|Praying on Purpose|
Praying for Results:
How men prevail with God
"Praying on Purpose, Praying for Results - How Men Prevail with God."
Men and women have been getting miracles from God for eons when they believed. Jesus said,
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24
I know the objections. I have had them myself. I have allowed my doubting mind to argue with God all day long. You know what came of it? Nothing! Absolutely nothing, unless you want to count disappointment as something.
Can you demonstrate the kind of faith that prevails with God? Why not? What keeps you from declaring unabashedly, “I believe Jesus can perform MY miracle, no matter what!”
Mileage? No problem! Complexity? No problem! Circumstances? No problem. “What things soever you shall ask in my name!”
WHATSOEVER you ask.
I can’t see where that excludes any legitimate request of any kind.
If you are a died-in-the-wool skeptic, you are probably asking, “Do YOU always get your miracle like that?”
I’m glad you asked.
I don’t always get what I ask, because just like most people, I don’t always ask in faith. I have issues with doubt. I have issues with fear. I have issues with unbelief. So do I get miracles on those terms? Not on your life.
There was an old man of God who lived to be more than 90 years old. He never spent one night in a hospital in his lifetime. He was known far and wide as a man of great faith. Hundreds, if not thousands of people claim to have been healed and received amazing miracles when he prayed for them. He even raised several people from the dead in his lifetime.
But the real story behind the story is that that old gentleman’s great faith came through devastating experiences. As a young man, he spent days in prayer and fasting for a sister who was critically ill. After coming in from an intense prayer meeting in the woods, his sister still died in his arms. And that happened not just one time. A second sister also died in his arms, even after he had exhausted himself in fervent prayer.
So, did his losses dissuade him from being a miracle worker? Did the death of his dear ones cause him to dismiss God as a healer or a miracle worker? As I see it, the exact opposite is true! The record of his lifetime revealed that those losses did nothing but make him more determined to find the real source of the miracle-working power of God.
And he DID find it, and over his many years he performed countless amazing miracles by that same faith in God.
There is little in the world to challenge your faith more than failure.
My wife died in my arms at 2:48 in the morning. I was holding her when she drew her last breath. She was only 50 years old. There was no one else left in the house but God and me. During the six years she had been sick, I had prayed as hard and long as any man ever prayed for his wife.
I could have stopped believing in miracles right then and there.
But something happened in me that night that made me forever determined not to allow her death to make me turn my back on the eternal Truth that God is and always will be a miracle worker.
We must not allow ourselves to be a victim of our losses, defeats, or failures. We must not lose our determination to stand upon the Word of God, or to claim the miracles, signs and wonders He PROMISED that we could have! Satan would be delighted if we quit, but this is not about him.
Hannah was barren for many years, but she prayed, and miraculously bore Samuel. Samuel became one of the greatest prophets of all time because of a mother’s prevailing prayer.
One of the best teachers of any great truth is failure. Sometimes, the most powerful lessons are learned through trial and error. Unfortunately, in some cases, we only learn through a process of elimination. After we have tried everything the WRONG way, we decide to try something that turns out RIGHT. We must learn to prevail in prayer, against every hindrance.
Our perseverance will impact not only our own lives, but also the lives of our descendants and all who know us. Entire generations of civilization have been lost to sin because their fathers gave up on God. Entire nations have been alienated from God because their fathers lost their faith in God. Tragically, the circumstances of each new generation are handed to them from their forefathers. If forefathers fail, whole generations are lost.
But by the same logic, entire families and communities have come to the knowledge of God because of a few godly ancestors. One man’s faith or failure can have a long-standing “ripple-effect.”
Jacob had failed many, many times in his life. But he never stopped pursuing the blessing of God. At last, he prevailed.
“Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.
And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.
And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and HAST PREVAILED. …And he blessed him there.” Genesis 32:24-29
You can talk about Jacob’s prevailing prayer, and how it blessed him. But I want you to consider that Jacob’s ordeal with the angel that night was not merely about Jacob.
Jacob was fighting for you and me that night. If Jacob had not prevailed with God, we would never have heard the name “ISRAEL.”
Israel is here today because of prevailing prayer, and Israel is our link to God. In Israel, all the nations of the earth are blessed.
PREVAILING PRAYER is the lifeline to more of God than any of us can imagine.
One of the worst indictments on modern Christianity is its inability to engage in prevailing prayer. Most modern Churches don’t have the withal to call a prayer line where the sick and infirm stand before a powerful man of God and receive a miracle ON THE SPOT!
