Prayer (1)

Course: The Importance of Effective Prayer

Lesson 3

Title: The Prayer of Faith


Text:  Mark 11:24-26  'Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.  And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.'


Introduction:  The characteristics of the prayer of faith. 




Introductory Story: Praying for the Holy Spirit  Charles Finney.

Question:  Is it necessary to pray for the Holy Spirit?

Yes scripture tells us to ask for the Holy Spirit.  Luke 11:13  'If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?'  We know from the scriptures that it is His will to give the Holy Spirit.



Example of effective prayer.  Praying for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit.

The requirements for answered prayer:





Main Points:

1.      We must pray right.   

(a)    Without wavering  -  Much prayer is half hearted.  Prayer without wavering is not presumptuous prayer.  It is prayer that meets God’s conditions, and stands on God’s word.  Steadfast Faith will stand firm knowing that God will answer prayer that is firmly founded on the promises of God.  The prayer of faith does not doubt but asks with full assurance of answered prayer.  'But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth, is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed' (James 1:5, 6).   


(b)   With a renewed mind (not in carnality). 

·        We must pray with right desires.  If we are seeking to fulfil lustful or selfish desires our prayers will not be answered.  James 4:3  ‘You ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.’  Right praying always has the glory of God as the primary concern. 


·        The prayer of faith asks according to the will of God. 1 John 5:14  'And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us:'  We must know His Word.  If we are renewed in mind we will know His will, (Romans 12:1-2).  If we obey His word we will know the truth, (John 8:31-32).  The word of God must be in us, Colossians 3:16.


2.      We must believe right.

(a)    God will keep His promises.  The prayer of faith is not ‘faith in our faith’, it is faith that God keeps His word.  The prayer of faith must stand sure that God will fulfil His Word.  The assurance of prayer is in the promises of God.  2 Corinthians 1:20  'For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.'  Faith holds firm that God will do what He has promised. Psalm 119:49  ‘Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope’.


(b)   God will fulfil His purposes.  The prayer of faith must have assurance that the purposes of God for our lives will be fulfilled.  Romans 8:28  ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’  We can pray with certainty knowing that the will of God for our lives will be fulfilled.  1Thessalonians 5:24  ‘Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.’


3.      We must be careful to keep in right relationships with one another. 

(a)     With a forgiving heart.  The prayer of faith must be united to a forgiving heart.  Unforgiveness will prevent answered prayer.  Jesus said in connection with prayer that our sins will not be forgiven unless we forgive, Mt 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.   Jesus forgave those who crucified Him, Luke 23:34  Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.  How much more should we forgive those who wrong us.  Stephen even forgave the Religious leaders who murdered him.  Acts 7:60  ‘And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.’  The great answer to Stephen’s prayer was the ministry of the Apostle Paul.


(b)     With the fruit of the Spirit. 

·        Love.  The prayer of faith must always be united with the fruit of love. Ephesians 5:2  ‘And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.’  We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Being tender hearted towards one another and not holding grudges or bitterness in our hearts.  Ephesians 4:30-32.  Our heart will condemn us when we pray if we do not walk in love, 1 John 3:20 ‘For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.’  Christians who have an effective prayer life have learnt to walk in love, 1 Corinthians 13. 

·        Gentleness.  We must be gentle in our dealings with one another.  1Timothy 2:24-26  ‘And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.’  Christian leaders must be careful to be gentle towards all and always willing to forgive.  Harsh words can hit people so hard that they never recover.  We should always seek to build one another up.  


Note: It is painful to remember the times when we have acted or spoken harshly and in a wrong manner.  I have learnt by painful experience that winning an argument is not worth the feeling of sadness associated with knowing we have hurt others.  Take my advice if there is contention in the Church walk away.  Church leaders should seek to avoid contention in the Church. 1 Corinthians 11:16  ‘But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.’



The characteristics of the prayer of faith are

  1. Right praying that is built upon the word and will of God and seeks only the glory of God.  
  2. Right beliefs that are built upon the promises of God, the plan and purpose of God and under the control of the Holy Spirit.
  3. Right relationships with one another so that the Holy Spirit is not grieved. Unforgiveness will hinder answered prayer.