I want to give you a major biblical key to having answered prayers. Before I do, let me share something from You’re Crazy If You Don’t Talk to Yourself. This newly revised book is my most complete writing on the power of our words. It speaks powerfully about declaring God’s promises as an important part of our prayer lives. I also give a comparison of old wineskin praying and new wineskin praying to help lay a foundation for effective prayer. Here is some of that comparison:
|Old Wine Skin||New Wine Skin|
|Pray hard||Pray believing|
|Many words||Few words|
|Belief during prayer||Belief after prayer|
|Talk about problem||Talk to the problem|
|Stop devil and curses||Release God and blessing|
|Focus mainly on problem||Focus on testimonies and promises|
|Mostly asking||Mostly thanking|
|God is reluctant or hindered||God is good and has won the victory|
|Expect spiritual attacks||Expect blessings/protection|
I have also been impacted by these prayer truths through the years:
- Pray Big Prayers – “Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance and the ends of the earth for Your possession” (Psalm 2:8). Something powerful happens in us when we pray bold prayers like this. Our vision begins to expand for our purpose and what God can do. Right now ask God for specific nations by name.
- Faith in Prayer Begins Where the Will of God is Known – “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (James 5:14). God’s will is known through the truth “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). There is no sickness, poverty, family dysfunction, disasters, or division in heaven, so we can pray with confidence removing things like this are God’s will.
- Believe During and After Prayer – “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). This is an invitation to stay in faith when we don’t see the answer right away. One way to do this is through thanksgiving. “Thank you, Father, you are moving in my nation and family. Thank you for meeting my financial needs. Thank you for the peace you are giving me.”
- Pursue the Promise-Giver More Than the Promise – “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord” (Psalm 27:4). When our prayer lives become more than a time to ask for things but a time to deepen our intimacy with Him, we will find prayer not only changes circumstances but, more importantly, changes us.
With all that said, here is the secret to answered prayer I believe I am to release over you. It comes from Luke 6:37-38:
“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Here is the truth: whenever you are praying for a personal need, find a way to “give” an aspect of this to others. This passage in Luke is not talking about financial giving (even though it can be applied to that) but is referring to relational needs. If we want to move past having people judge us, then intentionally give people grace (non-judgment) from us. And we can apply this to common areas in our prayer lives:
- If we are asking God to strengthen our marriage, find a way to strengthen other people’s marriages.
- If we need a breakthrough in the lives of our children, then strengthen other parents’ children.
- If we are trying to break through from an addiction, then invest in the freedom of others.
What is it you are especially desiring in prayer? What can you “give” related to this? It is a secret to accelerate the answer to prayer. And when we get a revelation of “for with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you,” it will cause us to not just give God a little to work with, but a lot.
I am hearing this is a season of great grace on prayer lives.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.