We have entire “Christian” denominations whose doctrinal platforms officially deny that God even does miracles today! That kind of spiritual environment has a malignant, deadly effect on the entire “Christian” community.
Compare that to the ancient Christian practices.
Jesus told the early believers that they were going to receive POWER after they received the Holy Ghost. That word in Greek (“dunamis”) could be translated DYNAMITE in English. Explosive power. More power than a human can contain.
Ask yourself, “Have I ever felt that kind of power in me? Is there any of that dynamite in me?” Have you ever felt so “high” on the faith of God that you were ready to boldly command a miracle without even a speck of reluctance or hesitation, and with an unstoppable determination to prevail with God in prayer?
That is how you command a miracle. Speak the positive word of faith in God, and you will have what you ask.
So what is the best way to embark on a life of prevailing prayer? How does someone who has rarely, if ever, practiced commanding miracles?
If the only way you can believe in miracles is to vaguely and impotently throw a prayer into the wind and “hope for the best,” you will probably never see many miracles as a result of your praying.
Jesus trained His disciples by making them follow Him around the countryside while He performed all kinds of miracles. He put His power to the test as they looked on.
Jesus turned the water into wine “on demand.” They needed it right then, and He did it right then. The wedding celebration was almost over, and soon folks would be going home. It was now or never. Get the water pots. Fill them up. Pour them out. The wine was flowing.
On demand. A miracle on demand.
Why is it important for me to talk to you this way? Because most of us are content to pray a generic prayer, and walk away and leave it all to the wind. If a miracle comes, fine, but if it doesn’t, we just won’t speak of it again. That is not the way we should deal with it.
God has given us His great power. It is an insult to God not to use it.
If you do not have the faith to command a miracle, or declare a miracle or at the very least EXPECT a miracle, then I would like to know, “WHY NOT?”
Is it because you think that somehow OTHER people can do it, but you can’t? Do you think other people have great faith, but you can’t?
God called you out of darkness into His marvelous light so you would show forth His praises. You were not born to run around helpless and ashamed of your Christianity. God did not create you to spend your time on earth as a powerless, defenseless victim of circumstances.
“I GIVE YOU POWER!” Jesus said.
What are you going to do with that power? Die in your misery? Take a whipping from every problem that ever comes down the pike?
What a tragic fate! You can do better than that.
“God is going to do a great thing for you!” How difficult is that to say? Is there any reason why those words will not come out of your mouth? It is the stuff of miracles.
Words produce miracles.
God Almighty created the whole universe with nothing but words. Jesus performed countless miracles with nothing but words. Elijah called down fire from heaven with nothing but words.
Stop and think about it. Everything in the universe is the product of thought. When John wrote in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was God…,” the Greek root for ‘word’ is ‘LOGOS’, which means, “thought or arrangement.”
So God was THOUGHT. Arrangement.
And God SAID… “Let there be…” and there WAS.
We are made in the image of God. We see because God sees. We hear because God hears. We feel because God feels. And we THINK because God thinks.
But do we SPEAK as God speaks?
“But,” you may say, “ME speaking is not the same as God speaking!”
It is certainly true that a lot of what we say is not the way God speaks.
But what if you DO speak as God speaks? What if you DO speak creatively in His name?
Put these three things together. Faith. Words. Expectation.
There is no “magic formula.” There is no special phrase, nor mantra, nor chant to perform. But there is infinite power simply in the name of Jesus.
It is not good enough just to hear somebody else’s story.
YOU can prevail with God. God will do miracles for YOU, if you will have them.
What does it take to have a miracle?
Throughout the entire length of this book, I have shown you countless examples of prayers that prevailed.
It is now time to digest everything that has been said, and put it into action. It is now time to get your miracles.
It is time now for PREVAILING PRAYER.
Just do it.
Don’t make it complicated or difficult.
One preacher I know who has performed as many miracles as any preacher I ever knew, told me that the first thing you have to do is just “turn your brain off.”
I knew what he meant. You have to cut off the source of unbelief. You have to silence your carnal mind. You have to shut out all the arguments. You have to deprive doubt of its voice.
Get after it.
“Prevailing, or effectual prayer, is that prayer which attains the blessing that it seeks.” Charles G. Finney 1792-1875
“It is the habit of faith, when she is praying, to use pleas. Mere prayer sayers, who do not pray at all, forget to argue with God; but those who prevail bring forth their reasons and their strong arguments.” Charles H. Spurgeon 1834-1892
“All great soul-winners have been men of much and mighty prayer, and all great revivals have been preceded and carried out by persevering, prevailing knee-work in the closet.” Samuel Logan Brengle 1860-1936
“When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6-7
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