How To Pray & See Results

June 22, 2013

Friends,
Prayer… It can move mountains. (Matt. 21:21,22) Mountains of grief, pain, disease, loneliness, strife, confusion, estrangement, anger, distress, chaos, fear, timidity, rebellion, sin, and filth. Real faith-filled prayer to God, through Jesus, and by the Spirit, is better than a hundred bull-dozers or sticks of dynamite. Why then are people not engaging in more prayer? And when they do, why are they not seeing results?

I’d venture to say that “Christians” aren’t doing much real praying precisely because they aren’t seeing results of prayer. This, however, they don’t see because 1) they are not pure enough to care enough about those things which need to be prayed about, and 2) they don’t pray correctly.

If we would meditate on the many prayers prayed in God’s Word and meditate on the accounts surrounding those whose prayers are recorded, and how God answered, we would learn a lot about prayer. So it is God’s Word which is the answer to our questions about prayer.

God’s Word reveals that the Lord answers the prayers of those who walk blameless and who delight in revering His name (Neh. 1:11 // Ps. 34:17 & 84:11 & 91:14-16 & 145:19), and that for those who delight themselves in Him, He grants them their desires. (Ps. 37:4) It reveals that we must pray confidently, with earnest and patient perseverance, and while living righteously. (Heb. 11:1,6 // Ja. 1:6 & 5:7-18) It reveals that those who “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him” (2 Peter 3:14) –which is done by eating His Word and obeying it (John 6:26-63 & 15:1-17)– do become filled with the Spirit (Acts 5:32 // Eph. 5:15-21), do pray in accordance with God’s will by the Spirit (Rom. 8:26,27), and do then walk in joy, victory, and the will of the Lord. (Same above verses // Rom. 12:1,2 // 1 John 3:24 & 5:3-5)

Jesus says, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” (John 6:27) The Son of Man is Jesus, and He is the Bread that produces eternal life in us (v. 33,48) as we eat and drink Him who is the Word. (v. 54 & 1:14) Then when people ask, as they did in John 6:28, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”, we quote Jesus’ words in verse 29, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”

Here is where many “Christians” say, “I do believe in Jesus, but I still don’t get my prayers answered.” No. They do not believe in Jesus. They believe only in part, at best. (Even the demons believe. –Mark 1:24 & James 2:19) They prove they do not believe in Him because they do not believe (trust and heed) His words. If they did truly believe, they would not be sinning. (1 John 3:5-10) They would not be apathetic about the consequences of sin. (Jer. 2:25) They would realize that by sinning they are insulting the Spirit of grace and are thus heading straight for eternal punishment. (Heb. 10:26-31)

If these “believers” truly believed in Jesus, they would be delighting themselves in Him and seeking more of Him in His Word. They would be exuberant about eating the Word of God daily. They would be fearing God, weeping over their sins, renouncing their sins, and would be daily putting Christ’s words to practice, growing in ever-increasingly-strong faith, mature conduct, and self-disciplined thoughts, words, and lifestyles. But what do we have in Christendom, in general? –Quite the opposite.

How is a person to pray? He is to first of all get right with God. He is to submit to being washed (cleansed and purified), and he is to remain in this clean state by eating Christ, the Word, and doing what it/He says. When a person does this, then that person becomes filled with the Spirit and he will be obeying the Spirit (Rom. 8:9,14) –including whatever the Spirit leads him to pray. This is not automatic, though. We ourselves must choose to open our mouths –to pray, praise, worship, preach, speak, write, or battle –battle doubt, lies, sin, and other evils. All this we do by:

1. Taking our thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Cor. 10:5)

2. Focusing on His goodness and His power to answer and accomplish His will through our willingness (Matt. 6:9-15)

3. Meditating on God’s Word, listening to Him speak through it, and then quoting His Word’s promises and Truths back to Him with grateful praise and with faith that is courageous, confident, and victorious (Ps. 119:169-175 // 2 Cor. 10:3-5 // Eph. 6:10-20 // Heb. 4:12)

4. Opening our mouths so that He can fill our words with His Spirit’s praises, petitions, and messages. (Ps. 81:10 // Isa. 51:16 & 65:19,24 // Matt. 10:19,20 // Eph. 6:18-20 // 1 John 5:14,15 // Jude 1:20)

God’s eyes still scan the earth, looking for repentant hearts that are willing to be made spotless and strong in faith and character. (2 Chron. 16:9) This He desires so that He can send forth His Word through their mouths (Isa. 6:5-8 // Mark 7:14-23) and accomplish His goals / His purposes / His will. (Isa. 55:11) This partnership is God’s Covenant with those who repent of their sins. (59:20) As verse 21 says, “‘As for Me, this is My covenant with them,’ says the LORD. ‘My Spirit, who is on you, and My words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever,’ says the LORD.”

God not only invites all redeemed people to walk in this privilege –the privilege of accomplishing His purposes by proclaiming and praying His Word– but He is actively looking for such people –people whose faith is strong enough to act upon what they say they believe. We have a whole Bible to help us do this very thing. But in order to be quoting God’s Word by the Spirit’s leading and in His power, we must be filled with the Spirit who is hidden in the words (Luke 8:10,11 // John 6:63) and we must have faith in the words. This comes from nothing else, but from eating Him who is the Word of God.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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