Our Heavenly Father has not left us alone on earth to try to make it on our own or in our own way. He has left us with the means to walk in continual communion with Him and through the channel of prayer continually receive from His hand. The Bible indicates that there are different kinds of prayer (Acts 2:42 …prayers; Ephesians 6:18…all prayer; Colossians 4:12…prayers; 1 Timothy 2:1…prayers) to be used for different needs, circumstances, and situations.
One of the primary kinds of prayer for receiving things concerning us personally is the prayer of faith (also called the prayer of petition or supplication). We need to understand the spiritual laws governing the operation of this kind of prayer. People often make the mistake of putting all prayer in the same category, but the rules or spiritual laws governing one kind of prayer are not always the same for each kind of prayer.
Here are six characteristics of the Prayer of Faith.
THE PRAYER OF FAITH IS:
- ASKING THE FATHER IN JESUS’ NAME
John 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
We can talk to Jesus, fellowship with Jesus, tell Him of our love; but when it comes to a request, we ask the Father in His (Jesus’) Name.
- ASKING 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 heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
The faith that you need for the prayer you are praying comes from your request being according to the will of God.
God’s Word is His will so be sure His Word definitely covers what you ask before you ask.
Faith for the prayer of faith begins where the will of God is known.
- BELIEVING YOU RECEIVE WHEN YOU ASK
Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Faith has a time it believes, and the starting point of our believing is right at the moment we pray, i.e., like placing a catalog order on the phone; it is at the time of the call you believe the transaction has been accomplished even though delivery may be at a later date.
- RECEIVING BY FAITH FIRST THEN RECEIVING BY FACT
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them,and ye shall have them.
To pray the prayer of faith, you must keep these two areas separate: receiving something by faith and receiving something by fact.
Possessing something by faith (with the assurance it is yours when you pray).
Possessing something by fact (you shall in the future physically have it).
We date the time we receive by faith (when you pray). God dates the time we receive the fact (the “shall have them”).
- ASKING WITHOUT WAVERING
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 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. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
It is not just asking but asking in faith that receives. Asking in faith is without a doubt and without wavering.
“Nothing wavering,” means without doubting, distrust, uncertainty, indecision, hesitation, or wondering.
- WILL AT TIMES WORK FOR OTHERS
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
The prayer of faith is primarily for things concerning you, your needs, your desires; and when it comes to involving someone else, there are different elements that enter in.
What they desire, what they will, what they want comes into consideration.
This seems to be the only area, the area of healing through anointing with oil, describing where the prayer of faith will work for others.
It is obvious that if someone calls for the elders to pray that it is not against their will, their desire, or their wants; because they have to will it, desire it, want it, and to have faith enough to call.