Contrary to popular opinion, the most important part of prayer is not you talking to God, but God talking to you. Powerful prayer is divinely initiated. It begins with us hearing God, not God hearing us.
Unbeknownst to many a present-day prayer, prayer is a dialog, not a monolog. Itâ€™s not just us talking to God, but God talking to us. In fact, until we hear from God concerning His will we cannot partner with Him in our prayers in the carrying out of His plans and purposes.
How can we pray the prayer of faith if weâ€™re uncertain of Godâ€™s will? According to the Scripture, faith comes â€œby hearing, and hearing by the word of Godâ€ (Romans 10:17). The Greek word used here for â€œwordâ€ means â€œspoken word,â€ not â€œwritten word.â€ Faith doesnâ€™t come from our reading of the Scripture, but from the Spirit speaking it personally to our hearts.
Once the Spirit speaks personally to our hearts, revealing to us Godâ€™s will, we will be enabled to pray the prayer of faith (James 5:15). We will, as the Apostle John teaches, be able to pray with â€œconfidence,â€ knowing â€œthat [God] hears usâ€ and â€œthat we have the requests that we have asked of himâ€ (1 John 5:14-15 ESV).
If, like me, youâ€™ve been in church for years, youâ€™ve probably heard those old-timers talking about â€œpraying through.â€ They simply meant that God had revealed His will to them in prayer. Afterward, they prayed for His revealed will to be done and confidently waited on it to be realized in Godâ€™s time. No longer burdened to pray, they ceased from praying and patiently waited for the manifestation of a spiritually assured possession.
The story is told of an old saint who finally â€œprayed throughâ€ for the soul of her son. Afterward, much to the chagrin of her carousing son, she spread the news far and wide of his salvation. He, in turn, assured everyone who spoke to him about it that his mother was sorely mistaken. Furthermore, he insisted that he had no intention of ever turning from sin to the Savior.
After some considerable time had passed, the man found himself mysteriously drawn one evening to a tent revival. When the invitation was given the unthinkable happened, he walked the sawdust trail and gave his life to Christ. When he returned home that night, he proudly announced to his saintly mother, â€œIâ€™m saved!â€ She simply responded, â€œIâ€™ve been trying to tell you that for weeks.â€