How to Have Miraculous Answers to PRAYER
AMBASSADOR CHRISTIAN COLLEGE‐ Dr. Keith Slough
INTRODUCTION "But be ye DOERS of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22). As you study these lessons, are you applying the truths you are learning? If not, then you are wasting your own time. But even more importantly you now are more responsible than ever before. Knowledge is useful only if applied. If all you do is read these truths from the Bible, then you are "deceiving" your own self! Carefully read Luke 12:47‐48. Read it now and understand that God holds each of us more accountable when we have more knowledge than others who don't know these truths. God will hold you accountable for the truths you are learning. You may want to go back to previous issues and read these truths and make sure you are obeying God in what HE is revealing to you. In this lesson you will learn about the missing key to answered prayer. Start using it. Start following these principles. Some religious folks go to church, sometimes are thoroughly entertained by the sermon, but on Monday can't tell you what they learned in church. Why? They probably did not take what was said seriously. They took no notes to study later to enable them to apply those things in their personal lives. To learn the truths you are learning now and not apply them in your personal life is TRAGIC! If you do apply these truths you will receive great Blessings for doing so! Few people in the world know the truths you are learning in this school! The majority of the world's population has not even understood the Gospel. A large percentage has never even heard the very Name of Jesus! Much less have a chance to learn what you are learning! How tragic to let these things slip your mind and be careless with these jewels of truth God is giving you! You recently learned about SOWING and REAPING. You learned how to reap the supply of your own personal needs by giving to the poor. Have you started doing that yet? If not, why not? Check yourself. And don't be careless with the TRUTH OF GOD that He has chosen you to receive! If you are not regularly giving to the poor find those to whom you can start giving to obeying God you are putting off receiving the blessings God intends for you to have!! If you are not yet faithfully paying the required tithe to God’s Work according to Malachi 3: 10 and Galatians 6:6, then you are stealing from God and you are a THIEF. Stealing transgresses the Law of God which is defined as sin. Repent now and begin obeying God in tithing to God’s Work and giving to the poor. Start using the missing key to answered prayer you will learn in this lesson. Start applying and obeying what you are learning. To delay is to deceive yourself as you are blocking the blessing God wants you to have. We must all take the Word of God to heart.
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The Missing Key to POWER in
PRAYER There is a vitally important KEY to unlock real, genuine prayer power. The Bible tells us that if we use THIS key that we can have confidence that all our prayers will be answered! Most people are praying the wrong way resulting in lack of confidence that their prayers will be answered. Study this lesson, and learn now about the missing KEY to Answered Prayer! OU CAN HAVE YOUR prayers answered! And not just once in a while. The Bible gives us the MISSING KEY that most people do not use in their prayers. Once this important key is understood and used regularly you will begin to see miraculous answers to your prayers! Why is it that most Believers struggle in prayer? Why do many prayer over and over again, begging, beseeching and pleading with God to do a certain thing for them without getting the answer? Didn't Jesus say, "Ask and ye shall receive"? (Matthew 7:7). Yes He did. But our churches are not educating Believers how to pray correctly. Even some ministers have been overheard to pray incorrectly at the bedside of a loved one. God's people don't know because the ministers don't know. And if they don't know then the seminaries that lead young ministers in learning the Bible, providing their ministerial education, don't know. Jesus said if the blind lead the blind both will fall into the ditch. Knowing how to receive answered prayer may be a matter of life and death for each of us some day. It is long overdue that Christians learn the missing key that unlocks the power in prayer. You can have your prayers answered! You can receive healing! You CAN receive miracles. But you can only do it if you know the key to answered prayer.
The Missing Key in Prayer Have you ever heard someone pray, "If it be thy will, do such and such for this person"? Perhaps they are praying for healing for another. Even some ministers (who ought to know better) have prayed for healing for those in the hospital and have prayed "If it be thy will" because they did not know the will of God where healing was concerned, or whatever the need was. Without knowing God's will in the matter, you are "praying in the dark." Without knowing God's will you cannot pray with confidence and faith. And without faith you cannot please God! (Hebrews 11:6). First John 5:14‐15 gives us a guaranteed promise concerning answered prayer.
