Vital Basics of Answered Prayer
Use These.  They'll Get the Job Done!

by Pastor John Hamel


God wants to answer prayer and meet every need of humanity.  This is why we have prepared these studies on prayer for you.  The principles we are outlining in these studies will put your right over the top in prayer.  


However, the application of these principles is all up to you.  Success in prayer depends on the implementation of what you learn.  


Let’s get right in to today’s study.


Pray to the Father in Jesus' Name


This is a principle that warrants seeing again.  We covered it in the study entitled “Jesus’ All Powerful Name” and we will look at it again quickly before moving on.


“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father, IN MY NAME, he will give it you.” (John 16:23)


Some have missed it here severely, substituting human pride and human accomplishment as a basis for answered prayer. 


When I was a younger Christian I had a friend who had been a Missionary in a foreign nation for 40 years. My friend was at least thirty years my senior when he and his wife returned home because he became ill. He knew nothing about God’s Scriptural promise to heal him, because he simply had never studied in this area. He was a good man and a Godly man who gave his entire adult life to sharing Jesus Christ on the mission field.


Because of his illness, my friend was unable to properly communicate. I would go visit him, sharing from the Bible the Doctrine of Divine Healing.  He was very excited about what he was discovering from the Bible. His faith level for healing was soaring and I knew if we could continue with our studies together that he would indeed be healed.


Sadly, his wife became offended and very upset with me when she discovered what I had been sharing with her husband.  She told me, in essence, “God is not going to heal my husband because of anything you are teaching him from the Bible. God will heal my husband because he has been serving Him for 40 years on the mission field. He doesn’t need a young whippersnapper like you to teach him anything about the Bible.”


To the despair of both myself and my sick friend, his wife literally threw me out of their home. She informed me in no uncertain terms that I was to never return again.


I was dumbfounded.


One evening soon thereafter, I was on my face in prayer. The Lord clearly spoke to me in His authoritative voice, “(Friend’s name) will be dead within six weeks if they don’t get the unbelief out from under that roof. Call them and tell them.”


I was quite upset that the Lord was telling me to confront my friend's family, but I knew beyond all doubt that I had heard His voice and that I had no alternative but to obey. 


I do not mind saying that I did not enjoy the idea of having to tell my friend's family what the Lord had told me.  However, I did exactly as I was instructed.  I called them and told them exactly what the Lord had said.  His son became very angry with me, openly mocked me and flat out rejected the Word of the Lord before hanging up on me.


Exactly one day short of six weeks later, my dear friend went to Heaven prematurely, even as the Lord told me he would without repentance


He went exactly at the time the Lord told me he would and for the very reason the Lord told me he would.


His wife and son had rejected the written Word of God and implementation of proper prayer principles on his behalf. 


They could have gotten into faith, turning his situation around as he was more than willing for them to do so.  However, they wrongly chose human pride, human accomplishment and unbelief over the written Word of God. 


Human pride and human accomplishment are never a basis for answered prayer.


Almighty God was doing His best to get my friend's family out of pride and unbelief and into humility and faith, in order to save his life. 


The Lord had given me a Word of Wisdom concerning an avoidable tragedy that was coming in the immediate future, but they simply would not listen. 


They cut him off from his source of faith and cut his very life short by doing so.


The Bible way is always the best way to pray.


When praying, obediently address the Father in Jesus' Name.  


Do not address the Father based on accomplishment, self-righteousness or pride.  


God does not answer our prayers based upon all the good things we may have done for Him.  


God answers our prayers based upon the humble use of Jesus' Strong Name.


Discipline Yourself to Forgive


“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25-26)


Refusing to forgive others who offend us is probably the greatest enemy of prayer.  If you are having trouble forgiving, go to God with it, ask Him to help you in Jesus’ Name.  He will.  He is not angry with your struggle.  He wants to help.  


I always say, "When you're in trouble, run TO God.  Don't run AWAY from Him.  He's waiting to help you."


