There are two sides to prayer that should be understood. The first deals with our authority against the works of the enemy (the mountain). Anything that is characterized by ‘stealing, killing or destroying’ (Jn. 10:10) is something that we can speak against, rebuke or curse.
The second element of prayer is receiving by faith all that has been given to us through redemption. Healing is ours, peace is ours, provision is ours, joy, protection, etc. We ask and receive that which belongs to us much as we go to the bank with a check to make a withdrawal on ‘our’ money. We know it is in the bank, and our check is presented in faith without doubting. That is a good description of asking in faith. We don’t present the same check over and over, nor do we present it, take it back and present it again. If we know the money is ours, we present the check once.
The key to effective prayer is to believe without doubting that you already have the desired outcome. We don’t speak to our mountains in order to convince ourselves or build our faith. We speak to our mountains because we know that they must submit to us
It is as if we were speaking to a disobedient dog. If we know that as the dog’s owner we have authority over the dog, we use that authority without thinking twice. The dog knows our voice and our mannerisms and the dog knows our authority.
However, if we are speaking to a strange dog, we can’t really be sure if it is going to listen to our rebuke or not. There isn’t the same certainty and confidence. We speak to it ‘hoping’ that it will respond as we wish. But until we ‘see’ the results, we don’t believe. With a strange dog, we walk by sight, not by faith. However, with our own dog, we already know the results even before we speak. That dog is going to obey or suffer the consequences. There is no doubt.
It is the same way in prayer. Speaking to our problems or sicknesses before we are convinced will seldom have much effect. The key to effective prayer is to know the outcome ahead of time. We are so convinced of the will of God, of our authority in Christ and of the spiritual and physical outcome that speaking to the problem is just the final piece of the puzzle. It puts into motion that which is already assured in the Spirit.
Therefore, the necessary time must be spent in the Word and prayer until the assurance is manifested in our heart. When the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, then we know that our words will effect change in the invisible and visible worlds. There is no formula for this. It is the fruit of a relationship with God through His Word that brings us to a place of complete confidence, faith and authority through Jesus.
The final area to be considered is that of giving thanks. The assurance of faith would mean that since the answer has been received, thanks can be given even before the manifestation of the answer. Once we know that we know that we are healed, we thank God. Praise and thanksgiving are powerful weapons in order to speed up the manifestation of our answer. That is walking by faith and not by sight.