Five Suggested Steps to Follow
1. Live the life of faith. Andrew Murray has stated, “Faith in the promise is the fruit of faith in the promiser.” I cannot have faith in what He has promised unless I have faith in Him as a person. I must get to know Him and learn to trust Him. Then I will grow to believe in what He says and promises. Getting to know Him takes time, but perhaps not as much time as you think. Eagerly pray and read your Bible every day. Meditate on His Word every chance you get. Then obey Him in everything He tells you. Soon, sooner than you think, you will develop a close relationship with Him. You will love Him and trust Him. This is the life of faith, and in this life there is much prayer.
2. Seek God’s will for every particular matter you pray about. You can not have faith to believe God for any particular matter without knowing the will of God in that matter. Thus, before you pray concerning a thing, seek the scriptures to find out what His will is concerning it. For our faith must be based on truth. If it is not it will not be a true faith.
3. Cherish good desires. As you grow in your walk of faith, God will give you His own desires for things that He wants you to have and to pray for. Take time to regard those desires, and if by careful study and reflection you determine they are from God, cherish them and pray over them. Let them lead you and energize you for greater and more persistent prayer.
4. Diligently plead for a definite thing based on His desire and promise. When a promise is accompanied by a godly desire, the next step is to diligently plead for it. But remember that you must plead and seek Him diligently. According to Hebrews 11:6, God will not reward all who pray; only those who pray and seek Him diligently.
5. Believe you have received. From Mark 11:20-24, after Jesus had cursed a fig tree and it withered, Peter was quite astounded. But Jesus said to him and to the other disciples, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Here it seems that the whole emphasis is in having strong faith in God, without doubting—that if one’s faith is strong enough he can know without a doubt that God will give him what he has asked for. In fact he can be assured that it has already been granted. Hence, we can say, if God has promised it, it is as good as having it. It is ours.
Have you ever planned to buy a certain thing, and have thought about it so much, and visualized it so much, that, even though you didn’t have all the money to purchase it at the time, you knew, soon enough, without a doubt that you would have it? Have you ever thought about a thing so much that you could almost taste it and smell it and feel it, that in visualizing it it had become so real to you that it seemed to be yours already, even before you bought it? I think this is the idea here.
However, the basis of our feeling that way in prayer is not because we know we will soon have money to buy that thing, but rather because we know that God will give it to us out of His kindness and mercy. Hence, our strong faith to receive a thing in prayer comes out of our trust in God as our loving Father, who we firmly believe always cares for us and gives us what is good.
Moreover, if God has given us certain holy desires for a thing, especially if we have other evidence as well (such as a promise), we can believe Him that it is as good as given. Spurgeon, reflecting on how God answered Daniel’s prayer, writes, “See now, God breaths the desire into our hearts. And as soon as the desire is there, before we call, He begins to answer.”
Yes, if we pray according to His will, having good evidence, and with holy desires that spur us on, we can pray expecting to receive, believing that it is already ours. Hence, you must do just that—pray expecting to receive it. This is important. In our prayers we must believe, without having any doubts that God will give it. We must expect Him to give it. We must believe that it is already ours. Then we will have it, not before that.