HOW TO PRAY FOR ANSWERS
To receive answers to prayer we have to decide what we want from God and find the scripture or scriptures that definitely promise us these things. So many times we are indefinite in our praying. I would rather folks pray two or three minutes and know what they’re praying about than to pray for two or three hours and not know what they’re praying about.
Sometimes when I ask people what they are praying about, they answer that they don’t know. I asked one person once what he was praying about, and he said he was praying just to be praying! I realize there is one kind of prayer whereby we pray to have fellowship with God. But I am talking about praying to God specifically in order to receive an answer to prayer. If we are not careful, the first kind of praying I talked about – praying to have fellowship with God – will spill over into the realm of praying specifically in order to receive an answer.
One time a certain minister asked one famous preacher to pray for him. The preacher asked him what he wanted him to pray for, and he said he didn’t know. Now if you went to a grocery store and pushed your cart up and down the aisles, but didn’t buy anything, people would think something was wrong with you!
But on the other hand, if someone went to the store to buy a few things, and he bought just those things, you wouldn’t think anything was wrong. In fact, you could say he was being definite in what he was doing. In the same way, decide what you want from God and be definite about it. Then find scriptures from the Word that promise you whatever it is you want. Be specific in your praying.
Pray According to the Word
Too few Christians realize the importance of the Word of God in prayer. We know that faith begins where the will of God is known. And we know that God’s Word is His will. So find scriptures that definitely promise the things you are asking for. If the Scriptures don’t promise you the things you are desiring, you don’t have any business praying for those things. And you shouldn’t want anything that the Word of God says you shouldn’t have.
Many believers are trying to pray beyond their faith. But it’s the Word that gives you faith. The reason many people are not praying with confidence and faith is that they are not finding Scripture that proves that God wants them to have those things they are desiring. They don’t know for sure if it’s God’s will or not. They may hope it is, but they can’t know for sure, because faith begins where the will, or the Word, of God is known. Once you find the scriptures that promise you what you desire from God, get those scriptures firmly fixed in your heart, not just in your mind. To do that, you’ll have to meditate on the Word of God.
JOSHUA 1:8 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and THEN thou shalt have good success.
Another translation says, “. . . that thou mayest be able to deal wisely in the affairs of life.” Success in life comes by meditating on God’s Word. That’s the way you’ll build God’s Word into your inner consciousness, into your spirit. And as you feed upon the Word by meditating, you will be ready to use these scriptures against demons who will try to make you doubt God and who will try to rob you of what you want. It is the devil who tries to make you doubt God.
So many times people who have not known the Word have prayed, and if they did not get the answer when they thought they should, they said, “Well, it must not be the will of God.” But all the time the promises of God were there for them to appropriate. If whatever you’re praying about is in the Word, then it is the will of God. One time a woman had many others pray with her for her son who was afflicted with a certain sickness. But when he didn’t get better, she concluded that it just wasn’t God’s will for her son to be healed. She didn’t have any scriptures ready to use against the devil because she wasn’t standing on the Word. She didn’t have the Word hidden in her heart (Ps. 119:11).
To tell the truth about it, the devil told her that it wasn’t the will of God for her son to be healed, and she believed him. Unconsciously, she made the Bible out to be a lie and Jesus to be unjust because the Bible clearly tells us healing is part of our redemption (Isa. 53:4,5; Matt. 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24).