Praying God's Desires

Prayer is essential to the life of a believer. It should be the foundation of everything you do as a leader in the ministry. You should learn from those who trained you, you may observe new trends among other ministers or churches, and you will probably come up with some ideas of your own to apply to your church or ministry. All of those sources may inspire you, but you should never make any move without covering it in prayer.
Different Meanings of the word, “Prayer”
Most people associate the word “prayer” with asking something of God. That is certainly one of the Biblical meanings of the word, but there are others as well. It can mean worship; it may mean declaration. Regardless of the topic, you should never interpret or teach on a verse out of the Bible without understanding the context. I learned in Bible school, thirty-eight years ago, to read at least two verses before and two verses after. I prefer to read the entire chapter to assure that I get the correct context of scriptures before I teach them. When discussing prayer, it’s important to know whether the Scripture is referring to supplication (asking) or declaration.
A Key to Praying the Prayer of Faith
A key to the prayer of faith is the Lordship of Jesus in your life. When you declare, “Jesus is Lord,” you are saying, “Jesus is the Supreme Authority in my life.” Your success in praying the prayer of faith hinges on the authority of Jesus in your life.
The prayer of faith is found in Mark 11:22-24: And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
              People often get led off track by the word, “desire” in Mark 11:24. Does that mean you can ask for anything at all, and it will happen? The context of Mark 11 is Jesus teaching His disciples how He cursed the fig tree. Did Jesus do whatever He wanted when He walked the earth? Did He curse the fig tree on His own volition? The answer is found in several verses in the Gospel of John.
But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. (John 5:36)
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. (John 10:25)
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10)
The verses above indicate that Jesus did and spoke only what the Father told him. The Father controlled Jesus’ speech and actions, and Jesus willingly submitted to Him. Jesus spoke to the fig tree because the Father told Him to do so. When you pray, do you pray for your desires or the Lord’s?
How to do Greater Works
When Jesus is truly the One in authority in your life, you won’t pray selfishly. Your desires will be Jesus’ desires, and when you pray about those, you can be one hundred percent confident that they will come to pass!
The Father wants to control your speech and actions in the same way He did Jesus’. When He does, then John 14:12 will come to pass. It is often quoted, but not often understood in this context of obedience to the Father: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)
Why don’t we see more believers doing the “greater works”? It’s because most have made Jesus only their Savior, not their Lord. Jesus is not Lord of their lives because they choose their own paths, seek after their own desires, and pray according to their own will.
God honors your free will. He will not force His will on you, but if you sincerely want Him to direct your path, you need to do what Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
To pray the prayer of faith effectively, and do the greater works, you need to acknowledge God in every decision. Most Christians will seek God’s direction in some things, but not in others. They do what they want and then pray, “Lord, put Your blessing on it.” God blesses what He tells you to do. When you ask according to His will, you can be certain that it will come to pass. I John 5: 14-15 says, And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
You Can’t Believe for Other People
When you read Mark 11:22-24 closely, you will notice the pronoun “you.” Jesus said,  “Believe you receive and you shall have it.” The prayer of faith applies to you as an individual. You can’t believe for other people. If you could, you would be able to override God’s established system of free will. I know many Christian parents who want their adult children to be born-again, but adult offspring have their own wills. They have to make the decision to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior just like you did.
Ask Once
How many times should you pray the prayer of faith? Is it correct to ask God repeatedly for the same things? If you carefully examine what Jesus said about the prayer of faith, you will see the answer: What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11:24)
              If you believe that you receive, then why would you pray about the same thing again? Think about this in your life. If your child asks you to take him to his ballgame, and you say you will; how would you feel if he calls or texts you five more times asking, “Will you take me to my ballgame?”
The prayer of faith is unique in that it is to be prayed once. You believe when you pray, and then you simply thank God that it is done! The prayer of faith is not the same as praying for family members, those in authority, or for other people.
Get the Word from God and pray the prayer of faith for the things that you need according to His will. Believe you receive, and then give God thanks that it is done!

This article is written by Bishop Keith A. Butler