Speak and act in harmony with your prayers. It will make an infinite difference with you whether trial shall prove your faith to be genuine, or show that your prayers are only a form. Put your trust in God. Pray much, and believe. Trusting, hoping, believing, holding fast the hand of Infinite Power, you will be more than conquerors. True workers walk and work by faith. Sometimes they grow weary with watching the slow advance of the work when the battle wages strong between the powers of good and evil.
But if they refuse to fail or be discouraged they will see the clouds breaking away and the promise of deliverance fulfilling.
Through the mist with which Satan has surrounded them, they will see the shining of the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Work in faith, and leave results with God. Pray in faith, and the mystery of His providence will bring its answer. At times it may seem that you cannot succeed. But work and believe, putting into your efforts faith, hope, and courage. After doing what you can, wait for the Lord, declaring His faithfulness, and He will bring His word to pass.
Wait, not in fretful anxiety, but in undaunted faith and unshaken trust. There is strength to be obtained of God. He can give grace and heavenly wisdom. If you ask in faith, you will receive; but you must watch unto prayer. Watch, pray, work, should be your watchword. God has sent us to work in His vineyard.
It is our duty to do all we can. We limit the Holy One of Israel. We should be grateful that He condescends to use any of us as His instruments. For every earnest prayer put up in faith, an answer will be returned. It may not come just as we have expected; but it will come at the very time when we most need it. Ask God to do for you those things that you cannot do for yourselves. Lay open before Him the secrets of your heart; for His eye searches the inmost recesses of the soul, and He reads your thoughts as an open book.
When you have asked for the things that are necessary for your soul's good, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. Accept His gifts with your whole heart; for Jesus has died that you might have the precious things of heaven as your own, and at last find a home with the heavenly angels in the kingdom of God. If you will find voice and time to pray, God will find time and voice to answer. And be sure to bring your lives into harmony with your petitions, that you may receive the blessings for which you pray.
Let not your faith weaken, for the blessings received are proportionate to the faith exercised. Sing praises to God because He has answered your prayers. Take Him at His word.
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Not one sincere supplication is lost. The channel is open; the stream is flowing. It carries with it healing properties, pouring forth a restoring current of life and health and salvation. The Very Intensity of Our Prayers Is a Pledge That God Will Answer —When a man breathes an intensely earnest prayer to God Jesus Christ is the only name given under heaven whereby we can be saved , there is in that intensity and earnestness a pledge from God that He is about to answer that prayer exceeding abundantly, above all that we can ask or think.
We must not only pray in the name of Jesus, but by the inspiration and kindling of the Holy Spirit. Then they will reach the mercy-seat. God does not say, Pray once, and I will answer you. His word is pray, be instant in prayer, believing ye have the things ye ask, and ye shall receive them; I will answer you.
Hearing the voice of God
Conditions to Answered Prayer —There are certain conditions upon which we may expect that God will hear and answer our prayers. One of the first of these is that we feel our need of help from Him. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, who long after God, may be sure that they will be filled. The heart must be open to the Spirit's influence, or God's blessing cannot be received. Our great need is itself an argument and pleads most eloquently in our behalf.
But the Lord is to be sought unto to do these things for us. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the penitent, contrite soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions. Our own merit will never commend us to the favor of God; it is the worthiness of Jesus that will save us, His blood that will cleanse us; yet we have a work to do in complying with the conditions of acceptance.
Another element of prevailing prayer is faith.
The voice of God is heard more than ever
Do we take Him at His word? The assurance is broad and unlimited, and He is faithful who has promised.
When we do not receive the very things we asked for, at the time we ask, we are still to believe that the Lord hears and that He will answer our prayers. We are so erring and shortsighted that we sometimes ask for things that would not be a blessing to us, and our heavenly Father in love answers our prayers by giving us that which will be for our highest good—that which we ourselves would desire if with vision divinely enlightened we could see all things as they really are. When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most.
But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. If we take counsel with our doubts and fears, or try to solve everything that we cannot see clearly, before we have faith, perplexities will only increase and deepen.
But if we come to God, feeling helpless and dependent, as we really are, and in humble, trusting faith make known our wants to Him whose knowledge is infinite, who sees everything in creation, and who governs everything by His will and word, He can and will attend to our cry, and will let light shine into our hearts. Through sincere prayer we are brought into connection with the mind of the Infinite. We may have no remarkable evidence at the time that the face of our Redeemer is bending over us in compassion and love, but this is even so. We may not feel His visible touch, but His hand is upon us in love and pitying tenderness.
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When we come to ask mercy and blessing from God we should have a spirit of love and forgiveness in our own hearts. If we expect our own prayers to be heard we must forgive others in the same manner and to the same extent as we hope to be forgiven. Perseverance in prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must pray always if we would grow in faith and experience. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us. We must not fail to show others that we understand that watching unto prayer means living our prayers before God, that He may answer them.