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We can have CONFIDENCE if we pray correctly that each prayer will be answered! How? By praying according to God’s will! Notice: “And this is the confidence we have in Him that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and that if we know He hears us, then whatsoever we ask, we know we HAVE the petitions that we desired of Him.” This is an absolute promise of Almighty God in His Holy Word and therefore has to be true as “the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Many well‐meaning Christians have assumed they are to pray, “If it be thy will.” The churches of this world have not understood the plain teaching of the Bible regarding prayer. What a pity that so many millions of professing Christians attend churches where they are not being taught the truth regarding answered prayer. John was inspired to write concerning the last days that the whole world has been deceived by Satan (Revelation 12:9). It grieves me especially to hear a Pastor pray for someone who is seriously ill to hear them pray, "Lord IF it by thy will, heal this person." This is not only gross ignorance but is a slap in the face to the Almighty!! It is an insult to God! For God plainly tells us what His will is! Ephesians 5:17 tells us not to be "unwise" concerning the will of the Lord. God intends for us to know His will! Jesus knew God's wm and quoted the Word of God to defeat the devil when Satan brought temptations against Him (Luke 4). And here we have an immutable promise from God that if we pray according to God's will He is hearing us and will grant our petitions! The question then is how we determine the will of God in any given situation before we pray. This knowledge of God's will is critical in order to have the "confidence" that we know we have the petition we are bringing before God. That confidence is our faith. And when we are praying for the terminally ill, knowing what God's will is can be a matter of life and death for the person we are praying for! God has told us that it is His will for us to KNOW His will! Read it in your own Bible in Colossians 1:9. God desires "that ye might be FILLED with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding"! Not understanding God's will is considered "unwise" (Ephesians 5: 17). To pray unwisely is to pray foolishly! Understand! Anytime a minister prays for a sick person and prays "if it by thy will" he is praying foolishly! The Bible teaches that even the very thought of foolishness is SIN! (Proverbs 24:9). But some well meaning people have asked, "Didn't Jesus pray that way?"
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Jesus KNEW God's Will! Over and over again Jesus showed that He did know the will of God concerning the plan for His vicarious sacrifice on the cross. Notice: "From that time forth began Jesus to show unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priest and scribes and be killed, and be raised again the third day" (Matthew 16:21). This was God's plan ‐His will ‐for His son. Jesus knew that. Why then did Jesus say in the garden of Gethsemane, "If it by thy will let this cup pass from me"? The answer is simple. Just as God expressed His will to Moses yet Moses interceded for Israel and changed God's will, and others through their petitions on occasion changed God's will through their prayers, so also when He "came down to the wire," Jesus petitioned God to change His will! He was human. He didn't want to die! And especially He did not want to die the most horrible death of crucifixion nor did He desire to have all our sins and wretchedness laid on Him, who Himself, had never sinned. And Jesus, praying with sweat dripping from His forehead almost like He was bleeding, asked God to change the plan IF it would be His will. But it was not God's will to change His mind on this. When we know God's will we can on occasion pray to change that will. Hezekiah knew God's will. He had God's word on it. The prophet Isaiah told him that God had said he was going to die and to get his house in order. But Hezekiah didn't want to die! So he prayed in tears and begged God to let him live. And God, who had already expressed His will, changed His will, and gave Hezekiah 15 more years! There are additional examples where God expressed His will but later permitted His will to be changed by the petitions of men. Jesus understood this. He knew God's will before He prayed but was attempting to change God's will. If you know God has said someone is going to die, you can pray "if it by your will" let this person live. But just because the doctor has said someone is going to die doesn't mean it is God's will. Unless God has expressly told you that this person will die, then how can we know God's will? The answer is simple! By going to His Word! The Bible Definition of the Will of God The Bible does not contradict itself. Mark and Luke record the same event where Jesus was teaching at the temple and His mother and brethren (brothers and sisters) were outside desiring to talk to Him. Jesus used this as an example to express who His spiritual family is. He asked, "Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about Him, and said, ‘Behold my mother and my brethren!’ For whosoever shall do the will
