Is Prayer Really The Answer To Everything?
We are instructed to “pray earnestly”. And we are instructed to “pray always with all (types of) prayer” (Eph 6). And we are to “pray in tongues” quite frequently for our own edification. So, prayer (communicating with God), should be a constant part of our lifestyle. Certainly.
When I teach that there is a time not to pray, it usually involves making a prayer request for a specific “thing”. For example, Mark 11:24 tells us that “whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.” This means that we can make a prayer request once, and during that prayer time we “receive” the thing by faith, and then we get it without further prayer. So, if I actually “receive” (in the Spirit), when I pray, and if I fully believe that God has heard and will answer, why would I need to pray again for the same thing? Rather than pray again and again for the same thing, all I need to do is to thank God and praise God that the answer has come, rejoicing that He has already heard me. (In essence, praise and thanks is a form of prayer as well, so I’m still praying. I’m just not re-asking as if I didn’t believe He heard in the first place. So, when I teach “stop praying”, I usually mean to “stop asking again and again.”
There are also another times not to pray. Because we have additional instruction for overcoming challenges and obtaining miracles, making a prayer “request” is not always the way the Spirit would lead us to connect with God. For example, Mark 11:23 says to “speak to the mountain” or “say to the sycamine tree” and it will obey you. It doesn’t say, “if you have a mountain in your life, ask God to move it.” Sometimes, we must simply command something to happen rather than ask God to do it. We use our authority in the name of Jesus. I have been healed in my own body, many times, by simply commanding the pain to leave or the problem to “go!”. And without requesting anything of God, the miracle happens because Jesus said, “Anything you ask (or require, or call for) in my name, I will do it.” (e.g. Peter at the Beautiful gate: He didn’t pray for the crippled man. Rather, he commanded him, “In the name of Jesus Christ…rise up and walk!”
Praying For Physical Healing
Also, concerning healing, we can certainly pray for anyone to be healed. But also, sometimes we can go a step further and simply “lay hands on the sick” and minister the healing power of God. Jesus never “prayed for people”. He healed them. Jesus never told his disciples to “pray for the sick”. He commanded them to “heal the sick, cast out devils.” Though healing can happen by making a request to God, it can also happen through a believer who believes that the Holy Spirit and power has come upon him to heal the sick, just by laying hands and commanding something. Also, when it comes to demon possessed people, or spirits of infirmity, making a prayer request to God is not usually the answer. Rather, God told us to “cast out demons”. So, God doesn’t need us to ask Him to do something. Rather, He needs us to use our authority and command something.
Also, concerning how the devil may attack us in our minds – with thoughts – we don’t need to pray. Many people recognize a bothersome fear or worry in their minds, or depression or panic, and they ask God to remove it. Nothing happens. Why? Because God has already given us instruction on what to do with wrong thoughts – and it’s not to pray about them. It’s to resist them “cast down imaginations…take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:4,5). He has also told us to: “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Resisting the devil by quoting scripture, commanding him to “go”, or just saying “no, shut up, out!” is how we get the devil off our shoulder, rather than prayer to God.
Speaking God’s Word
Also, sometimes what we need more than prayer is “confession of God’s Word”. If we notice that we keep praying, but all the while we are worrying, then we don’t need more prayer. We need more scripture in us. We need to go to the Bible, find some scriptures that address our situation, and then quote those scriptures out loud so our heart can begin to re-focus and believe the truth of God’s Word. Without that, we will never have the faith needed for the request to come to pass. So, stop praying, go to the Word of God, and start quoting and building your faith (“faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”. Then pray again after you’re convinced.
Life’s Answers Are Right In Front Of You
Finally, another time not to pray is sometimes when searching for direction of how to handle something or what decision to make. For most things in life, the Bible already contains our answer. So when we ask God “what do I do?”, He is expecting us to go to His Word. How many times have people prayed for direction, but all they got was silence? When all we get is silence from God, then many times, our answer is in the Bible, and we need to stop praying and start reading and obeying. For example, we ask “God, I know this person is not a Christian, but I love her and want to marry her. Can I, please?” God doesn’t need to answer me, because He’s already answered in the Bible. He said, “Do not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever.” That means do not get involved with a non-Christian. So, I am then responsible to honor and obey God’s Word more than my feelings. And I don’t need to keep praying about it. Another example would be, “God, I am living with my roommate, I have a good savings built up, and I don’t really need much money to live on, so do I really need to get a job?” You don’t need to keep asking that, because God’s Word already has the answer, “If a man doesn’t work, he doesn’t get to eat.” Or, “God, I have this enemy. What should I do?” The Bible says, “Love your enemies, bless them which curse you…” So, no need to pray, just obey.
(There is much more to teach on this subject, regarding the various types of prayer, fervent prayer, praying in tongues, intercession, supplication, etc.)
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This article originally posted here