It is our privilege to come to Him with holy boldness. As in sincerity we ask Him to let His light shine upon us, He will hear and answer us. But we must live in harmony with our prayers. They are of no avail if we walk contrary to them. I have seen a father who, after reading a portion of scripture and offering prayer, would often, almost as soon as he had risen from his knees, begin to scold his children.
How could God answer the prayer he had offered? And if, after scolding his children, a father offers prayer, does that prayer benefit the children? No; not unless it is a prayer of confession to God. Shall we be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive? Shall we be recipients of His mercies and never express our gratitude to God, never praise Him for what He has done for us? We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer.
We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You who complain that God does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants. Pray, pray earnestly and without ceasing, but do not forget to praise. This is His provision to sustain the preaching of the gospel. And by making this return to God, we are to show our appreciation of His gifts. But if we withhold from Him that which is His own, how can we expect Him to entrust us with the things of heaven?
It may be that here is the secret of unanswered prayer. We Insult God by Claiming the Promise Without Meeting the Conditions —There are conditions to the fulfillment of God's promises, and prayer can never take the place of duty. Those who bring their petitions to God, claiming His promise while they do not comply with the conditions, insult Jehovah. They bring the name of Christ as their authority for the fulfillment of the promise, but they do not those things that would show faith in Christ and love for Him.
In the prayer of faith there is a divine science; it is a science that everyone who would make his lifework a success must understand. He makes it plain that our asking must be according to God's will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will. The conditions met, the promise is unequivocal. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received.
We need look for no outward evidence of the blessing. The gift is in the promise, and we may go about our work assured that what God has promised He is able to perform, and that the gift, which we already possess, will be realized when we need it most. Our petitions must not take the form of a command, but of intercession for Him to do the things we desire of Him. All who obey Him may with confidence claim the fulfillment of His promises. But we must show a firm, undeviating trust in God.
Often He delays to answer us in order to try our faith or test the genuineness of our desire. Having asked according to His word, we should believe His promise and press our petitions with a determination that will not be denied. When those who know the truth practice the self-denial enjoined in God's word, the message will go with power. The Lord will hear our prayers for the conversion of souls. God's people will let their light shine forth, and unbelievers, seeing their good works, will glorify our heavenly Father.
It was His purpose to remain where He was till the death of Lazarus took place, that He might give the people an evidence of His divinity, not by restoring a dying man, but by raising to life a man that had been buried. This should be an encouragement to us. It is our privilege to ask for special blessings, and to believe that they will be given us. But if the blessings asked for are not immediately granted, we are not to think that our prayers are not heard. We shall receive, even if the answer is delayed for a time. In carrying out the plan of redemption, Christ sees enough in humanity to discourage Him.
But He does not become discouraged. In mercy and love He continues to offer us opportunities and privileges.
So we are to rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. The answer to our prayers may not come as quickly as we desire, and it may not be just what we have asked; but He who knows what is for the highest good of His children will bestow a much greater good than we have asked, if we do not become faithless and discouraged. We all desire immediate and direct answers to our prayers, and are tempted to become discouraged when the answer is delayed or comes in an unlooked-for form. But God is too wise and good to answer our prayers always at just the time and in just the manner we desire. He will do more and better for us than to accomplish all our wishes.
And because we can trust His wisdom and love, we should not ask Him to concede to our will, but should seek to enter into and accomplish His purpose. Our desires and interests should be lost in His will. These experiences that test faith are for our benefit. By them it is made manifest whether our faith is true and sincere, resting on the word of God alone, or whether depending on circumstances, it is uncertain and changeable. Faith is strengthened by exercise. We must let patience have its perfect work, remembering that there are precious promises in the Scriptures for those who wait upon the Lord.
I saw that the servants of God and the church were too easily discouraged. When they asked their Father in Heaven for things they thought they needed, and because it did not immediately come, their faith wavered, their courage fled, and a murmuring feeling took possession of them. This I saw displeased God. Every saint that comes to God with a true heart, in faith, and sends their honest petitions to Him, will have their prayers answered. Their faith must not let go of the promises of God if they do not see or feel the immediate answer of their prayers.
Be not afraid to trust God. Man is erring, and although his petitions are sent up from an honest heart, he does not always ask for the things that are good for himself, or that will glorify God. When this is so, our wise and good Father hears our prayers, and will answer; sometimes immediately, but gives us the things that are for our best good and His own glory.
If the children of God could see His plan, they would know that He gives them that which is for their best good. Although they may not receive just the things they expected, or asked for, yet their prayers were answered. Nothing hurtful was given, but the blessing they most needed, in the place of something they had asked for, that would not have been good for them, but to their hurt.
