I spent much of my life praying in vain for the sick. Only a few of those I prayed for ever got healed. But in the last couple of years I have begun to discover why my prayers were so powerless. I now realize that what I thought was faith was nothing more than wishful thinking. In short, I have learned that there is a difference between the Biblical way to pray and the way I used to pray. I’ve changed the way I pray and the results speak for themselves. I’m not yet healing every one, but by the grace of God I’m on my way!
I have had many good teachers but much of what I write here has been inspired by Andrew Wommack’s helpful book, A Better Way to Pray. If you want to dig deeper or if you have questions, I strongly recommend that you get a hold of this book.
In Part 1 of this study I outlined five contrasts between the traditional and Biblical ways to pray. Probably the most important lesson I have learned so far, is that Jesus wants us to speak directly to our mountains.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mk 11:22-24)
When you are faced with a mountain-sized problem, the temptation is to run and tell God all about it. But He already knows about your problem and He’s already provided everything you need to overcome it. Perhaps you need healing. He has already provided it (1 Pe 2:24). Perhaps you need finances. Already done (2 Co 8:9). As usual, your heavenly Father is a million steps ahead of you.
Don’t talk to God about your mountain; talk to your mountain about God! Okay, so what do you say? How do you talk to a mountain? Well you could talk about your mighty King whose name is above every name (Ph 2:9). Your mountain has a name. Cancer has a name. Depression has a name. God has commanded that all these things must bow to the name of Jesus (Ph 2:10). Wommack suggests you could pray like this:
“Father, thank You that Your name is above every name… These things the doctor told me are in my body have names. You are above them all! Thank You that You are greater, stronger, and more powerful than all of this.” (pp.33-34)
Notice how we have begun by focusing on our mighty Father and not the problem. In small groups there is a temptation to gather around our problems, but in that way lies death. We are to gather around the name of Jesus. Sometimes this is not easy! When we’ve heard bad news there is often a battle between fear and faith. We have to strive to enter His rest. But don’t pray while you are full of fear. Fear will get you speaking worry and negativity turning your prayers into words of death. “What he says will happen,” said Jesus. So watch your words and take care where you put your faith.
The best thing to do with your anxieties is cast them on the Lord (Ps 55:22). Fortify your mind by declaring God’s promises to yourself. When I’m battling with a bad report my two favorite words are, “Surely He…” (Is 53:4). He surely did! Praise Him for it. Then when faith has risen in your heart, you are ready to deal with the problem:
“Father, this is so small in comparison to what You’re able to do. I shouldn’t even have to ask, but the doctor did say I’m going to die. So since Jesus has already provided my healing, I’ll just receive it!” (p.34)
God has supplied everything you need by grace (Eph 1:3). Faith doesn’t move God to do what He’s already done; faith moves mountains. Praise the Lord for carrying all your infirmities on the cross and then command your mountain to bow to Jesus. Jesus said all authority on heaven and earth had been given to Him (Mt 28:18). He has jurisdiction everywhere and there is no place your mountain can hide from His authority. The problem you are confronting may be the result of a generational curse, bad DNA, bad behavior or whatever. It doesn’t matter. Jesus is Lord. Period. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we are re-presenting His cross-wrought victory and His irresistible authority:
“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Lk 10:19)
Have faith in God and speak to your mountain! “Rebuke with all authority” (Tit 2:15) and send it into the sea.
In Part 3 of this study, I want to look at how we can respond when our prayers seem to go unanswered. Stay tuned!