Success in prayer comes two ways: changing the situation, or effectively changing yourself. I’ll gladly take either result! But why not go for both? This is about praying first for the Lord to effectively change you. Then, watching and waiting as He (inevitably) changes the situation. Most failed prayer concentrates on getting the Lord to change the situation first, as in “Lord, You’ve got to change this person or this situation RIGHT NOW.” Let’s turn that around and get more consistent victories.
To gain this kind of success in prayer, we have to learn the secret of living by God’s promises. Just as the Lord led the children of Israel to a Promised Land of abundance, so He would lead us into a Land of Promises. The Kingdom of God on earth is a place where we live with previously unattainable abundance of peace, joy and blessing. Here’s how it works: Just imagine the Lord has given you an unending supply of stickers which all say “God works everything for good” (Romans 8:28) in beautifully embossed, happy colors. Your assignment? Put them on EVERY problem you see.
Start Slow, But Don’t Stop
Let’s say you set out sticking God’s higher truth on minor troubles with some success. It feels good! That is, until a problem as big as a gorilla shows up and starts taking over your living room. How can this be good? No matter how many times you put a sticker on it, all you see is the problem. Soon, in addition to the problem you have anger, fear, despair, and frustration, because God’s promise doesn’t seem to apply in your situation. Now your inner state has become part of the problem. That’s an even worse problem! What can you do?
This is exactly where many believers give up, settling for something far less than the “glorious liberty” promised to God’s children (Romans 8:21). BUT NOT YOU. You reach deep, pull up all the faith you can find, and start plastering that problem and everything else in sight with Romans 8:28 until all you see is the promise, shining back at you. If even a tiny edge of a problem—inside or outside of you—tries to show its hind parts, you cover it immediately! Before we go any further, let me ask you. How do you think you would be feeling if all you could see was the promise and not the problem? No doubt about it, you would be feeling GREAT! See “The Secret of Letting Go” and learn about how they catch monkeys…
Not Feeling It Yet?
Right about now the skeptical side of you might be thinking: “Steve, all you’ve done is make me live in a fantasy. I still have the problem. I just wall-papered over it with some wishful thinking. Nothing is changed.” Oh no, dear heart, everything of importance has changed. Even so, I’ll grant you this: that it feels like fantasy thinking. I believe that this is why so many stumble into unbelief and miss the life of faith. We don’t want to be fooled! So, we fool ourselves into thinking that this level of “blind faith” in the promise doesn’t work. It’s out of touch with the hard realities of life.
Look again. By covering every problem in your life with the promise, your believing heart just got released into joy. That only happened because you actually gave the weight of your problems to God. They finally went out of your heart and into His Hands. That’s not a fantasy! God is the ultimate Reality. Getting connected to Him the way He wants us to connect–by a full, and living faith in His Word–puts us more in touch with reality, not less.
Until that happens, God usually lets our lack of faith crush us. We tumble into disappointment, confusion and feelings of failure. But when we fully release the problem to Him, He goes to work on it. The promise is His means of getting you to release problems to Him. It is also His divine means of getting you to live in the River of peace and joy while you wait for His work to manifest.
Success in Prayer Is Your Choice
Now, which would you rather have? The crushing weight of your problems on you and nothing in God’s Hands? Or your problems in His Hands and your heart soaring by believing His promise? If I’m dreaming a fantasy, PLEASE don’t wake me up! This life of faith keeps me living in peace and joy that I never found any other way. And guess what? I’m accomplishing far more with less effort than ever before. Because (catch the wink) it’s not really me doing the heavy lifting. As I trust the promise, God works on all the things I can’t change!
If you take up this assignment, I can almost guarantee that you will wonder at times if you’re living in “la la land.” The truth, however, is you will actually be entering the Kingdom of God, our New Testament “Promise Land.” That’s always a sign of genuine success in prayer. My answer to my own doubts has always been, “I’m going to keep on trusting the promise. I’m having too great a ride Home!”
For more on activating your faith to live by believing God’s promises see “The Power of Believing” at our website for healing, healingstreamsusa.org.