I saw if we did not feel immediate answers to our prayers, we should hold fast our faith, let no distrust come in; for that will separate us from God. If our faith wavers, we shall receive nothing from Him. Our confidence in God should be strong, and when we need it the most, the blessing will drop upon us like a shower of rain. When the servants of God have prayed for His Spirit and blessing, it sometimes comes immediately, but it is not always then bestowed.
At such times faint not. Let thy faith hold fast the promise, that it will come. Let thy trust be fully in God, and often that blessing will come when you need it the most, and unexpectedly you will receive help from God, when you are speaking the truth to unbelievers, and with clearness you can speak the word, and with power. It was represented to me like children asking a blessing of their earthly parents that love them. They ask something that the parent knows will hurt them; the parent gives them the things that will be good and healthy for them, in the place of that which the child desired.
I saw that every prayer that was sent up in faith from an honest heart will be heard of God and answered, and the one that sent up the petition will have the blessing when he needs it the most, and it will often exceed his expectations. Not a prayer of the true saint is lost if sent up from an honest heart in faith. After the prayer is made, if the answer is not realized immediately, do not weary of waiting and become unstable. Is the object important and of great consequence to you? Then waver not, for your faith may be tried. If the thing you desire is valuable, it is worthy of a strong, earnest effort.
Do you long to hear the voice of God?
You have the promise; watch and pray. Be steadfast and the prayer will be answered; for is it not God who has promised? If it costs you something to obtain it you will prize it the more when obtained. You are plainly told that if you waver you need not think that you shall receive anything of the Lord. A caution is here given not to become weary, but to rest firmly upon the promise. He wants to develop our character so we will be grounded in Christ and will properly steward the power He pours through us.
You can begin to operate in the Spirit the moment Christ enters your heart. This was true in my own life. Those encounters shaped who I am today. On the following pages are eight secrets to operating in the creative, miracle-power of God. The more of His presence you carry, the more power you will have. You cultivate this environment by spending time doing whatever it takes to have the person and presence of the Holy Spirit hanging out with you. Quickly confess and repent of the slightest leaning toward sin or spiritual darkness. Pray in tongues often. Cover yourself under the blood of Jesus.
Meditate in the Word. Express worship to the Lord through song and prayer. Constantly invite the Holy Spirit to be with you in evident ways as often as possible. Avoid anything that would grieve Him. True supernatural faith flows out of the spirit and affects the mind—not the other way around. Faith defies logic and natural reality for a higher spiritual reality. It causes natural things to line up with what God has already accomplished spiritually.
We must live in the Word and constantly renew our minds. Faith is born from revelation in the heart. When truth is revealed to your mind and heart by the Holy Spirit through the Word, faith comes alive on the inside of you. Add action to your faith. The power anointing comes for a reason and has an intended purpose. You must be intentional in looking for opportunities in which this anointing will be needed. Stay focused and tenacious.
This action will release the power of God and produce the miraculous. Passionately pursue spiritual gifts. I often lay my hands on my own belly during times of prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to stir up and manifest the gifts of the Spirit that are within me. Spiritual gifts of healing, working of miracles, words of knowledge and faith are all invaluable manifestations for the ministry of the miraculous. As you ask God to stir them up, He will.
They are given freely by the Holy Spirit just as salvation is. You can have all of them—and the more you pursue them, the more you will have! Practice prayer and fasting. When Jesus was asked why the disciples had no success, He said it was because of their unbelief. To operate in the supernatural we must develop a keen sensitivity to the person of the Holy Spirit. He saw signs and wonders on a consistent basis in His daily life, but He never prayed the same way twice.
He was unconventional but completely Spirit-led. His ability to hear and see the actions of His heavenly Father came out of the time He spent with Him in prayer and communion. If you want to sensitize your spiritual eyes and ears, you must put yourself in a place where you can see and hear God.
When you exercise your spiritual senses by learning to listen and not just talk, you will be led by the Spirit to see wonderful manifestations of His power. Associate with the anointing. If God wants to give me something, He can come right here into my room. Of course God can meet us in our own rooms, and many times He does. Find people and ministries that are carrying God and get around them. We learn from one another and receive impartation of power through association. These corporate encounters with God do not replace your hidden devotion expressed in the place of private prayer.
They simply add to and enhance your relationship with God. My fellowship with them has not only stirred my faith but also released a transference of wisdom, revelation and power into my own life and ministry. Anointed fellowship, whether from meeting with another person or from listening to anointed teaching CDs and videos, is crucial to cultivating the anointing in your life.
Be motivated by love. Love must be the foundation for everything you do. Without it, power can lead to pride and self-inflation. It was because of love that Jesus walked in total obedience. It was because of love that the power of sin and Satan were defeated. Love is what motivates our faith see Gal. Love is what causes us to live in the Spirit. Love is the greatest virtue of all.