How God answers prayer when you believe
Are you facing a hopeless situation? King Jehoshaphat of Judah was facing an impossible battle against nations that were plotting to wipe his kingdom out. He did 4 things.
1. He got everyone in the kingdom to fast – to stop eating and be totally focussed on the urgency of the situation and to seek God.
2. He prayed in front of all the people that God was the one who could deliver them from sword, judgment, pestilence or famine (2 Chron. 20:9).
3. He told the people to be firmly persuaded that God would deliver them. 3 times he uses the word aman which means to “believe or be established” “Be established in the Lord your God, and you will be established. Be established in his prophets, and you will succeed” (v 20, my paraphrase).
4. He set singers singing to God and “praising His holy splendour”. They were to walk ahead of the army into battle singing: “Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” (v21).
And the outcome? The minute they started to praise, all the opposing armies started to fight each other and they were defeated (2 Chron. 20:22 ).
The battle was really won, however, when the people’s minds were firmly persuaded that God would deliver them. Their firm belief in God caused them to fast, to pray and to praise in the midst of overwhelming odds.
In the light of Jehoshaphat’s reliance on God to deliver, here is what the New Testament says about you and your requests to God.
1. You can pray to God about anything. “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13 NLT).
2. Jesus advocated fasting privately and praying as a way of humbling yourself before God and seeing Him alone as the source of all help (Matt. 6:16).
3. When we pray to God we are to come before Him firmly believing that He will hear us and answer us. “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6 NLT).
4. Be confident that God will answer. Paul instructs us to not be anxious, but to petition our requests and pray to God for every situation with thanksgiving (Phil 4:6 NIV).
Once we have told God about what we need we finish our prayer with amen. This word has been derived from that Hebrew word aman, to be solidly established, firmly assured that God is trustworthy and our prayers will be answered.
In this atmosphere of firm assurance, God can act. “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NLT).