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of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother" (Mark 3:33‐35). We still don't know what the will of God is however from this one passage. 2 Peter 1:20 tells us the Scripture is of no private interpretation. We must take other scriptures together with the text under consideration to get the proper understanding. The companion text for this one is Luke 8:19‐21 for it is Luke's account of the same event. However Luke was inspired to explain it differently. Mark recorded a part of what Jesus said. Luke recorded another part of what was said. By taking these two parts together we get the whole picture! Notice Luke's account. He writes: "And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without [outside], desiring to see thee. And He answered and said unto them, ‘My mother and my brethren are these which hear the Word of God, and do IT’"! (Luke 8:20‐21). Notice: Mark's account records that Jesus said we must "do" the will of God. Luke's account reveals Jesus said we must "do" the Word of God. Which is it? There is no contradiction here. Rather Luke's account merely supplements Mark's account. But both only record a portion of what Jesus actually said! Obviously both accounts are true. We learn from comparing these two inspired accounts that the will of God and the Word of God are obviously the same! Notice: The full text of what Jesus said is given when we combine both accounts. Therefore Jesus said to them, "Whoever will hear the Word of God, which is His will, and will do it, the same is my mother, and brother, and sister." Taking both accounts together we have the full understanding of what Jesus said and the full definition of the will of God. It is the same ‐or equivalent to ‐the Word of God! Of course! For God would never speak contrary to His own will! If He did He would be "double‐minded." He would be hypocritical. God cannot lie. Therefore if He has stated a particular thing, His word reflects His will perfectly. The Bible was written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God to write down specifically what God had said to them. Inspired writing was called "prophecy" which literally means "inspired utterance" either in speaking or in writing. The Bible therefore is a book of "prophecy" ‐ meaning a book of inspired utterances. (Prophecy does not mean to "foretell the future" though the Bible does contain such "predictive prophecy"). Notice that Peter tells us that "the prophecy [or, inspired writings] came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved [or inspired] by the Holy Spirit" 2 Peter 1 :21). Therefore to know God's will on any matter, we need only go to the Word of God to see what God has said about that particular question. For example, if you are having trouble sleeping and need a good night's sleep, you can go to the Scriptures and praying "according to God's will" ‐ according to His Word, and know that you have the petitions you have desired of Him (1 John 5: 15).
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What does the Word of God say regarding a good night's sleep? Psalm 127:2c states that God "giveth His beloved sleep." Here is one example of how to pray according to God's will. You simply find a scripture dealing with ‐ in this example ‐a good night's sleep. Then you pray "according to" or in agree‐ ment with, that scripture. In so doing you are "praying according to His will.” Never say "If it by thy will" when you now have God's will plainly written in front of you. Rather you would now pray knowing what God has said on the matter having God's promise in front of you, and then confidently believe you have the petition you have given to God. A sample prayer would go something like the following: "God I know you said I could have whatever I asked for if it was your will. Your Word is Your will. And your Word says you give your beloved sleep. Well I am your beloved because I know I have been saved. Therefore I ask you according to First John 5: 14‐15 and Psalm 127:2 to give me a good night's sleep. I believe I receive the answer now and I thank you for it." Philippians 4:6 tells us to let all our requests to God be made "with thanks giving.” Why? Because we now have confidence that we will receive the answer!! The Faith of God Jesus commands us to have the "faith of God" when we pray. In essence He explains this as believing that you receive when you pray! Believe right then. Consider it done! This is confidence! It is absolute assurance! Yet no one can have this type of assurance without the sure Word of God backing up petition. Jesus used an illustration to explain just what ''the faith of God" is. In Mark 11: 12‐14 we see how Christ approached a fig tree looking for fruit. When He found none He spoke to the tree! He didn't pray about it. He merely spoke to it, and put a curse on it that it would never bear fruit again! Though the leaves were still green and the tree appeared to still live, it actually at that very moment dried up from the roots! (Verse 20). When Peter noticed it the following day he brought it to Jesus' attention. The example of putting a curse on the fig tree by merely speaking to it was then given as an illustration of "the faith of God." In verse 22 the English Bibles read that Jesus told Peter to "have faith in God." But look at the margin of your King James Bible. There you will find the literal translation from the original Greek. What Jesus actually said was, "Have the Faith OF God"! I have read this myself from the Greek. Jesus did not say to have faith "in" God in this particular passage. While having faith "in:' God is necessary, many Christians do not exercise the "faith OF God." It was this kind of Faith Jesus used on the fig tree by speaking to it. I will cover more about the faith of God in the next issue regarding how healing and miracles are performed. But for now in regard to prayer, notice that one way we use the faith of God is given in verse 24: "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them"!
