Praying The Word Of God
Sep 29, 2016
As a pastoral care leader, one of the biggest questions I get asked by church members and even ministers is, “why isn’t my prayer being answered?” Often that question is followed up with an impressive list of things that many people feel qualify them to receive from God. The classics: fasting, paying tithes, attending church, and confessing sins usually make the top of the list.
The problem is never that an individual may have missed the mark somewhere in their life! God doesn’t answer our prayers based upon our performance any less than God saves us based upon our performance. The reason why people don’t get their prayers answered is simply because, “…they ask amiss” (James 4:3 King James Version).
True prayer brings great power. James 5:16 (Amplified) says that, “the earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available—dynamic in it’s working.” One of my favorite greek words is found in this passage. It is ischyo (Strong’s, 1990) which means, “to have power shown by extraordinary deeds, to have strength to overcome, to be a force unstoppable” (Mounce, 1993). To see unstoppable prayers in our lives, lets learn the secrets to praying prayers that avail much.
If you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, your prayers can avail much and they can bring salvation to the sinner, deliverance to the oppressed, healing to the sick, and prosperity to the poor (Luke 4:18). They can usher in the next move of God on earth. In addition to affecting outward circumstances and other people, your prayers will also affect you. The key now is to find out how we can pray to get results, how do we pray biblically and accurately? How can we ensure that we are not praying amiss?
Let’s start by looking at a popular verse: Isaiah 55:11. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” A lot of people quote verses like Isaiah 55:11 and fail to see that it is God’s Words that bring results. I can’t think of a surer way to receive from God than by speaking His Words. “I will hasten my word to preform it” (Jeremiah 1:12).
Notice, it is “my (God’s) word” not “your word.” A New Testament example of this is found in Ephesians 6:17-18: “…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Notice, our offensive tool of prayer is the “word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). According to Strong’s (1990), the greek word translated as word in this passage is rhema. Rhema is a divinely spoken word from God, a personalized word from the Lord.
That brings us to our first point. We must first realize that prayer that brings results must be based on God’s rhema word.
“For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 Amplified)
Prayer is speaking this living word out of our mouths. We must speak forth faith, for faith is what pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). When we speak God’s living Word’s back to Him in prayer, we are putting Him in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26) and our Father sees Himself in His Word and is obligated to honor His covenant.
For example, when we are believing God for material needs, we shouldn’t just approach God begging for provision. That is “asking amiss.” Instead, we should remind God that He has supplied all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). When we remind God of that covenant in prayer, that Word will not return void, but it will accomplish that which He pleases and purposes, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto He sends it. (Isaiah 55:11).
There is actually a great irony in praying God’s Word. When we pray the Word, we are actually praying the Word to the Word. According to John 1, God is the Word. Ultimately, there are many different kinds of prayer such as the prayer of Thanksgiving and praise, the prayer of dedication in worship, and many others (Lake, 1999). Yet all prayer involves a time of fellowship with the Father (the Word). So when we pray, the Word is being ministered to the Word.
Jesus said, “the words (rhema) that I speak unto you are spirit and life” (John 6:63). When Jesus faced satan in the wilderness, He said, “it is written… it is written… it is written,” three times! We are to be like Jesus and to live, be upheld, and be sustained by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
Using the Word of God in prayer is not taking it out of context, for His Word is the key to answered prayer—the prayer that brings results. The the living Word, He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think in our human minds… but notice, it is “according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). What is this power? The living Word of God.
As a case and point, Paul was very specific and definite in the way he prayed. The first chapters of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians are all examples of how Paul prayed for believers using God’s Word. There are numerous others. I encourage you to search them out. Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We can use those spirit-given prayers today.
It would be difficult for someone to develop an effective prayer life that is anything but empty words unless God’s Word actually has a part in our lives. Remember in order to have power that availeth much, we need to know God’s Word and hold fast to our confession of the faith which comes by the Word.
I will never forget a powerful quote I heard from Andrew Wommack (n.d.), “Prayer does not cause faith to work, but faith causes prayer to work.” According to Romans 10:17, faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Therefore, any prayer problem is a lack of Word problem. Either lacking the knowledge of the Word, or doubting the integrity of the Word and the ability of God to stand behind his promises in the Word.
You can spend fruitless hours in prayer if your heart is not prepared before hand. Preparation of the heart, the spirit, comes from meditating in the Father’s Word, meditation on who you are in Christ, what He is to you, and what the Holy Spirit can mean to you as you become God-inside minded. Attend to God’s Word, submit to his sayings, keep them in the center of your heart, and put away contrary talk (Proverbs 4:20).
The Holy Spirit is a divine helper, and He will direct your prayer and help you pray when you don’t know how. When you use God’s Word in prayer this is is not something you just rush through, uttering wants. Do not be mistaken. There is nothing “magical” or “manipulative” about it—no set pattern or device in order to satisfy what you want or think out of your flesh. Instead, you are holding God’s Word before Him.
Prayer based upon the word rises above the senses, contacts the Author of the Word, and sets His spiritual laws and motion. It is not just saying prayers that get results, but it is spending time with the Father, learning his wisdom, drawing on his strength, being filled with his quietness, and basking in his love that brings results to our prayers.
I would recommend that if you are not seeing results in your prayer life, that you should start praying God’s Word. Try to not pray anything unless it has been made real to you. Generic impersonal prayers, will not be heaven and earth shaking. Only pray the revelations you have received—the rhema WORD. Only the rhema Word of God is alive, full of power—to shake heaven, commission angels, bind and loose, cast out demons, heal the sick.
Nathaniel Spiers is a minister, business owner, and eternal student of the Word of God. He has been called as a teacher to the Body of Christ around the world. His commission is to prepare the church to be the bride Jesus deserves. He is passionate about seeing Christians become Believers and Males become Men.