“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” – Luke 22:42
In the above scripture, Jesus is praying to the Father about what He is about to go through. Throughout the Bible, we can find several different types of prayer. The prayer above is the prayer of consecration or dedication. It is a prayer of consecrating ones’ will to the will and desires of God. In this prayer, we pray for God’s will to be done, not our will.
You will recognize the phrase “if thou be willing.” You may hear that phrase, “Lord if it’s your will” when people pray. You may even pray this way. I know of many people who do. However, we must understand that with different types of prayer come different rules or principles.
Unfortunately, many people do not realize this. Many believe that prayer is prayer, that there are not different types, that there are not different rules that govern the different types. And that is why they don’t get their prayers answered. You can be a good Christian, live your entire life and never get a prayer answered if you don’t pray according to the correct principle that governs the type of prayer you are praying.
During the prayer of consecration, it is perfectly acceptable to pray, “if it be thy will.” However, if you are praying the prayer of faith – the prayer that is asking for something from God, it is not acceptable. In fact, it is a prayer killer. It will nullify everything that you have just prayed.
To pray the prayer of faith – the prayer that is asking for something – the prayer that changes things – you must know the will of God. Faith begins where the will of God is known and the Word of God is the will of God. You cannot pray the prayer of faith and expect to get the answer you want unless you have faith to believe for what it is you are praying for.
However, Christians lump all prayer together, pray for what they want, hope and try to believe God for what it is and attach the prayer-nullifying phrase “if it be thy will.” Many do this while praying for healing. But because they pray without knowing the rules or principles, their prayers go unanswered. They reply when asked, “God will heal me if it is His will.” If they don’t get healed, it’s easy to pass responsibility to God saying that He didn’t want them healed.
Many think that if God wants something done, He’ll do it. If God wants me healed, He’ll heal me. But that’s a cop out. By that same logic, you are saying that God wants you sick – because if God wants it done, He’ll do it. You’re saying that He wants people to get raped, murdered, beheaded, and it’s His will that there is destruction, death, and tragedies in the world. But that’s not right. Just because something is happening in the world or to you, that does not mean that it is God’s will. We have a part to play in receiving from God and if we do not follow the principles set forth in the Bible, we will not get anything from Him.
On the other hand, if there are different kinds of prayer – if there are different principles that govern these prayers, then it just makes sense that our prayers don’t get answered because we are not applying the correct principles to the prayer we are praying.
Principles That Govern The Prayer Of Faith
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
Mark 11:24 gives us the principles that govern the principles of the prayer of faith. These principles are:
1.) You must have a desire
2.) You must pray
3.) You must believe that you receive when you pray
4.) You shall have them
The word desire here is more than just a want. It is an unwavering want that will not be satisfied until you have it. After you have this desire, you must pray and ask for your need to be met and believe that you receive it when you pray. For this, you must have faith.
How do you get faith? By hearing and hearing the Word of God. We build faith by feeding on the Word of God – hearing scriptures that pertain to our desire. If you want healing, you need to find scriptures that promise you healing and digest them over and over. Continually reading, listening, confessing the scriptures that will build your faith is how you grow your faith.
When you pray, you must believe that you have received. Many will ask though, how do I do that? How do you believe that you have something before you actually have it? You do it by faith. Faith is believing that you have something that has not yet been manifested in the physical realm.
Let’s say you go for a job interview and after the interview they decide they want to hire you. They tell you all the benefits you’re going to get, that they are going to pay you a thousand dollars a week and they want you to start next week. Well you go out and tell everyone you know that you got this great job and it pays such and such and these are the benefits and you start next week. Well how do you know that? That company may go belly up tomorrow. You may get there and find out that they’re closed, or the man that hired you was fired and everything he did last week was not accepted by the business. I’ll tell you how – by faith. You have faith in what that man said – that he was going to give you a job and pay you such and such, and give you all these benefits, and for you to come in next week. It works the same way.
If you have it, you don’t talk about not having it. You don’t act like you don’t have it. There is much more that can and should be said about this. For a more comprehensive study on this, please read the Bible Faith Study Course by Dr. Kenneth E Hagin.
We must understand also that the first three steps or principles are our part. The fourth is God’s part. In almost all things dealing with God, there is a man-ward side and a God-ward side. There are things we must do and things that He will do. If we do our part, He is sure to do our part. This is the prayer of faith. It is not governed by the phrase “if it be thy will.” If we want to have our prayers answered, we must make sure we are praying according to the principles for the specific type of prayer that we are praying. When we do that, our prayers will no longer be hindered and we will receive what we ask for.