Praying Towards Answers
Let your mind visualize the answer and see what God will do.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing Alright today? I’m fine, thank you. Happy in the Lord. Glad to be back with you.
We’re talking about this matter of desire. The whole subject was triggered by Paul’s use of the word desire there in Colossians 1:9, and to illustrate the truth of it. I’ve gone over to Mark chapter 11. That’s where we are right now. “What things so ever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them”.
Now, this whole matter of praying, it’s more than making a speech to God with your eyes shut. You and I, for the most part, are the victims of our acculturation, in that we’ve been brought up in a Christian environment, many of us. I certainly was, saved as a boy of not quite six, and baptized soon thereafter in Lake Erie, and brought into a relationship with the Word of God by the careful coaching of my father and my sister. And so that motherless boy learned early on to get into the Word of God, learn to read out of my mother’s big teacher’s edition of the Bible, and so I’ve been in the Book and in religion, you may say, all my life. A blessed heritage, and I do thank God for it, believe me.
By the same token, with that kind of an upbringing one can very easily slip into habits of religious, what shall I say, religious form, which can then take the place of reality. You know that that’s so, just look into your own life and see the areas where oftentimes, you depend upon religious habit, rather than upon a thoughtful approach to reality, and so it is that that we need to think, you and I, about this matter of genuine praying.
I was a speaker at a conference out the Midwest someplace, years ago, and I got in time to be a little early actually for my slot in the program, and discovered that I was booked in into a double room with another preacher. We were sharing a room in a local motel. Well, I’m not a particularly good sharer, but I thought, well Alright, the Lord has put me with his brother for some purpose, let me try to be a blessing and I prayed quietly in my own heart that I might be of blessing to him. And so momentarily he came in, we got acquainted and made small talk and then it was time, almost time, to go off to the meeting.
Well I said, “Hey brother, we want to minister in the power of God. Let’s have some prayer together, you mind”? Oh, he said, “That’d be fine”. So, we knelt down together and, and I led off in prayer, I opened my heart to God, asked God to meet our needs and anoint us and make us a blessing, so on. Then he prayed and he started out with a very, well it was a very beautiful approach to praying, I must say. Suddenly, he broke off and there was an agonizing silence and then he said, “Oh God, keep me from trying to impress this man Cook with my spirituality. Help me pray”, and at that point he launched into a prayer that was earnest and honest and he really got someplace with God.
Well, if it hadn’t been such a holy moment I would’ve chuckled, but I saved that for later. “Oh, God keep me from trying to impress this man Cook!. He didn’t have to impress me. Just remember friends, you don’t ever have to impress anybody. What you are, full of the Holy Spirit, will do the job. Right? You don’t have to try to impress anybody. Just be filled with the Spirit of God, be yourself, and do the bidding of your Lord, moment by moment, and they’ll be plenty of impression left.
You and I depend, often times, on, on forms that we use in our praying. Real praying has to come from the heart and has to be impelled by the Holy Spirit, that’s what Jesus said, “He that cometh to God must come in Spirit. He that worshipeth Him, must worship in Spirit and in truth”.
Oh, how often I’ve been guilty of, of saying one thing to God and feeling another. Is that true of you? I’m sure it must be because we’re human beings and we do have a deceitful heart. Jeremiah said, “The human heart is deceitful, above all things and desperately wicked”, who can really understand it, who can know it? So, what we’re talking about in this matter praying, what you desire when you pray, means really pray. Number one, impelled by the Spirit of God. It pays to wait until you know that you’re praying in the Spirit.
I’ve had some experiences of waiting while people were quiet and I thought perhaps that the individual involved may have fallen asleep, and then finally the, the prayer began and I knew that that period of waiting had been a kind of a tune-up period for the heart of the pray-er. It pays to wait on God until your own heart is ready to respond and the Spirit of God can really pray through you. In Spirit, that means the Holy Spirit praying through you. Paul the apostle said, “We know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”. The indwelling Holy Spirit will enable you to pray in the will of God, beloved.
Then, the second thing is, in truth. That means tell God the truth, tell Him absolutely the brutal truth about yourself and about the situation, and then pray as someone has written in a booklet that that I was given years ago, not toward the problem, but toward the answer. Once you have told God the problem, then pray toward the answer. Visualize the answer as coming.
