The Power of Prayer
through the Word of God (15)
Praying for Results
Pray to profit! Great business do business in order to profit; they seek to do business in order to make a profit. Industry demands the best technical education and demands that men and women train to do their jobs. We must make a business of prayer. Actually, it is the greatest business there is. Itís Godís business.
From a practical side, the essence of Christianity is a living relationship with a living God who hears and answers prayers.
Prayer is of the utmost importance. Just simply talking into the air is not prayer. Taking up twenty minutes on Sunday morning, giving God a homily on what His duties are toward the Church and the local congregation, is not prayer. Or giving the congregation a lecture about the doís and doníts of the Bible is not prayer. I believe we should pray for results. If we pray, and results have not followed, we should immediately seek to find out why we have not received our answer.
Christianity is a supernatural relationship with a supernatural God. If the supernatural is not wrought in our midst and if adverse circumstances arenít changed by the power of God through our prayers, it shows that we simply have the form of godliness without the power (2 Tim. 3:5). All the things that God has and which He has provided for us are offered to us through His Word and through our union with Him. And if we do not have the things in our lives He has freely offered, it may be that we have not made our prayer connection and that we have not appropriated Godís promises by faith.
We know that God does hear prayer that is based on the Name of Jesus. You know it and I know it. We have seen many souls saved in answer to prayer. We have seen peopleís finances helped in answer to prayer. Demons have been cast out by using the mighty Name of Jesus. We have seen the miraculous power of God manifested again and again in our behalf because of that wonderful Name. Thank God, God is still in the same business of saving, healing, and setting people free.
And yet, through the years, Iíve gone to some churches where not a soul had been saved there for many years. And Iím not necessarily talking about denominational churches; I am talking about Full Gospel churches.
Many times these same people are praying and seeking God, but they go right on praying with no results. But why not just go to the principles of Godís Word and find out where the prayer failure is? Is God untrue? No, He is not untrue! Is the day of praying or the day of miracles over? No!
Have we been depending upon the promises of a God who has gone bankrupt? No! Then if weíre not receiving answers to prayer, there is something wrong somewhere, isnít there? Is it that we are not known in the bank of heaven? We need to find out where the hindrance in our prayer life is because Jesus stands back of the Word to make it good in our lives. He has become the surety of a new and better covenant than the Old Covenant because it is established upon better promises (Heb. 7:22; 8:6).
The Book of Hebrews tells us, "By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament" (Heb. 7:22). What does that phrase mean, "a surety of a better testament"? That means that the very throne on which Jesus sits is the authority to back up His Word. From the Book of Matthew through Revelation, Jesus is the surety of a better covenant. Jesus must keep His Word; He cannot go back on it. Yes, He hears and answers prayer!
Miraculous Results Through Prayer
In Jesusí Name
I once read a testimony by I. J. Jamison who was formerly a Presbyterian minister. He had been giving some lectures in a western state when a forest fire broke out in the area. The fire was raging, and valuable timber and animals and some homes were being destroyed. The fire was simply burning out of control.
Rev. Jamison was in the barber shop one morning getting a shave. The barber had put a towel on his face, and as Rev. Jamison was lying there in the chair, a man came in with a telegram. The man with the telegram said he didnít know what to do with the telegram. Someone had sent it around the city. It said, "Pray for rain." The fire had gotten so out of hand that there was no telling what would happen if it didnít rain.
Someone said, "Well, there is a preacher in that chair. Maybe you could give the telegram to him." About that time, the barber raised the chair and took the towel off the preacherís face and asked him if he would pray for rain. Rev. Jamison said, "We donít believe in that sort of thing."
So someone in the barber shop spoke up and said, "Well, there is a little tent meeting going on at the edge to town, and they believe in praying for anything."
Someone asked, "Who are they?"
The answer was, "I donít know. Some of them are ĎHoly Rollers.í"
No one would volunteer to take the telegram out to the tent, as they were all afraid of those "Holy Rollers." Rev. Jamison said if no one else would do it, he would. Someone said, "They have a prayer meeting about 10:00 every morning."
So the next morning, Jamison took that telegram out to the tent meeting. He said there were about twenty people there. Three or four of them were kneeling on the platform praying. He didnít know which one was the preacher, but he picked out the one he thought might be and tapped him on the shoulder.
The man looked up and Rev. Jamison said to him, "Here is a prayer request that someone asked me to bring to you." The man took it and read it. Meanwhile, Rev. Jamison backed away from the group just to see what they would do.
Rev. Jamison said the man got up and began to holler for everyone to stop praying. (All the people had been praying all at one, out loud.) He hollered until he got everyone to listen and then he read the prayer request. He asked how many believed God would hear, and they all lifted their hands. So he said, "All right, letís go to prayer about it."
Rev. Jamison said that all twenty of them began to pray and they just prayed up a storm. One by one they ceased, and finally the man said to them, "How many of you believe God heard you?" they all raised their hands.
He said, "Then letís lift both hands and praise God for the answer." They raised their hands and praised God for rain.
