Dee Farrell

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    Does God Answer Prayers...Fast?

    The answer according to the Bible is yes. But a few things depend on you. Maybe even someone else. Let’s talk about you first.

     

    I am writing this post to believers. If you want to know about the prayers of “unbelievers” click here.

     

    This post is not about the answers to spiritual growth prayers. These are considered guaranteed to get answers, and you can read a post from Carrie Lowrance on Crosswalk about those prayers here.

     

    I am assuming this question is dealing with life problems that have you backed into a corner.

     

    When we read the miracles Jesus worked in the Bible Jesus said to many of those He healed, “According to your faith...”  Matthew 9 records examples of this.

     

    First a paralyzed man is brought to Jesus by four of his friends. Matthew 9:2 states, “And seeing their faith, Jesus” ended up healing the man. Then a woman who had suffered for years and went broke going from doctor to doctor was told her “faith... made [her] well.”  (Also in Mark 5:25-34)

     

    A man whose daughter Jesus raised from the dead was told to just believe, also recorded in Mark 5:36, and two blind men were told, “According to your faith let it be to you.”

     

    To others He said, “You have great faith.” The centurion amazed Jesus in Luke 7:9 and the Gentile woman’s faith impressed Him: “O woman, great is your faith; let it be to you as you desire. And her daughter was healed from that hour.” (Matthew 15:28 LITV)

     

     In Acts 14:9 Paul healed a man when he saw he had faith to be healed. So, in all these examples you see that faith is involved and you have a part to play in getting your prayers answered.

     

    What is faith?

     

    The word is pistis. Strong’s G4102 describes it as a strong conviction that God is who He says He is and does what He says He will do; a trust and confidence in God for the same reasons, and a constancy in that profession. It is a firm conviction in the faithfulness and goodness of God.

     

    You get faith by hearing the Word and meditating on its truth. In the examples above some had only heard about Jesus, but they made Him their hope and confidence.

     

    The question is after they believed and after Jesus told them their faith had made them well, how long did they wait?

     

    Trick question. They did not wait because immediately is not waiting. Jesus didn’t have to wait days, months, years when He prayed for people’s healing and neither did anyone in Acts. Jesus didn’t wait years for the fig tree to wither. In Acts no one waited years for their spiritual growth either.

     

    So why don’t believers see more immediatelies in their lives?

     

    Well, there must be something wrong with our convictions, trust and confidence.

     

    Yes, Jesus was with them.Isn't He in us? Yes, Jesus pulled faith from people and bolstered their weaknesses, but doesn't He still do that today? Also, to say immediately passed with the apostles is to deny miracles exist in our generation, the same Church age. The blind are still made to see, the lame to walk, the incurable healed, the jobless employed, the child saved, etc. If you don’t believe this, stop reading. There is a cute kid video here.

     

    For those of you still with me, the church has fallen into a state of not trusting in a good God and not taking what He says as TRUTH.

     

    Below is a check list to help you stir your faith to see immediatelies in your life. Remember faith comes from hearing and meditating on the Word, and we need to be consistent in our profession of our conviction. I am working on this list too.

     

    1. Do you know what belongs to you?

    When you received salvation what did you get? A home in heaven? Future wholeness? Yes. But it is also for the present. Crazy, right? I know, but what a revelation if you let the words sink in. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10 KJV) Save in this verse is sōzō, to save, protect, and deliver, to heal, to be made whole, to do well. Spiritual salvation is part of the package, but so is healing and wholeness and doing well.

    When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in Matthew 6, He included a line we don’t give a lot of attention. He said, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”(KJV)  In earth as it is in heaven. Jesus said to ask the Father that His desires be seen on the earth the same way they are seen in heaven. The question to ask ourselves is what is His will in heaven?

    God lists His desires for believers in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and we are qualified to inherit these because of Jesus' work on the cross. (Galatians 3:29)

     

    2. Do you know who you are?

    We are co-heirs with Jesus and are seated with Him in heavenly places. (Romans 8:17 and Ephesians 2:6) If you are a born again believer, you are an eternal being now because you are a new creation. You have dominion, and Jesus has given you authority to trample over all the works of evil.

    This is not authority over people. It is authority over spirits like fear, sickness, addictions, etc. If another person wants to remain addicted, sick, fearful or unsaved, you cannot invoke your will over theirs. But you can stop this activity in your life, and in those persons’ lives who want it to end.

     

    3. What is it that you are asking for?

    James 4:3 says that we don’t get what we ask of God because we ask amiss or we ask selfishly. If you are praying for more money so you can booze it up on the weekends or you want a car better than your co-worker, you probably won’t get an answer.

    But if you are asking for anything that God has already provided in His Word and through Jesus, which includes doing well, and your motives are good, John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (LITV)

    Also, sometimes our prayers rely on other people being obedient to God or hearing His direction. That can delay answers.

     

    4. What are you speaking?

    Faith comes by hearing and that includes what is coming out of your mouth and those around you. Kenneth Hagin said your faith will never rise above your confession. Jesus said He only spoke what He heard His Father speaking. It is wise for us to do the same. Let our words be words that reflect the truth in the Scriptures. Don’t pray for healing and talk illness. Don’t pray for success and talk failure. Don’t take possession of what you do not want.

     

    5. Do you know the difference between faith and hope?

    Hope is assured but it takes place in the future. If you are hoping to be healed, or anything else God has already done for you, you are not expecting it in the present like the paralyzed man, the blind men, etc. Hoping is a state of being passive. Not one of those in our examples from Matthew was passive. They were expecting.

    When it comes to prayer, the role of hope is to get a vision of what we want to happen. It helps us have confidence which turns into the substance from which faith is made. (Hebrews 11:1)

     

    6. Are you standing?

    Jesus said, “If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you.” (John 15:7 LITV)  This remaining is the patience referred to in James 1:4. It is constancy or continuing in one place. You are not to be the man tossed by waves James 1:6-8 describes. You are to stand as in Ephesians 6.

    Notice by the people we’ve talked about that they didn’t fight God. They had to fight unbelief, the friends who told them to be quiet, the world and its theories, the pressures from around them. But God was willing and waiting to answer them and give them what they desired. They came boldly. Be ready to stand boldly.

    Faith can accelerate your destiny. The Gentile woman in Matthew 15 who came to Jesus with a request that He heal her daughter was not supposed to get an answer. Jesus was sent to the Jews first and the ministry to the Gentiles would come later. But she wouldn’t take no for an answer.

    Her faith impressed Jesus and He rewarded it. Before her time. Faith can override time. Today there is nothing standing between God and our answered prayer except our own heart and a defeated enemy.

     

    7. Are you trusting God?

    Praise equals trust. Praise God for answering your prayer and continue to praise. You don’t have to beg for what He has already given you. Praise shows confidence in God’s Word and His character.

    Trust is the absence of fear. When fear and doubt come to assault your mind, direct that chaos to God, as in, “Talk to God, He’s handling that now.” Satan always tries to put the focus on you. Don’t let it happen, and don’t surrender to an enemy Jesus defeated for you.

     

    That concludes the checklist. But it is only a beginning isn’t it? My prayer is that we all see more immediatelies in our lives and ministry. Got immediatelies to share? I'd love to hear them!

     

    Photo by Elisei Abiculesei on Unsplash

     

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