The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (NKJV) – James 5:16b
There are largely 2 types of Christians in the world;
Those who believe that when they have any need, God already knows and will provide it for them when he is ready.
This group further believe that if he hasn’t provided it, it’s because either it’s not his will or he is not ready i.e. it is not the right time. Therefore, they either stop asking for it or keep asking for years and years and years and maybe die with that problem/need because, well, nothing is promised and we should be grateful with just having life and being born again.
The other set of people believe that when they have any need they can go into the word of God, find out what the will of God is and get the need met.
They know that God’s will isn’t hidden from them and that they can petition God for results based on that word. They are praying to get results and they believe they have received their requests according to the Word of God and step out in faith casting out demons and other oppositions on their way.
I belong to the 2nd class of people but up until 5 years ago I used to belong to the 1st class of people; always confused about if I was praying right, if God can hear me, if my prayer was well arranged etc. Recently I decided to study the method of praying to get results for myself from the Bible and here is what I found!
If you belong to the 1st class of people, you may struggle with this article but I implore you to drop your doctrine and look at the Bible for yourself. This article is loaded with scriptures so your faith will be on the word of God and not mine. Before I go forward, here are some scriptural examples of praying to get results. I pray you see that prayers are powerful and can get mighty things done.
Gen 20: 7 So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; (NKJV)
2 Kings 4:33 – He went in, shut the door, and prayed to the LORD. And the flesh of the child became warm, and the child opened his eyes (paraphrased) (NKJV)
2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (NKJV)
Job 42: 10 And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. (NKJV)
Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. (NKJV)
Acts 16: 25 – 26 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. (NKJV)
Acts 28: 8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. (NKJV)
James 5:17 – 18 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (NKJV)
From the above scriptures, I hope you have been able to see that you are supposed to be praying to get results; if men like you and me performed such feats I don’t know why we can’t do same.
Now let’s head to the steps of praying to get results. The main text for this comes from 2 Chronicles 20 (NKJV); the very famous prayer of Jehoshaphat.
Background: It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi).
Step 1: And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah…So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD…O our God, we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. (paraphrased)
- Instruction – The very first thing to do when you have a need/problem etc. is to first to get instruction/direction from God. This involves finding out what the will of God is. We see this a lot in the life of David; before each and every battle or decision he first sought out God’s face on the matter and didn’t do anything before he had the will of God on the matter. This is where a lot of people miss it, they fail to take the time and discipline to hear what Gods will is instead they rush off to pray or do things and when they fail they blame it on God. I must also issue a warning here, the Bible is the first step into the will of God. There is no will of God that you may ‘hear’ that doesn’t have a place in the bible.
- The Holy Spirit – In this times where we don’t have priests whose job it is to get God’s will for us, we have the Bible and the Holy Spirit and technology thus finding what God says on a matter from the Bible isn’t so difficult. (Not to make this too long, let me know if you want me to do a detailed, practical blog on getting Gods will from the Bible)
- Fasting – this was needed so he could hear God more clearly; there is a deeper level of hearing from God you are privy to when you set yourself apart for a time just to seek God.
- Asking for Help – The first prayer Jehoshaphat made was a call for help – “we don’t know what to do O Lord, show us the way”. This prayer requires humility and a yielded heart. Many of us assume we know what should be done so we pray – oh Lord punish my enemies, send me 100k etc. but Gods thoughts is far from ours and his ways from our ways.
You won’t get results from your prayers until you learn to seek for and yield to God’s will first!
Step 2: Then the Spirit of the LORD came …And he said, “Listen, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you. (paraphrased)
- Revelation – Here we see the Spirit of God in operation bringing instruction and direction. After praying, what you will receive is FIRST instruction/revelation.
Many of us pray and then start checking for the manifestation but that’s not the procedure. When you pray God will issue instruction and give you revelation on what to do.
Why is this important? GOD IS IN A STATE OF REST!!! He has been resting since the 7th day and he is not actively creating dollars/husbands/jobs in heaven! (Hebrews 4:3-5) All things have been given to us already so God doesn’t have dollars to send me from heaven what he has is the instruction to get the dollars here on earth!
Step 3: And Jehoshaphat bowed his head, worshiping the LORD. Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high. (paraphrased) (NKJV)
- Worship & Praise – once the will of God is known then you have joy and an assurance which is when faith comes. And your most appropriate response is Praise! Praise says I agree with God that it will be done unto me. Even when the answer hasn’t physically manifested, you can start rejoicing knowing that God keeps his word.
Step 4: Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” (paraphrased) (NIV)
- Faith – Faith is the substance of things hoped for! After you have the will of God, the only thing left for you to do is to stand on that word in faith. (Matt 17:20) It is faith that will produce what you need (Hebrews 11); not hope or wishful thinking or crying or begging God. God responds to faith! (Luke 7:9)
At the end of this beautiful story we then see the marvelous manifestation of God’s power on the Israelite’s behalf. Check it yourself, look into the bible to any work of God and you will see these 4 steps in different variants in operation.
I charge you to stop praying ineffective prayers and start praying to get results by following these steps. I await your testimony!
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