just say it, and like Jesus said I have what I say. As Becky says, WHOOO HOOOO! Let me give you a few examples.
Several months ago Becky and I went to the hospital to pray for a friend who had become very dangerously infected as the result of a fairly routine, doctor’s office, medical procedure. This friend had been in the hospital for several days, with a very high fever that wouldn’t go down. The doctors had tried different medicines but nothing worked. Earlier, the day of our visit, they had tried some type of medicine which was usually used to fight cancer or something like that, but the fever had still not gone down when we arrived. We asked if we could pray and the friend agreed and seemed genuinely thankful even though at best a nominal Christian. I knelt beside the bed, Becky stood on the other side and I prayed quietly in the spirit trying to see what my heart said about our friends situation, trying to determine what I could believe. After a minute or so of this I knew what to say. So I stood up and said, because I knew in my heart, (Not in my head, my head said I was being ridiculous.), that the thing which I said would come to pass, “The fever is leaving, they’ll send you home in the morning.” Becky, put herself into agreement with me according to Matthew 18:19, and so she said, “The fever is leaving, they’ll send you home in the morning.” And that’s what happened, the fever left and they sent our friend home in the morning,
A couple months back, at the end of the Sunday service, I asked if anyone wanted prayer for anything. One person said that they were talking about permanent lay offs for people at her job and she wanted us to pray about that…, that she wouldn’t be laid off. I tried to pray but couldn’t really hear from my heart about that situation, so I prayed some religious sounding prayer out of my head. But for the next several days I searched my heart trying to find what my heart had to say about this persons situation, what I could believe would come to pass when I said it. Finally, I knew and I began to say, “Nothing will come of it.” The next Sunday this person wasn’t in church, I remember because I had looked forward to telling her, “Nothing will come of it.” The following Sunday she was there and I said to her, “Finally three weeks later I have your answer, ‘Nothing will come of it.’” She opened her mouth and started to say something but then changed her mind. I remember the thought came to me, ‘I hope they didn’t lay her off already, cause if they did I’m gonna look really stupid.’ but I just kept saying, “Nothing will come of it,” because that’s what I knew in my heart.
When Becky and I prayed with the kids at night we’d say, “Nothing will come of it.” When this person would come to my mind as I was going about my business I’d say out loud, “Nothing will come of it.” Let me interject something here. This particular person is and has been extremely faithful to our church and so it’s easy for Becky and I to keep praying about her situation. Some people ask for prayer and you never see them again. Becky and I aren’t even sure they want us to keep our faith on the line about their situation. Anyway, three or four weeks later this person asked to give a testimony at church. She said that a few weeks before she had been permanently laid off but she just kept saying what we had prayed, “Nothing will come of it,” and she had just been called back to work that week after a three week layoff.
A couple weeks ago after church someone asked for prayer for their son. He had just received a promotion at work, but there had been some complaints because he hadn’t been at the company as long as some other people and the promotion had been taken away. She told us he had believed God for this promotion and she wanted us to pray that he would get it back. I prayed in the spirit for a little bit trying to see what my heart said about the situation. As I was praying for maybe five or ten-seconds, it came into my heart, ‘He’ll keep his promotion. That’s his promotion.’ So we said that. A few days later we learned he’d been given back his promotion.
I could give you more examples but that’s enough for now. Know in your heart, then speak with your mouth, is the secret to answered prayer.
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1 Timothy 5:17 NLT Elders who do their work well should be paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “Do not keep an ox from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”