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Exercising the ''faith of God" is to believe that you receive when you pray! ‐not after you have already seen the manifestation. Anyone can believe he has received after he has already seen the manifestation. That takes no faith at all. But to believe that you receive the moment you pray when you have not yet seen requires faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God! (Hebrew 11:6). . Faith simply believes what God has said. In the Greek language the word for faith and belief is the same. To have faith is to believe. But it is not "optimism." It is far more than mere "positive thinking." It is more than mere "hope." Faith is assurance. Faith ‐real believing and trusting God ‐ "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). The margin here reads that faith is the "substantiating" of our hope. One marginal reference used the word "assurance." Faith gives substance to what we hope to receive. It substantiates it and gives us assurance that we will indeed have what we asked. How does Faith come? Hear God's Word "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10: 17). To have real faith for answered prayer (including healing and miracles) we must exercise the faith of God, but that faith is based on the promises found in the Word of God! Notice. Faith does not come by praying for it. The Bible does not tell us to pray to have faith. No, faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Hearing the Word of God concerning salvation gives us enough faith to be saved. Hearing the promises of God concerning Healing gives us the faith we need for healing. Whatever kind of faith we need for a specific need, we can go to the Word of God to find scripture which addresses our specific situation and then pray according to that Word ‐ which is His will (1 John 5: 14‐15) ‐and then we have confidence, assurance ‐real faith ‐that our prayer will be answered! Pray in Jesus' Name The key to unleash the power and the authority we need in prayer is to call on the Name that is above every name and that is the name of Jesus! Using this name we can drive out de‐ monic powers, we can curse sicknesses. We can take command of the elements of nature. Jesus commanded the wind and the sea and it obeyed Him. Remember He promised us that if we believe on Him that the works that He did we can do also using His name! (John 14:12‐14). And a few Christians in our day who really believe the words or Jesus have indeed performed similar miracles in His Name! You can too! You should. You need to be exercising the power of God in your life and to be connected with a church that operates in this kind of power. In the last days some will deny this
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power is available (2 Timothy 3:5). Yet Jesus said it is! Yet some cannot exercise this power of God because they have not forgiven others. Read carefully how that walking in such power is con‐ nected to forgiving others (Mark 11:24‐26). Why is forgiveness important? Because forgiveness is an act of love, and faith cannot work apart from Love (Galatians 5:6). Therefore we must have love for others when praying for our needs to be met. There are different types of prayer. Many Christians assume prayer is simply talking to God, but when you are praying to get answers then you need to understand the different type of prayers there are. For example, there is the prayer of binding or loosing. We can loose people of the demonic hold they are sometimes under. We can at the same time bind the power of demons against our loved ones (Matthew 18:18‐20). Then there is the prayer of agreement (Matthew 18:19) where two Christians (perhaps a husband and wife) get into agreement to believe for a specific result. Or you may pray for a sick person and will need them to be in agreement with you in faith for their healing! One thing we must do is get into agreement with Christ and pray according to His will ‐His Word, to get results. We are also told to pray for others (James 5:16b). This is sometimes called the prayer of intercession. One time some years ago in Texas a young lady was impressed to pray for me. We had only just met, yet God chose her to pray for me and the particular situation I was in. I was on a trip to Alabama and she was in Texas but she prayed for me until she knew everything would be fine and God answered her prayer. She told me she didn't even know what she was to pray for, only that she was to "intercede" for me. And it worked. The deliverance came. Sometimes God may bring a face to your mind, someone you have never seen before. Pray for that person. God may give you the "ministry" of intercession to pray for others. This has happened to me at different times. Then we are commanded to "pray in the Spirit" (Jude 20). Depend upon the Holy Spirit to aid you in your praying. Jesus said that God's Spirit will even show you things to come! (John 16:13). On one occasion Jesus, in the spirit, "saw" a man under a fig tree. This is the story of Nathanael. We are not told what Nathanael was doing. Perhaps he was praying secretly to God. Yet Jesus "saw" him. This so convicted Nathanael of Jesus' ability to work miracles that he instantly accepted Jesus as the Son of God! (John 1:47‐50). Why? Obviously Nathanael knew Jesus could not have seen him with
Specifics In Prayer When to Pray: Anytime during the day (1 Thess. 5:17). David prayed at least three times a day (Psalm 55:17, Psalm 5:3). Where to Pray: Not just in church. Jesus said to enter into your closet (Matthew 6:5‐7) Position in Prayer: The Bible reveals prayer can be sitting, standing, kneeling, or even when lying in bed. It also shows that we should lift our hands in prayer to God (Mark 11:25, 2 Samuel 7:18, 2 Kings 20:2, Ephesians 3:14‐ 15, Philippians 2:10, Psalms 95:6, Psalm 143:6, Psalm 141:2, Psalm 134:2, Isaiah 1:15, 1 Timothy 2:8) What to Pray: Mathew 6:8‐14, Ephesians 1:15‐20, Ephesians 3:14‐19, Philippians 1:9‐11, Colossians 1:9‐13. Pray According to God’s Will (His will is His Word, shown from comparing Mark 3:35 and Luke 8:21) John 5:14‐15 Examples of God’s Will Psalm 127:2c, Psalm 84:11, Psalm 86:5, 2 Peter 3:9 9 | P a g e
