Too often, people see prayer as merely a superstition, something akin to a rabbit’s foot or four-leaf clover. Although they pray, they don’t really expect anything to happen.
However, this is not at all how the Bible describes the prayers of God’s people. We must pray in faith and expect results from our prayers. Why? Because God is faithful, and He has given us incredible promises about the power we have in prayer.
Believers throughout history have discovered that prayer could change their personal life, the lives of their loved ones, and the world around them. Nineteenth–century revivalist Charles Finney pointed out that God wants our prayers to be effective—not just empty religious exercises:
“Effective prayer is prayer that attains what it seeks. It is prayer that moves God, effecting its end.”
Think of it: Your prayers literally can move God to action! As Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”
So what about you? When you pray, do you truly expect things to change?
Producing “Wonderful Results”
One of the great Scriptural promises about prayer is found in James 5:16 (NLT):
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Other translations say that the fervent prayer of a righteous man “avails much.” Put simply, God wants us to learn how to pray prayers that are able to produce the desired results—blessing our lives, touching our loved ones, and changing our world.
However, many people doubt whether God is listening to their prayers. Maybe you’re feeling like this today, wondering whether the Lord really cares about your situation. Perhaps you’re tired of waiting for your breakthrough, and you’ve concluded that your prayers aren’t making a difference.
Many people in Bible days had the same thoughts.
The prophet Jeremiah was so distressed by his circumstances that he once said to God: “Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry” (Jeremiah 15:18 NLT). And faced with a fierce storm, Jesus’ disciples complained, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38) They accused Jesus of not caring about their situation!
However, the good news is that the Lord does care about our circumstances. He wants to quiet your storms, increase your abundance, heal your bodies, and restore your broken relationships.
The Bible describes Jesus as our great high priest, who “always lives to make intercession” for us (Hebrews 7:25). And we’re told that “we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV).
What does this mean? You never need to wonder whether Jesus truly cares about your difficult circumstances. He does!
Declaring the Miracle Before it Comes
Here’s a wonderful example of what it looks like to expect results from your prayers.
The story in Mark 5:25-34 is about a woman who had struggled with a hemorrhage for 12 long years. Because of her type of illness, she was considered “unclean” and an outcast. And despite spending all her money on doctors, this woman’s condition had only gotten worse.
She was desperate for a miracle.
Perhaps you are feeling much the same way today. You’ve looked everywhere . . . tried everything . . . spent all you have . . . and still your condition remains.
But the woman in this story was confident that, with just one touch, she would be instantly healed by Jesus. In fact, she declared her healing the moment she heard that Jesus was coming her way:
“If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well” (v. 28).
You see, the woman faced a crucial choice. She had been disappointed by the doctors for many years, so it must have been difficult to believe that this stranger named Jesus could relieve her condition. However, faith rose in her heart, and she put that faith in action. Pressing through the crowd, she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, and the result was amazing:
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction (v. 29).
You have a similar choice to make. You can get discouraged and just give up, or you can press through your circumstances and reach out to Jesus for your miracle.
Yes, you CAN change your world through prayer. But this doesn’t mean spiritless, passive prayers. Your prayers must reflect the kind of faith this woman displayed—an active, confident faith that expects miracles when you reach out to touch the Lord!
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