Keys to Answered Prayer
Keys to Answered Prayer
by Charles Capps
One of the keys to answered prayer is to believe you receive when you pray. “...What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)
The faith principle of Mark 11:23 states that you can have what you say. It is a faith principle which you can employ every day by speaking right words. Another key to answered prayer is to speak in agreement with your prayers daily. Control the words that come out of your mouth.
For example, one day I was having a problem with a tractor. It had given me trouble a couple of times and I wanted to say, “That thing comes apart every time I take it to the field.” I knew better than to say it, but it just rose up within me and it wanted to come out so bad. I told my wife I would just love to make a bad confession here, but I didn’t dare do it. I have trained myself to believe that what I say will come to pass. My mind is renewed to God’s Word.
Jesus went on to say in verse 24 that it will also work in prayer. You can use the same principle in prayer. He shall have whatsoever he saith. He didn’t have it then, but he shall have it. Many Christians cancel their prayer with unwise words.
Believe and Receive
Mark 11:23 is a faith principle. It is not a prayer scripture. Verse 24 says, “Therefore (or because of this faith principle) I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them.”
Whatsoever things - whatsoever things you desire. He didn’t say, “If it is God’s will for you to have it.” He said Whatsoever things you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them.
Now when are you going to believe that you receive them? You are not going to believe it when you see it, if you go by the Word of God. You must believe it when you pray. He said, “When you pray, believe.” What is the evidence that I received when I prayed? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
If I believed that I received this morning when I prayed, I wouldn’t dare get up tomorrow morning and pray the same prayer. That would be proof that I hadn’t believed.
Somebody may say, “But it has not manifested yet.” But it doesn’t say, “Believe when it is manifested.” When ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. It doesn’t say you have them, but you shall have them. They are not manifest yet, but you have received God’s Word. Therefore you have received them in your spirit.
How can you receive something that is not manifest yet? You receive it in your spirit. Your spirit man receives it as done. When you are praying, you are operating in spiritual law. You are operating in the spirit realm, not in the intellect. You are tapping the spiritual resources of God. You need to realize, in doing this, that you don’t have the same physical evidence that you do when you are operating in the natural realm.
Things may look worse after you have prayed. In fact, some have told me, “You know, after we agreed in prayer, it got worse.” Don’t get excited about that. Did you believe when you prayed? Did you believe when we agreed that you received it? The thing that will determine whether you believed it or not is this: When the circumstances look worse, do you still believe what we agreed upon?
For instance, you are needing a certain amount of money and you pray believing you receive. When you get up the next morning, you find the car won’t start and the washing machine breaks down. Are you still believing that your financial needs are met? Most people won’t. They will say, “Oh, dear Lord, just as I figured, it didn’t work out.”
There is such a thing as prayer just to be praying. We might even call it religious praying. It is praying just because it seems like the thing to do, not believing anything, just praying. Evidently, this was the case in Acts 12. James had been killed and Herod proceeded to take Peter also.
“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” (Acts 12:5 NKJV)
You find that the whole church was praying; but it must have been religious praying, for when the angel let Peter out, he went to the house of John’s mother where many were praying:
“And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate.” (Acts 12:13-14 NKJV)
Up until now, everything seems to be rather normal, but listen to the confession of those who were praying: “But they said to her, ‘You are beside yourself!’ Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, ‘It is his angel.’ Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.” (Acts 12:15-16 NKJV)
Evidently, Rhoda was the only one who agreed with what they were praying. Their saying surely was not in line with their praying, was it? You are out of your mind... It is his angel. To them, Peter was already dead! I wouldn’t want people like that praying for me! The servant girl, Rhoda, was the only one in the whole house who believed the answer when it appeared, and everyone thought she had gone crazy. I am glad the Bible doesn’t hide these things because it lets us know that they were human. They would only believe Rhoda’s faith confession after they saw Peter.
I really believe that Rhoda was the only one in that whole prayer group who had prayed in faith. Evidently, she had already prayed and was cleaning the house while everyone else was too busy being religious to open the door for Peter. The way they talked, I suspect that they were praying the problem. If it hadn’t been for someone praying and believing the answer, they would have prayed Peter right into his grave.
Prayer alone does not bring deliverance. It is the prayer of faith that brings deliverance.
Conceived in Your Spirit
Here is the simplest way I know to put it: When you believe God and release your faith in prayer, it is conceived in the womb of the spirit and will be manifested. It will be brought forth, if you hold fast to your confession of faith.
It is as though a child is conceived in his mother’s womb. When you believe you receive, your answer is then conceived in your spirit. Time may pass before it is manifest; but just as sure as a child will be delivered from his mother’s womb, so will the answer to your prayer come forth in due season.
“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (Hebrews 10:36 KJV) Patience is a spiritual force which undergirds your faith and causes you to be constant through the trial.
Here is one of the problems. So many times we have thought God said to hold fast to the prayer. But that is not it at all. He told us not to use vain repetitions as the heathen who think God will hear them because of repeating it over and over. No. That is not what God said in His Word. He said, When ye pray, believe.
So I am going to release my faith when I pray. Therefore if I release my faith when I pray, He says that I shall have it. It is settled then. It is finished, thank God. I don’t care if it looks worse in the morning, I will not take it up again in prayer, but will hold fast to my confession.
Now let me qualify some of those statements. If you go for a long period of time and your request is not manifested but is still getting worse, you have missed it somewhere. If you have missed it, admit it and ask God where you missed it. You have missed it somewhere if it is not working.
Remove the Hindrances to Prayer
Many times we stop at verse 24 in Mark 11, but let’s go on to verses 25 and 26. Have you ever noticed that every time Jesus taught on prayer He mentioned forgiveness? If my prayers were not being answered, the first question I would ask myself would be, “Am I holding something against someone?” or “Have I forgiven those who have done me wrong?”
Knowing God’s will is a key to answered prayer. It is difficult if not impossible to have faith while praying if you do not know the will of God. Ask yourself, “If Jesus was here, how would He pray?” “Would He lay hands on me and pray for healing, deliverance, and that my needs would be met?” God’s will is expressed in Jesus’ words and actions here on earth. He healed and set free every person who came to Him. Jesus told His disciples to pray that the will of God be done in earth as it is in heaven. Then He must be saying to pray that there be no disease on this earth and that there be no poverty here.
Learn the Rules of Prayer
You could say, “Well, I believe in prayer, then prayer ought to work for me,” in the same way you could say, “I believe in flying; therefore I ought to be able to fly.” Just because you believe in flying does not mean you can get in that 747 and fly it. You might get it off the ground, and you might get in trouble, to say the least!
Well, what makes us think the Word of God is any different? If we are going to operate in the Word accurately, we will have to spend time learning.
We could sum it up by saying that prayer is not telling God the problem. Whatever you desire is what you should pray, not the problem. Turn loose of the problem. Take hold of the answer and make it your prayer and your confession of faith.
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