his physical eyes! Jesus saw him "in the spirit.” Now understand. Jesus said if we believe on Him the works that He did we could do also!! (John 14:12). Do you believe that? I do!! I have on occasion actually "seen" people in the spirit who were in different parts of the United States. Someone would give me their name and where they lived and I would close my eyes, knowing that the works that Jesus did I can do also, and have seen what physical ailments and other problems they had. I would then minister to them and for the specific problem they were having even at a distance as there is no time or distance in the spirit. This has happened many times. When will Christians truly take Jesus at His Word? He said we could do the works He did! Then there is the prayer of worship where we simply pray to God with praise and worship. Acts 13:1‐4 shows that the early Christians "ministered to the Lord" and not just to themselves. This is a true worship service. In Second Chronicles 20:22 we see that victory came through praising God! When the early Christians praised God in their church services and daily in their Christian Fellowship, God honored that by adding converts daily to the church! Real worship is not merely singing out of a hymnal about how God has blessed you and how you can't wait to inherit "glory." No. Real worship is focusing your attention on God and telling HIM how wonderful He is and praising Him for His goodness and mercy and love and His other many attributes. This is the essence of true Scriptural worship which the churches today have lost. In the prayer of worship Paul said he desired that believers everywhere pray lifting up holy hands to the Lord (1Timothy 2:8). While that may seem fanatical or extreme, God invented prayer ‐our contact with Him and He has the right to tell us how prayer should be conducted. Your Next Step Do you realize the privilege of prayer? Prayer is communication with the Creator. It is God's "permission" to contact Him directly. But it must be done according to His rules. For example you hear Christians all the time violating one of the rules of prayer even in church when they pray in petitioning by praying directly to Jesus Christ! While it is certainly correct to talk to Jesus Christ and worship Him and praise Him, we are not to ask Him anything! ‐ Believe it or not! Yet you hear this in church continuously (in most churches). What did Jesus say about it? When Jesus was in the flesh at His first coming the disciples asked Him many things. But He prophesied that He would leave them physically and "in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily [truly], I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you" (John 16:23). Did you see that? We are not to petition Jesus for our needs. Rather we are to go over His head and go directly to God the Father ‐though we are to come to God by express permission and authority (in the Name) of Jesus Christ.
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Over the years I have had countless prayers answered. I have seen some small miracles and some spectacular ones. But every answered prayer is the result of divine intervention ‐God interrupting the normal course of events to grant you the petitions you desired of Him. Your next step is to apply this in your life before you pray again for your needs to be met. If it is financial for example, go to the Scriptures that promise your needs will be met. Look up the Scriptures that deal with the subject you are praying about and come to God in CONFIDENCE because you do know His will about that situation! And then in your prayer quote First John 5:14‐15 and Mark 11:24 and have faith, believing that you are receiving the answer. Having an effective prayer life is the first step toward having all your needs met and living in the Supernatural abundance of God. Learn now how to pray effectively to get results.
In future lessons you will learn about the power of FAITH for healing and other miracles. Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit for us today and what are they? How can you get them to operate in your life? We will also be covering the truth about the Great Tribulation, the mark of the beast, the antichrist, and the wonderful 1000 year reign of Christ when He sets up the Kingdom of Heaven on this literal earth! Does the Bible teach the doctrine of the immortality of the soul? What does the Bible say about Heaven, Hell, limbo, purgatory, paradise, Sheol, hades, reincarnation, ghosts, transmigration of souls, and the Hereafter? Should Christians keep the Ten Commandments? Some say NO. What did Jesus say? The answers will all be shown from the pages of Scripture! –not from the traditions and dogmas of men. Remember, we ask you to “Prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). You should never take the word of your Pastor, denomination, teacher, or even parents. Jesus commands us to “live by every Word of God” (Luke 4:4)! –not the traditions of men (Mark 7:79). Does the Bible mention modern nations of the world in the last days (such as the United States and Russia)? The answer may surprise you! But how would we recognize them (this may be some of the most surprising information you have ever learned about the history of the AngloSaxon Americans)! What are the Godgiven health laws of the Bible that will guarantee you vibrant health? This information could save your life some day! We will be looking at all of these points and others that are not being taught in churches today. You now have the opportunity of a lifetime.
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