There are two kinds of forgiveness in the Bible.  When someone sins against us unconsciously, we are to forgive him or her immediately.  This is the kind of forgiveness that Jesus is talking about in the above verse of Scripture.  If someone did not intend to harm us, yet somehow they managed to do exactly that, we must forgive and release them immediately, without confrontation.


However, there is another kind of forgiveness that Jesus referred to in the Bible.  This is when people deliberately bring harm to us.  This situation is to be handled quite differently indeed.


“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.  And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4)


Here Jesus refers to someone sinning against another consciously and deliberately, with malice in mind.  In that situation we are to rebuke or to censure that individual, letting them know that their behavior is unacceptable.  


Jesus wants us to let them know that they wrongly crossed boundaries.  If they want to continue the relationship, they're going to have to apologize and offer some sort of assurance that it will not happen again.  


If they repent as a result of being lovingly rebuked, we are to restore them immediately.  If they make the same mistake again, realizing their error and repenting, we are to forgive them again, no matter how frequently we must do so.


On the other hand, if they refuse to repent, then we must continue to walk in love toward them but avoid them and censure them.  This is so they will get the message that they’ve violated our reasonable boundaries and will not be allowed to continue to do so.


"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." (Romans 16:17)


Someone whom I admire once said, “Sometimes the best way you can walk in love towards someone is to avoid them entirely.”


However, when the offending party finally does repent, we must restore them immediately.  Keep in mind that their repentance and restoration was the whole idea behind rebuking and censuring them.


"Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it." (2Corinthians 2:7 Message Bible)


We're still talking about the vital basics of prayer, remember?  


So far we've covered the importance of praying to the Father, in Jesus' Name, and disciplining yourself to forgive.  Let's move on.


Believe You Receive When You Pray


“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24)


This verse is not nearly as difficult as some make it out to be.  If God promises something in His written Word and you ask Him for it in Jesus’ Name, He will give it to you.  If you know He will give it to you, then you know it is a done deal.  Start thanking Him for it and it will manifest.


“Thank Him for it before I even see it?  What do I look like, a nut?”  Yes.  No, you don't look like a nut.  But, yes, you do thank the Father for what you've asked before you even see it.


I walked into an auto parts store recently.  The part I needed was not in stock.  I ordered it and paid for it ahead of time.  I then thanked the clerk, informing him I’d be back tomorrow to pick it up.  Was that nutty?  No.  It was polite.


God has whatever you need in stock.  When you ask Him for it, you are ordering it.  Jesus paid for it ahead of time.  Thank God for it now in Jesus’ Name the same as you would thank anyone else who gives you their word to deliver.  It is not nutty concerning natural things and it is not nutty concerning spiritual things.


If you really believe God heard you when you prayed and that He will answer you, you will do the polite thing and continue to thank Him until that which you have requested arrives.  


This is more “common decency” than it is “spirituality.”  It works, too.  Besides, who in their right mind would not be polite to the God they are petitioning?  Now that would be nutty.


Stop Praying the Same Prayer Over & Over


“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” (Ephesians 5:20)


This is the Apostle Paul writing about prayer.  The actual Greek word for “things” means “benefits.”  God wants us to thank Him, in Jesus' Name, for all the benefits that He has provided for us.


If you need healing, start thanking Him for it according to First Peter 2:24.


If you need financial help, start thanking Him for it in Jesus’ Name, according to Philippians 4:19.


The sooner you change petitioning God over and over to praising God over and over, the sooner your answer will come.  It takes faith to do that, and faith is the only thing that pleases God. (Hebrews 11:6)


People who praise always have more effective prayer lives than people who petition God with the same prayer over and over and over. (2Chronicles 20:1-25; Acts 16:16-31)


Pray to the Father in Jesus' Name.  


Discipline yourself to walk in the two kinds of forgiveness that Jesus taught.  


Thank the Father for the answer before you see it, in place of praying the same prayer over and over.  That's what it means to believe you receive when you pray.  That's what the Bible means when it tells us to walk by faith, not by sight. (2Corinthians 5:7)


These are the Vital Basics to Answered Prayer.  


Use them.  They'll get the job done!


Be Blessed ... John and Barbara Hamel



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