Chapter 1 You will receive answers to prayer!
I’m not going to tell you that you will get everything you want through prayer.
No, I’m going to tell you about something even better. You will get everything
God wants for you through prayer because God wants the best for you. He
wants even better things for you than you do. God loves you much more than
you love yourself and wants you to have joy and peace even more than you do.
You will get everything you want through prayer if it is God’s will and you have
Yes, it’s true: You will experience powerful answers to prayer if you use the
guidelines for prayer found in the Bible. We’ll explore these guidelines as
we travel this prayer journey together. It is said we use less than 10% of our
brainpower; but I think it’s very safe to say that most Christians use less than
10% of their prayer power. I have been in many churches across the United
States and I find that most people don’t understand the power of prayer. Why
is it that some churches see remarkable answers to prayer and others do not?
Perhaps you know some Christians who have very powerful prayer lives. Yet
others, who seem to be “good Christians”, do not. Those believers with powerful
prayer lives have learned and practice what the Bible says about how to have a
powerful prayer life. After you read this book, you’ll know the secret, too.
God doesn’t want powerful prayer to be a secret. He wants your prayers to
be powerful and He wants you to experience good things as a result of those
prayers. I believe with all my heart that God put us here on earth for a reason.
The reason is to glorify God and to love him. Hebrews 11:6 tells us: “And
without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to
him must believe that he exists and that he rewards (my emphasis) those
who earnestly seek him.” We glorify God and please Him when we seek Him
through prayer. But to really glorify Him, we need powerful prayer.
Our journey toward a powerful prayer life begins with faith. In Matthew, we
read, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew
21:22). But you might ask, how do I have faith, how can I really believe
God will give me what I ask for? Or perhaps you’re asking, why don’t we
get everything we ask for immediately? Those questions will be specifically
answered in the chapters that follow; but as we begin, let’s take a look at the
faith that is required for powerful prayer.
Faith is more than just belief. It involves hope and love. The apostle Paul said
“these three things remain: faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is
love.” Love is incredibly important and it is what God wants from us. We will
never have a powerful prayer life if we do not truly love God. Our faith in God
must be firmly rooted in our love for Him.
If you get a Bible concordance and look up any word, it will show you many
places in the Bible where that word is used. Try looking up the word “prayer”
in a concordance and read each passage. Look up the word “faith,” “belief,”
and other words that are involved with powerful prayers. It is amazing to see
how these ideas are explained in the New Testament Gospels and throughout
the entire Bible. When you see all the verses on “belief,” it gives you a new
perspective of the concept of belief. I did this with many of the words associated
with prayer. I was amazed at the new perspective it gave me and the power of
the thread of ideas that were woven through the first four gospels .
The Bible verses in the preface of this book are not just fun ideas, they are
law. We are familiar with the law of gravity and we can never break it.. We can
design airplanes that produce lift by the shape of their wings and in so doing fly
through the air. But even airplanes can’t break the law of gravity. If the airplane
runs out of fuel it would slow down, the air rushing over the wing would not
provide lift, and the airplane would fall. In the same way, these Bible verses
about prayer are laws set in stone.. It is impossible for them to fail. If you latch
on to the promises and work hard, you will not fail to accomplish the goal the
verses promise. But it takes faith and persistence.
When I was a teenager I read a book by Arnold Schwarzenegger about weight
lifting. I don’t know if Arnold was a Christian, but he believed in the power
of faith. He said it was very important to visualize your muscles becoming
larger if you really wanted them to grow. I find that many of the people who
are outstanding in their field understand this concept. They understand how
important it is to visualize goals as is if they have already come about.
At the time I read Arnold’s book he was not very famous. Outside of the “body
building world,” most people had never heard of him. The only movie he had
done was a documentary. In the book he said that his goal was to come to the
United States and become a famous actor. I had a very difficult time believing
this would be possible since I had never heard of any body builders becoming
famous actors. His goal seemed a little bit too lofty to be believable. But, as we
all know, he did it and accomplished his goal. He said that many people did not
understand his goals and dreams. In other words they thought he was crazy
because he dreamed so big. Not only did I think it would be unlikely for him to
become a famous movie actor but if you had told me that he would someday be
the “Governator” of California, I wouldn’t have believed it.
And as I read Schwarzenegger’s book, I thought the idea of visualizing larger
muscles in order to get larger muscles seemed a bit silly. Now I realize it is not
silly at all. When you set your mind on a goal it is very important to visualize it
or to imagine it in your mind. Jesus talked about how powerful thoughts are.