Now, what does that have to do with Mark 11:24? Well, it’s right there. “What things ye so ever desire when you pray, believe that you receive”, visualize the answer. Now, I don’t tell God how to do it, just believe Him to do, “Exceeding abundantly above all that you can ask or think”, as we read Ephesians 3:20. Believe that God is answering your prayer, visualize the answer as you pray.
Are you praying for a clean heart? Visualize the answer. Are you praying for a happy home? Visualize the answer. Are you praying for physical healing? Visualize the answer. Let your mind see the answer coming as you pray. Will you try that? Jesus said to do it, so you’re not engaging in any extravagant self-deception here. Jesus, our blessed Lord said, “You should do it when you pray”.
Something that you really have to have from God, a matter of life and death, something that you are truthfully verbalizing to God, praying in the Holy Spirit, now then let your mind see the answer coming. You don’t have to kid yourself, you can paint in your mind the picture of the answer as it arrives, and this enables faith to take hold. Now, don’t ask me how it works, I only know that it does.
Self-help books which number into the thousands, all share one thing in common, in one way or another they say what your mind can conceive, your hands can do. Whatever the human mind can conceive, it can do. Now that has some limitations actually, but by and large the principle is valid and never is it more are valid then when you’re dealing with Almighty God, because, “Everything is possible with God”, Jesus said. So, what your mind can conceive, really can happen.
You know of course that by thinking about things we create our own circumstances. You worry enough of about something and you’ll make it happen, and conversely, if you believe God for something positively, you open the gates of faith and miracles can happen, and I don’t profess to understand how this works, I only know that God has set up human nature so that when we are rightly connected with God, and when we really want His will, and when we visualize His will in our minds, we open the gate to His miracle supply. Now, I know that that happens. Why don’t you try it for yourself?
Don’t trifle with God and don’t lie to God. It has to be important and it has to be true, but if it’s important and it’s true, and it represents your heartfelt desire, and you pray in the enablement of the Holy Spirit, beloved let your mind visualize the answer, Jesus put it, “Believe that ye receive”, believe that you’re getting it, let your mind visualize the answer, and see what God will do. Alright?
I read in somebody’s testimony that a man and his wife, I can’t tell you where, the name of the book or who it was, I simply remember seeing it, that a man and his wife were praying earnestly with an individual who was involved in terrible sin. So much involved, that the lady in question said, “I can’t do anything about it. it’s all lost. I can’t do anything. I can’t change”. Well, they said, “We are going to pray for you and we are going to receive the answer by faith”. So, while she waited silently and probably unbelieving, this, this man and his wife united in earnest prayer, pleading the merits of the shed blood of Christ, believing in faith, that God was actually then delivering this wretched, sinful life.
The lady went out, still murmuring that, no, there’s no hope, but the telephone rang early the next morning, in the home of this man and his wife who had been praying, and now there was a different tone in the voice of the person who was calling. She said, “You know last night, I didn’t think there was any hope, but God delivered me. I don’t even remember the names of the people. God has delivered me”, and she was ecstatic.
Well, halleluiah. I think you and I fall short so often of the miracle possibilities there are in answered prayer. I have given you, in these two broadcasts, the secret of prevailing prayer. “What things so ever ye desire”, you can pray about anything, “whatsoever”, that means anything you, you can pray about anything, “What things so ever ye desire”, there has to be a heartfelt desire. It has to be important. When you pray, it has to be impelled by the Holy Spirit of God, who in dwells the believer. Take time until you know you are praying in the Spirit.
Then it says, “Believe that ye receive”, visualize the answer and accepted by faith. Thank God for what He is doing in answer to your prayer. Now, you may not see it, Hebrews 11:1 what does it say? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things”- what?- “not seen”. You may not see it, but you know God is doing it.
Someone told me that the father of Paul Rader, Paul and Luke and Lyle Rader, all of them giants in the faith in later years, but their father lay dying and some thoughtless person, I was told, asked the old man said, “Don’t you feel bad about the fact that none of your children are saved”? He said, “Oh no”, he said, “I am believing God for their salvation”, and he died in faith for the salvation of his loved ones, not really having known that any of them were saved, but it was a very short time, they told me, until Paul Rader, who became a great evangelist, and Lyle and Luke along with him, were brought to Christ. Believe God, for what He’s doing beloved. Believe God for what He’s doing.
Dear Father today, make us good pray-ers, people who pray in faith and get an answer, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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