Very few Christians feel they have a successful prayer life. One of the big reasons believers struggle with prayer is because of all the wrong teaching they’ve received about it. Another reason is that they simply do not pray.
I like the guitar, always have, but I don’t play that well because I don’t practice on a regular basis. I may practice an hour a day for two weeks and then not pick it up again for a month. I am not committed to getting better so I remain at the same level of proficiency, which is NOVICE. The same is true for most Christian’s concerning their prayer life, they don’t practice prayer principles regularly so they get little results.
Getting results in prayer can be easy if you understand some basic faith principles. When you begin to see prayers answered and realize that YOU can be effective and dynamic in prayer, it will become a lifestyle for you, not just a last resort when trouble knocks at your door.
There are different types of prayer, the prayer of faith, the prayer of consecration, the prayer of repentance, the prayer of intercession, etc. Different rules or principles apply to different kinds of prayer and to be effective you must pray according to the guidelines laid out in the bible. The one thing I want to focus on in this teaching is the prayer of faith and the link between your praying and your saying. This will change your life and bring results almost immediately.
Take a look at what Jesus said in Mark’s Gospel:
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 into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, 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.
This is in reference to the time that Jesus cursed the fig tree and later on the disciples noticed it and pointed it out to the Lord. Jesus took this opportunity to teach them one of the most powerful lessons about prayer and the power of words. First let’s establish something. Look at verse 23 and ask yourself, “is this prayer?”
If you answered “no,” you are correct. You see Jesus was making a point that words are powerful just like the prayer of faith is powerful. Most folks don’t get that, and they pray wonderful scripture based prayers and then undo them by speaking words of doubt and unbelief. Your praying must match you saying. We are talking about the prayer of faith mixed with the “spirit of faith.” This is the combination that brings victory every time. So let’s look at what the bible says about the spirit of faith.
2 Corinthians 4:13 ~ And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
Your mouth is the biggest indicator of where your faith is. If you have a heart full of faith, your words will reflect that. If your heart is full of doubt and unbelief, you will speak words of doubt and unbelief.
Luke 6:45 ~A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Now let’s look at the most important parable in the bible. Jesus said in Mark 4:13 …“Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” This is what is referred to as “The parable of the sower”. Follow the link to Mark 4 and read the whole chapter if you like but focus on this verse,
Mark 4:14 ~ The sower sows the word.
In this parable we see clearly that the soil is the heart or human spirit and that the seed of the word will get different results depending on the condition of the soil. Jesus said that the Kingdom of God works like this. That means that all things pertaining to the Kingdom of God works on this principle on some level. Since we are talking about the prayer of faith, let’s focus on how this principle applies.
1) Faith must be based on God’s Word.
People will often say that they are “standing in faith” for healing or some other need to be met, and yet when you ask them what scriptures they are standing on they can’t give you a definitive answer. Understand this; faith begins where the will of God is known. If you don’t know what the will of God is concerning your situation, you don’t have any basis for believing.
The first step in praying the prayer of faith is to find out what God’s will is for that particular situation. His Word is His will. If you are praying, “God heal me if it be your will”, you are NOT in faith because you don’t know His will.
The New Testament is clear that healing is a part of our redemption. Jesus paid the price for your healing over 2000 years ago. If you are not clear on that, if you are not fully persuaded that healing belongs to you as a child of God, then you are not capable praying in faith. Find out what God says about healing and meditate on His Words. Here are three verses of scripture that I use, speak and meditate on when I am standing in faith for healing.
1 Peter 2:24 ~ who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
Matthew 8:17 ~ that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
Isaiah 53:5 ~But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
These three scriptures alone should settle any doubt about God’s will for you to be healed. There are plenty of other passages about healing and other promises in God’s Word. Find scriptures that address your situation, pay close attention to scriptures that really jump out at you because the Holy Spirit will quicken certain scriptures to you and bring light to your spirit man by those words. Knowing God’s will is the foundation that Faith must stand on.
2) Release your faith through Prayer and words. Make it a big deal!
Once you are clear on God’s will, make releasing your faith an event. Mark this moment in your heart, write it down in a prayer journal, Post it on a note where you can see it regular, if possible, have your spouse, your pastor, a faith buddy or someone else to agree with you. Set this day as a memorial in your life that THIS is where I take a stand and claim what belongs to me. Make a big deal out of it and let God, the Devil, and everybody else know that no matter what I see or how I feel, that this shall come to pass in my life!
There is built-in accountability in making a huge deal out of releasing your faith. You mark your soul with a time and place of no turning back, you see it as a place of change and it helps you stand firm when the going gets tough.
Galatians 6:9 ~And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
3) Your saying must match your praying.
You can do the first two steps perfectly and have absolutely NO results if you don’t bridle your tongue. Make it a point to ONLY speak words of faith about what you prayed for. Guard yourself from speaking words of doubt and unbelief. And don’t hang around folks that do nothing but talk about the problem. Always declare the answer. Call those things that do not exist as though they did! God does this, Abraham did it, and you need to learn to do it too if you are going to be strong in faith.
Romans 4:17 ~ (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
Joel 3:10 ~Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’
Your words either make you or break you where faith is concerned; they are the steering wheel that points you to the path of victory. Once you have released your faith, continue to speak words of faith. Feed your faith with God’s Word by saying what He says about you. The bible says that faith comes by hearing. What better way to hear it than speaking it with your own mouth.
Romans 10:17 ~So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If all you hear are doubt, unbelief, fear, and negative reports, these are what you will have faith in. Feed your faith with God’s Word. Don’t let it depart from your eyes or your mouth and your faith victories will abound.
Joshua 1:8 ~This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
These are not all of the principles involved in prayer or faith, but it is a good place to start. First and foremost, be a person committed to the Word of God. Realize that the bible is God speaking to YOU. God’s Word is God’s will, and faith begins where the will of God is known.