He said to think lustfully is the same as doing sexual sin. If Jesus considered
thoughts this powerful, we should too. When you pray for something, picture it
in your mind as if it has already been given to you. This is faith. This is belief.
It seems that every person who accomplished big things in life understood the
power of faith. They understood th concept of imagining the goal as if it was
already achieved. Henry Ford, the man who revolutionized the auto industry
once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.”
Thomas Edison had only a few months of formal education but he became one
of the best inventors the world has ever known. He was known for persistence
and not letting failures get him down. In fact, he considered failures to be
successes because each time he failed to find a way to build an electric light
bulb, it was moving him one step closer to his goal.
Winston Churchill said “Never, never, never give up.” He was a man familiar
with suffering. The difficulties he faced in life forged him in the crucible so that
he became tough enough to lead Great Britain through one of her most difficult
times—World War II.
Just as Schwarzenegger, Ford, Edison, and Churchill persisted in imagining
and reaching their goals, we must do the same in prayer. Many people don’t
get answers to their prayers because they give up too soon.
My friend Mitchell is an engineer and scientist at an aerospace company. I
received the following email from him about a dramatic change in his unborn
child’s brain after a group of Christians prayed for the baby: The findings of
this morning’s sonogram are good. First and foremost all praise be to God! God
is good all the time! Secondly, I want to thank you all for your prayers, your
continued prayers for our family, and for our unborn son. Most of you know of
the nature of our unborn sons condition but some of you may not. I will briefly
share with you what the healing hand of our God has done. Our son’s ventricles
in his brain were much too large because of pressure that was building on the
brain. The ventricles were measured to be 0.95 cm on the first sonogram when
the condition was found and were re-measured this morning at a text book
perfect level of 0.71 cm. Let this testimony of Gods healing hands and answer
to prayer be known to all! Thank you all again and may all the praise and glory
be to God!
You have enormous potential. Mitchell’s story shows how God wants to do
great things through His people. Paul tells us in Ephesians that you are God’s
workmanship created for good deeds which God planned in advance for you
to do. That word, “workmanship” means that you are a masterpiece created by
God to do good works. When you do good deeds to others, most of them in turn
will do good deeds to you.
Your first Prayer Exercise: Every day, repeat this verse ten times: Matthew
21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” There
will be other verses to memorize from the Bible in this book. Memorizing and
meditating on scripture is one of the most important parts of empowering your
prayer life. Pray for powerful prayers and faith. God WILL help you!
The great thing about the principals in the Bible for powerful prayer is that they
work for every Christian, every time! It never fails because they are promises
Just think, we can pray to overcome any sin and God will give us the power to
do it. He will help us overcome bad habits, overeating, destructive pleasures,
substance abuse, or any other addiction. Usually with the more difficult
addictions people need a support group or professional help along with prayer.
We know God will do it because it is His will that we don’t sin. What a blessing
this is! Think about having no chronic sin in your life and the destructive habits
that accompany it. You can be completely free.
Take a moment to read Psalm 1. It promises you success if you do certain
things. Why doesn’t everybody get success? Because they don’t accept it by
faith. Joshua 1:8 promises success if you do certain things, but again, it must
be accepted by faith. We must visualize it. We must imagine it. Jesus said
thoughts are powerful. Do you believe that is true? Let me share with you
some incidences in my life when powerful prayer greatly impacted me.
When I was in China, I was sitting on a metal chair playing a video game when
the telephone rang. I turned quickly and bumped my elbow against the steel
chair. The pain was intense because I hit the funny bone, but I thought the
problem would go away soon. The initial discomfort went away but there was
a painful tingling feeling that got worse as the days went by. With my elbow
still bothering me, I went to a conference in Hong Kong about the Holy Spirit.
There, someone was praying for the healing of the people in the audience. I
thought it was nice that people were praying, but I didn’t think it had anything to
do with my problem. Suddenly, I realized the tingling that had been constant in
my elbow was gone. My elbow was healed and the tingling never came back.
Prayer will work for you. You will discover that prayer is extremely powerful.
But first you must learn the basic principles for praying powerful prayers. The
two basic principles are:
1. ask in accordance with God’s will; and
2. have faith that He will answer your prayer.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. It works all the
time, it works with every Christian and it never fails. That is God’s promise.
So, now that I have laid the basic groundwork, we can begin with the important
ideas of how to go about getting more faith and praying powerful prayers. We
discover in the next chapter how the acronym FAITH explains the basics of
Yes, you will have amazing answers to prayer! See the books.