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How to Get Your Prayers Answered

by Tom Brown

You should pray to get results. Unfortunately, many people pray, but they don't receive specific answers to their prayers. I'm going to show you how to pray to get answers. Once you know how to get answers to your prayers, you'll never be in need. You'll never have to stay sick, stay broke, or stay defeated all the days of your life.


The first and most important step for getting answers to your prayers is this: Find scriptures that definitely promise you the specific thing you are praying for.


When people say that they're praying for something, I like to ask, "What scripture or scriptures are you standing on in order to get what you are asking?" Often, people answer, "Well, nothing in particular." Well, that's what they'll get, Nothing in particular


Jesus says, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you" (John 15:7). Notice that Jesus began this promise with a little word called "if". The word "if" is a little word with consequences. The word "if" means that this promise for answered prayer is conditional upon something. What is it? Jesus says that you can ask whatever you wish, so long as "my words remain in you."


You must have God's word abiding in you if you expect an answer to your prayer. Often Christians pray for something, such as healing, yet they don't have any promise from God abiding in them which guarantees that God will answer.


God has made many promises to heal you. What you need to do is find those promises and meditate on them until they become real to you. By doing this, you will be able to fight doubt when your healing doesn't manifest immediately.


You see if you pray for healing and do not know God's promises to heal you, when the symptoms persist, you'll begin to doubt that the answer is coming. Once you doubt, the answer is cancelled.


James 1:6-7 says, "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord." God answers only believing prayer, not doubting prayer.


Someone might say, "But if God doesn't heal us in response to our prayers, then maybe God does not want us to be well. It may not be His will to heal us."


The truth is, God's Word is His will. If you want to know what God's will is, then look at His Word. He only promises things that He is willing to do. Since He has promised us healing, we can be assured that it is His will to heal us. By not knowing His Word, delays in answers may make us think that God is denying us the answers. But by knowing the Word, delays are simply opportunities to stand on God's Word in faith.




The second step for answered prayer is this: You must ask God for what you want and believe that you receive it.


What is it that you want? Be specific and ask.


Dr. Cho, the pastor of the world's largest church, said that many years ago when South Korea was poor, he asked God for a bicycle. Back then a bicycle was a big thing. Well, several months had elapsed, but he had not received the bicycle. Finally he asked the Lord why it was taking so long for Him to answer this prayer. The Lord answered, "Son, you didn't tell Me what kind of bicycle you wanted. There are many different brands, different colors, and different manufacturers. Be specific. What kind of bicycle do you want?"


I think many people need to be specific in their requests. Jesus asked a blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" It would seem obvious that the man wanted his sight. But Jesus never assumes to know your desire. He wants you to tell Him.


Once you are specific in your request, you must believe that you have received the answer, even before you can see the answer.


Jesus says in Mark 11:24, "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Notice that this scripture does not say to believe that you will receive. No! It says to believe that you have received. This means that you must believe that you have the answer already, even before you physically possess the answer. This is faith.


Many times people are praying, thinking that they are believing, when in reality they are not believing, but hoping. Hope and faith are not the same. You cannot expect to receive from hope what is promised only to faith. Faith is what is required in prayer.


If you're praying and expecting that God will, sometime in the future, answer your prayer, then you are not believing but hoping. Faith says that God has answered my prayer the very moment that I prayed. Are you believing or hoping?


I'm reminded of a story that Happy Caldwell once told. When he was a sinner, he and his buddies used to love getting drunk. One day, they were driving down an old Arkansas highway when they drove past a run-down tavern. Its sign read: FREE BEER, TOMORROW.


"Whoa!" they were excited. They could hardly wait to guzzle down the free beer. The next day, they sped back to that old tavern.


"The sign for free beer is still up!" Happy exclaimed. They jumped out of their car, busted down the tavern's doors, and shouted to the bartender, "Hey! Give us some free beer!"


"What are you talking about?" the bartender asked.


The guys pointed to the sign, "You advertised free beer. That's what we've come for."


The bartender smiled, "Free beer—tomorrow!"


The devil is like the bartender. He will get you thinking that tomorrow you'll get your answer. And when tomorrow gets here, he'll say, "Wait until tomorrow." As long as you are waiting for tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. God says, "Believe that you have the answer today--NOW!" This is what Jesus meant in Mark 11:24: "...whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."




The third step for getting your prayers answered is this: Thank God for the answer, before you can see it. Since you have already believed that God has answered your prayer, the only logical step is to thank Him in advance for the answer. Doing this proves that you trust God's Word.


You may ask, "How can I thank God for answering my prayer, when I don't see the answer yet?" Because He promised the answer, and that's good enough for you to thank Him.


Suppose a gentleman promised me that he was going to buy a new suit for me next week. Would I say, "Sir, when you actually buy it and I'm wearing it, then I'll be grateful and thank you for it. But I'm not going to thank you until I am wearing the new suit you promised." Of course I wouldn't say that. I would immediately thank him for the new suit, even though I don't actually have it yet. I thank him, because I believe his word is good. The same is true of God.


God promised to answer our prayers, and His promise is good enough to solicit gratitude from us. So after you have prayed and believed that you have received the answer, then thank God for the answer.




The fourth and final step for answered prayer is this: Let every thought affirm that you have the answer to your prayer.


It is this last step that many believers stumble over. They will do fine until this last step, because many believers do not know how to fight the devil. Satan battles against the mind. The mind is the arena where the battle is fought.


Do not allow any negative thoughts to enter your mind. Let your mind affirm that you have the petitions that you requested from God. The reason you need to keep your mind on positive things is because doubt begins in the mind. And if you can keep it out of your mind, then you can keep it out of your heart.


These are the four practical steps to answered prayer!





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