Oh my – God is sooooo awesome!
I’d been wondering and asking the Lord – “Where were all our confirmations in the past week of our confession/verse…??” I knew He was speaking to me about redistribution of some priorities, so I thought He was being more quiet this week about our confession in order to give me time to turn more of my attention to some other assignments again. Then yesterday morning while we fixed breakfast we listened to a Joyce teaching from last week (catching up, since we’d fallen behind again). AND THERE was our clear confirmation! It had been sitting there on Joyce’s site from her broadcasts last week, waiting for us to hear. I started to think – “If only I’d listened to it last Thursday when it aired, I could have sent it sooner.” But I feel like the Lord may be showing me that hearing it NOW allowed me to notice a powerful connection with one of the themes God was emphasizing to me last week, which I might have missed had I heard it sooner.
Our confession, as I hope you remember, was based on Jeremiah 1:12 about How God watches over His Word to perform it (or fulfill it). Though I wasn’t receiving confirmations of this specific verse, one of the things I did feel like God was reminding me of AGAIN last week was about the importance and necessity that we pray in FAITH and not in FEAR. A few days after I started feeling like God was bringing this theme back to my attention, and started asking Him to help me with that again, this Rick Renner devo showed up in my inbox (see entire devo at link):
Ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss…. — James 4:2,3
… The Greek word for “amiss” is kakos, which describes something that is bad or wrong. As James uses it in this verse, it depicts a person who is asking wrongly, badly, or inappropriately. You could say that this person is simply not hitting the mark in his request. Although he prays with the greatest fervor, he is not hitting the target with what he is asking. This person is apparently asking God to do something that is not in agreement with His Word. Therefore, regardless of how long or how passionately the person asks, God will not answer his request with a positive answer because it is not in agreement with the Word. Or perhaps this person is asking for the right thing, but because he is so fretful and filled with fear and anxiety, he doesn’t ask in faith. Rather than praying from a position of faith, he cries out to the Lord in fear and anxiety. But fear doesn’t move God — faith does. Hence, although this person may be asking for the right thing, he is asking from a wrong spirit. Thus, he is asking badly or inappropriately. This means what we ask and how we ask are both of vital importance if we are going to get our prayers answered! …
Especially when I was younger in the Lord, I made the mistake of asking things wrongly when I prayed. Perhaps my intentions were right, but my prayers were not in agreement with the truths revealed in the Bible. There were other moments when I finally got my prayers in agreement with the Word of God, but I was so motivated by anxiety and fear that I couldn’t ask in faith. … I was praying from a wrong spirit — out of fear rather than out of faith — so all of that effort resulted only in a sore throat!
Have you ever had the experience of asking the right thing in the wrong way? Praying scripturally and in faith is essential if you want your requests to be answered positively. First John 5:14 says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.” The word “confidence” is the Greek word parresia. It describes confidence, boldness, or assurance. It pictures a person so confident that when he speaks, he has no doubt about what he is saying. He knows what he is saying is correct or appropriate; therefore, he becomes very bold. In the context of prayer, this word presents the picture of a believer who is so confident he is right in what he is asking that he asks unashamedly and confidently. What can give you this kind of confidence? The verse goes on to tell you: “…If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”So when you 1) know God’s will and 2) ask Him to do something that is in agreement with His will, you can be 100-percent sure that God will hear you and that your request will be positively answered! This means you have solid ground on which to stand as you pray in agreement with the revealed will of God, the Bible. Since your request is in agreement with what God has already revealed in His Word, you know you can be bold when you make your request! And there is no need for you to pray out of fear and anxiety either. Just quiet down, and let the Word of God fill you with peace; then ask in faith.
First John 5:14 guarantees that if you ask anything that is in agreement with His will, God will hear you. In fact, verse 15 goes on to promise you, “And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Knowing what to pray and how to pray is vitally important. So always keep this in mind as you get ready to make your requests known to God: God listens for His Word, and He responds to faith. When He hears His Word prayed from a heart of faith, He is compelled to act. The success of your prayer life is up to you, friend, so don’t ask “amiss” when you pray. Make sure you are asking correctly and in an appropriate spirit of faith. As you learn to pray in line with God’s Word from a heart filled with faith, the answers you seek will manifest in your life more quickly and more fully than ever before! (Copyright, Renner Ministries)
It seemed like I remembered receiving a confirmation of this theme through Ed Traut devo recently too, so I looked back a few days and saw that sure enough Ed said:
“The Lord responds to faith rather than anxiety or stress that we portray in our prayers.”
When I first saw Ed’s message, it had served as a confirmation of things I’d just reread in the testimony of receiving healing for my torn tendon. I’d been convicted again that God wants us to stop the bawling and squalling of unbelief and instead TAKE HOLD OF and RECEIVE His abundant supply of provision that He’s already FILLED WITH and is trying to help us receive from the moment He hears our cry. So, I knew God was speaking to me last week again about the importance of praying in FAITH, based on His Word/promises, and not in FEAR, ANXIETY, or WORRY. However, I didn’t know why He wasn’t speaking to us about our confession/verse, to help make it greater heart revelation. Or so I thought… Until yesterday morning, when we listened to Joyce’s teaching from last Thursday. And then God tied it all together:
Joyce asked Lisa Bevere – “What are some key things that every believer can do to combat fear.”
Lisa responded, “Speaking the Word! I love that God promises HE WILL WATCH OVER HIS WORD TO PERFORM IT. (I was immediately excited to finally be receiving our confirmation!) Lisa continued, “I listen to how people pray (She then demonstrated a worried, fearful prayer and continued…). God doesn’t have to answer that. God watches over His WORD – not our worries – not our fears – not even prayers that are crafted outside of the will of God or the Word of God. (Immediately the Rick Renner devo came to mind, and I knew God was continuing to emphasize this theme). So, I’ve learned to pray HIS PRAYERS because if I pray His Word, then I’m actually speaking the language that the earth was formed by. (more confirmation of that recent theme!!) When I speak the Word of God, God’s like – “…Somebody’s speaking my Word – I’m going to watch over that!” So when you pray God’s Word, you pray His will. You don’t have to worry – you don’t have to administrate it. You just let HIM watch over it.” (from “Bold, Confident, and Courageous pt 1”)
!!!!! Needless to say, I was thrilled at how God was bringing our verse/confession together with the theme that had emerged last week of making sure that we’re praying in faith, based on God’s Word, rather than praying in fear, worry, or anxiety! Not only did He provide this confirmation, but in both this episode and part 2, God was all up in our business – as usual – with VERY TIMELY confirmations that were just what we needed to hear! Praise the Lord!
Hope this blesses and encourages you and perhaps challenges you today to make sure you are praying FAITH-FILLED prayers, founded on the SURE Word and promises of God. And then remembering to remain in faith after you’ve prayed ~ knowing that God is, indeed, watching over His Word that you prayed and pro-claimed in order to perform it!