Rev. Jamison said later, "That man shocked me." The preacher turned and handed the telegram back to Rev. Jamison and said, "Here, send a telegram back and tell them it will be raining by 10:00 tonight."
Rev. Jamison said, "I went back to town to the barber shop and told them what the man had said."
All the men in the barber shop slapped one another on the back and laughed about it because they had all read the weather report and no rain was in sight for days.
Jamison and his wife were in bed by 9:00 that evening. He said he happened to see the moon shining bright and clear outside. His wife had washed some laundry and had left it hanging on the line. When he saw the clothes on the line, he remembered what that preacher had said about the rain. He began laughing and told his wife what had happened that day. They both lay there and laughed.
He said to her, "You had better get your laundry in because itís going to rain." They both laughed and she said, "I read the evening paper and itís not going to rain." He said they must have talked and laughed about it until 9:30 or so and then they fell off to sleep.
After a while, Rev. Jamison was awakened by what sounded like thunder. He thought he was hearing things, but then he saw lightning flash, and before he could get out of bed, it began to rain in torrents. He said he got up and turned on the light and it was exactly 10:00 p.m.
Jamison said, "Then I couldnít got to sleep. I thought, Did God hear those people? Is there something to that? Do they know something I donít know? What about that? He began to slip into those Pentecostal meetings after his own services were dismissed, sitting in the very back.
After Jamison finished his lectures in this town he was visiting, he went back to his home state. He would slip over to the little Pentecostal church there at first, and he began sitting on the back row. But he kept sitting closer and closer to the front, until he finally sat on the front row.
He said he took notes on the scriptures and messages and would go home to read in the privacy of his study, and there he discovered the truth of Godís Word. He thought, Why didnít I see the truth before, particularly scriptures on the Holy Ghost? He continued to go to Pentecostal services, just watching and observing.
There was a woman in this Pentecostal church whose daughter was in a mental institution. Jamison heard the mother talking to several folks about meeting her at a certain time in the morning outside the mental institution.
Jamison said, "I just intruded on their private conversation because I didnít want to miss out on anything. I found out that they were going to meet outside the institution, and that this woman was going to cast the devil out of her daughter. She had about a dozen spiritual women who were going along with her to back her up in prayer.
"I just blurted out, ĎCan I come along?í And they replied, ĎAll right, meet us out there at 10:00 in the morning.í"
Jamison met them there. He said he wondered how all of them were going to get inside the institution. But he said he had been around them long enough to believe that because of their faith in God, they could do just about anything.
The woman told the attendant that she wanted to see her daughter. Jamison related, "We all went parading sown the halls." Then the woman said to the guard, "I want you to open the door and let me in that cell because Iím going to pray for my daughter." The Attendant said, "Why, you canít do that! Sheíll kill you! Sheís violently insane."
Jamison said they stopped before a padded cell where there was a woman who looked more like animal than a human. Her hair had grown long, her nails were long and claw-like, and she hissed and spit at them like an animal. The attendant told the woman he couldnít let her into the cell because he would lose his job if he did, but all the time he was unlocking the door! The woman stepped in and he locked the door again.
Rev. Jamison said he and the attendant were the only men there, and they stepped back to watch. The twelve women who had come with them fell on their knees and prayed quietly. They didnít look at what was happening in the cell; they just knelt down and all prayed quietly.
As Jamison and the attendant watched, the daughter backed away and climbed about halfway up that padded wall, then made a leap at her mother like an animal. Her mother side-stepped her and the daughter fell (the daughter was a woman in her early thirties). When her daughter rolled over to get up, the mother jumped on her and held her down and said, "Come out of her, devil, in the Name of Jesus."
Jamison said, "That mother got her nose down within an inch of her daughterís nose, and she said for about ten minutes over and over, ĎCome out of her, devil, in the Name of Jesus.í" Suddenly the daughter relaxed, looked up, and said, "Mama! Is that you, Mama?" The daughter threw her arms around her motherís neck and hugged her and kissed her.
Jamison said, "I am witness to the fact that the authorities dismissed that woman that day as being totally well." Then he said, "Bless God, I want the Holy Ghost. If people can pray like that, Iím a candidate." And, thank God, he was gloriously filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking with other tongues.
Friends, we ought to pray for results! Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever (Heb. 13:8). And God our Father never changes (Malachi 3:6). We have access to the Father in the Name of Jesus just as those people did! Our prayers to the Father in the Name of Jesus can be just as effective as those believersí prayers were. So pray for results!
Continue to grow in your fellowship with the Heavenly Father. You can also learn to allow the Word of God to abide in you so you can pray according to Godís will, and your prayers will be answered. Then Jesusí words in (John 16:24) will be fulfilled in your life: Your Joy will become full!
Best Greetings to all of you, brothers in Christ, may God bless you much as you continue to walk, the walk of faith in Jesus' Name. Praise and Glory be to God.
for the PREVIOUS reading.
for the NEXT reading.