“What father among you, if his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13)
Many people believe in the existence of God but do not believe in the power of prayer. Many confess God with their mouth, but refuse to use the influence of effective prayer to receive the answer to their prayer from God. It is common understanding that one cannot believe in something unless there is an evidence to proof the reason for it. A person has no obligation to believe, and also, has no right to believe something will be done for him without the evidence.
So, in direct application to us as believers in Jesus Christ, it’s also right that we as believers, have no obligation to believe a thing, and also, no right to believe a thing will be done for us by God unless we have the evidence. Right? Thank God….. we do! We don’t just have few promises stringed together to make do, instead the Bible is full of promises from God for any need you and I will ever face. The bible, from Genesis to Revelation is full of Specific promises for specific needs. And also, where the bible does not specifically identify a situation there are so many general scriptural provisions that can be applied in such cases.
So, God has provided more than enough evidence in the Bible so that we can know His will for us. As Christians, without the scriptural provision, praying for something with NO EVIDENCE that God will do it is the beginning of fanaticism and erring in a believer’s life.
For that reason, it is important we pray the Evidence, or put in another context, pray the Bible verse promising the thing we require from God. Because God’s word is the evidence for what we believe, and what God has promised to do. Our prayer of faith must always have an Evidence – Where the thing is promised in the Bible.
For a start, take for example, you are requesting God for the salvation of your children, there are clear evidences in the Bible of what God will do in response to that prayer;
Psalm 72:4 – “May he judge and defend the poor of the people, deliver the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor,” – God will break the enemy into pieces so that your children can escape from the devil’s clutch
Isaiah 49:25 -“For thus says the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty will be taken away, and the prey of the terrible will be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will give safety to your children and ease them.” – Again, God will fight the enemy and save your children
Isaiah 54: 13 – “And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children.” – God will teach and guide them.
Lets take another example, this time, physical and emotional healing, There are many Evidences in the Bible making it clear that God delights to heal us.
Isaiah 53:4-5 “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” – Jesus paid the ultimate price for sin and for us to be WHOLE in every area of our life.
Luke 9:1-2 “Then Jesus called together the Twelve [apostles] and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases, And He sent them out to announce and preach the kingdom of God and to bring healing.” – Establishes the fact that, Jesus has authority over diseases and demonic forces.
Luke 5:12-13 “While He was in one of the towns, there came a man full of (covered with) leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You are able to cure me and make me clean. And [Jesus] reached out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed! And immediately the leprosy left him.” – Shows that healing is God’s will
And host of others like, Acts 10:38 – Jesus demonstrating and establishing the fact that God is a good God who wants us well.
Luke 11:17 – Shows, God is not double minded, He does not heal with one hand and then afflict us with sickness and disease with the other hand, such a kingdom cannot stand because it’s divided.
Isaiah 54:10 – – His covenant promises remain the same, it’s an everlasting covenant. (Please look in the Bible for the text to these verses)
Another example, lets look into God’s will concerning prosperity;
Pro 22:7- “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
Deuteronomy 8:18 “But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
Deuteronomy 28:1 “If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth”.
Deuteronomy 28:12 – “The Lord shall open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
And others scriptures such as, Galatians 3:13-14; 3 John 2; Proverbs 15:6; Matthew 6:33.
We do not even after to seek after the things of this world, when we set our heart on seeking after God and obeying Him, God will cause these blessings to chase after us. Poverty and lack is a curse, it brings about slavery and bondage. It does not honor God as a loving Father. But, when we are faithful and obedient to the Lord, He tells us that, he will give us wealth to establish His covenant. We will excel in life, be head and not tail, His blessing will overtake us, blessings will occur in the city and in the fields, blessings will come to our children, crops, and possessions, blessings will fall upon our provisions, and we will be blessed wherever we go. All these will come to pass if we hear and obey His voice.
What about our community and nation? There are many general scriptures that we can pray and apply and see God usher in a shift!
Isaiah 59:19 – “ When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].” And many others such as 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 2:8;Ezekiel 22:30; Isaiah 62:6
From Genesis to Revelation God has made provisions for us as His children. There is more than enough, God is immeasurable and is unlimited. His faithfulness reaches to the sky, yet, they are new every morning. How can we ever limit a God like that to answer our petition in prayer!
So then, what do we believe when we pray?
Since we know what the will of God is from His Word, We are not to believe that we will receive “something” or “anything” as it might happen, but to believe for the “Particular” thing we requested from the Lord in prayer. Jesus told us, we are not to think that God is cruel, that if we ask Him for fish he will give us serpent or if we ask for bread he will give us stone. God says in His Word “ whatever you ask for in prayer believe that it is granted to you and you will get it”(Mark 11:24)
God is for us. He is a good and loving Father who desires to prosper us spiritual, emotionally, physically, materially and every area of our life. For all the promises of God are Yes and in Him Amen, that His glory may be revealed. (2 Corinthians 1:20). Amen!
God bless you!