For many people, however, prayer is some kind of abstract experience or just an escape valve. They don’t see their prayers answered to any degree. And really, they don’t expect their prayers to be answered.
But that’s contrary to the way Jesus lived His life on the earth. And it’s contrary to the way He taught His followers to live. He taught them (and us) to live a lifestyle of faith and prayer—and to expect results.
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Notice that when Jesus was answering their questions about the fig tree withering, He was answering their questions about something literal. He was not just referring to something spiritual. So speaking to the mountain, asking in prayer, and believing to receive work not only in the spiritual realm, but also in the physical, material realm.
When Jesus spoke to the fig tree He was demonstrating and teaching us that by using our faith, the Word of God and prayer, we too can bring circumstances in line with God’s will.
When you pray do you expect results…every time? Well, you should, and you can. Here are seven steps that can help you see results in prayer—every time.
1. Base every prayer on the Word.
Prayer that brings results must be based on God’s Word. So start with the answer, which is the Word. Jesus said in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
For prayer to bring results, you must pray specifically. That means you must find scripture that applies to your situation and base your prayer on that scripture. For example, if you’re facing sickness, find scripture that pertains to healing. Your prayer could be based on I Peter 2:24 because that scripture says, by Jesus’ stripes you were healed.
When you have God’s Word about a particular issue, you have a foundation on which to believe Him. And when you put God’s Word in your spirit, it feeds your faith. Romans 10:17 explains, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
2. Apply your faith.
Once you find scripture that reveals God’s will regarding the situation you are facing, here’s the next step: You must apply your faith to the problem.
To apply your faith, say what you believe (speak in agreement with God’s Word). Confess the Word out loud and start thanking God that you have what He said you have. Act as though you have received it, as though it is already done.
In Isaiah 43:26, God says: “Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.” To put God in remembrance of His Word and declare your case, say something like this: “Lord, right now I believe I receive what You have said in Your Word. I believe [quote the scripture you are standing on]. I’m not saying it because I feel it or see it. I’m saying it because I believe Your Word. I believe it’s done, in the Name of Jesus!”
To be afraid to confess and act as though it’s already done is to doubt God’s Word. So hold fast to your confession (read Hebrews 4:11-16)!
3. Refuse doubt and fear.
Don’t allow doubt and fear to enter your consciousness. Satan tries to undermine your faith through suggestions, dreams and visions. He will do everything he can to try and convince you the circumstances are not going to change. But remember what God’s Word says! It’s your responsibility to believe what God says and refuse doubt and fear when it comes your way.
II Corinthians 10:5 tells you to do that by “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” You must control your mind, and you do that with the Word of God.
Dwell on the answer instead of the problem.
And be advised, some people will try to talk you out of your stand of faith. But you can refuse to receive anything that goes against the Word of God. It won’t be hard if you do what God says in Proverbs 4:20-21: “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.”
4. See yourself succeeding.
See what you’re believing for as done—finished. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is….” The Word says you have it—now.
So take the scripture you’re standing on and begin to see that Word as being a reality in your life.
Take that Word and renew your mind—change your mental attitude about your situation. Don’t be conformed to the world. “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
Keep your mind on the Word and be transformed, changed. Begin to act as if you already have it. That’s acting in faith and faith will open the door for God to move in your life.
Prepare to succeed! Make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14). Make no provision to fail.
5. Testify of what you believe—the Word.
Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” You have a right to everything Jesus’ sacrifice bought and paid for. So testify to that right. Proclaim it!
You have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus!
You are what the Word says you are!
You can have what the Word says you can have!
But knowing all that won’t do you any good if you don’t believe it, receive it, apply it in your life…and make it the word of your testimony.
6. Help someone else.
Galatians 5:6 says faith works by love. So love others. Get involved in helping people the way Jesus did. Pray for and encourage them. Give your testimony—tell them what Jesus has done for you.
When you start sharing Jesus with others, your problems will begin to roll away.
7. Get on the giving end.
Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
This is not just talking about money. You can give in the area where you have need. Give of the little you do have, and it will be “given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.”
For instance, if you need healing, pray for someone else to be healed. James 5:16 says to “pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Remember, seeing results in prayer can become a way of life for you, when you follow Jesus’ instructions. He said, “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Notice He didn’t say you would receive half or three-quarters of your prayers answered. Jesus said all, and He meant exactly what He said. –Ken Copeland