Prayer: Spectacular Answers to Prayer are Real
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything
too hard for Me?”
Do you know the ecstatic feeling of having a prayer spectacularly answered? No, I’m not being mean and rubbing salt in the wound of unanswered prayer. On the contrary, I’m assuming you may have suffered a prayer defeat here and there that has left you needing someone to remind you that answered prayer is real. Of course, there are stories galore in the Bible of spectacular answers to prayer, but guess what? We’re not in the Bible! So what you need to be reminded of is that although you do not yet receive regular, spectacular answers to your prayers, many other people do.
But how does that help me? you may ask. It helps because if no one is getting their prayers answered, there may be no rational reason for you to expect to get yours answered. However, if others are getting their prayers answered, since we know God is no respecter of persons, there is no reason why you can’t make some adjustments and start getting your prayers answered. So let’s start with a real life example of someone receiving a spectacular answer to prayer—that someone being me and my wife.
The Worse Time to Sell a House…Unless You Know How to Pray
Shortly before the housing bubble collapsed in 2006, I felt that God was leading us to move from the suburbs into the city so that our home could be centrally located in the Atlanta metropolitan area. For ministry purposes, it would be ideal. No problem, right? Sell the house and purchase another one. Millions of people do it all the time, and without prayer!
Well, there was a problem. Actually, more than one.
First, no one in our subdivision could sell their home. The realtor said it took an average of eight months to sell. That wasn’t going to work for us. Oh, I didn’t tell you? I had done something that was foolish from a natural, business perspective. I had put a contract on another home!
People do that, too, all the time. However, we were not at a place financially where we could pay two mortgages without hurting. The reason I did something like this was because I was convinced God was leading me. Without getting ahead of myself, I’ll briefly state that is one of the secrets to getting spectacular answers to prayer.
Had I not been thoroughly convinced that God was in my decision, there is absolutely no way I would have gone out on a limb like that!
Second, I put the house on the market in December or January. My realtor said the rule was that homes sell badly in the winter. I had chosen the worst possible time to sell.
Third, our neighbors on the immediate left and right of us put their homes up for sell months before we did. We watched them finally remove the For Sale signs in defeat.
So, what happened? Glad you asked. We sold the home in two months for the full asking price.
My neighbors were shocked. Great story, but the following is the spectacular part. The part that’s going to help you get your own spectacular answers.
“Honey, that doesn’t apply to us.”
Early after deciding to sell our home, and after my wife and I had heard the dismal forecast from our realtor about the eight-month average selling time, and the fact that it was a buyer’s market, and the fact that if we were serious about selling, we’d have to drastically drop the price, I said something that you’re going to be able to say once you finish this book. I said, “Honey, I understand all of that, but those limitations don’t apply to us.”
Arrogant? Presumptuous? Denial? Nope, nope, and nope.
The reason those limitations didn’t apply to us was because God had taught me how to pray for spectacular answers during the first year after I received salvation. I’ve been using these principles and practices ever since. Briefly, here is what happened with the house ordeal.
I told my wife that I’d change the situation through prayer. Now since each day that we didn’t have our home sold meant we were one day closer to taking on a second mortgage, this added an element that is often there in strongholds. This was the element of a time deadline.
Deadlines can be soft or hard. A soft deadline is one where the world doesn’t end when the deadline comes. However, things do get pretty bad. A hard deadline is where, barring a Lazarus type miracle from God, your situation explodes in your face with finality.
My deadline, though serious, was soft. It was soft because if the house didn’t sell, I could’ve used my savings to pay the second mortgage. Once the savings were gone, however, the deadline would’ve turned hard because now I would be facing the loss of my home.
We had a lock box on our door so realtors (and hopefully their clients!) could access the home when we were away. There was that initial rush of realtors to look at the home. They left their cards in a bowl. Lots of cards, no buyers.
Each day after work, I’d take that soft deadline down to the basement and present it to God in prayer. My first goal was to not allow the soft deadline to turn hard. The prospect of depleting our savings and finally losing our home was ample motivation to keep me praying as I waited for the spectacular to happen. We’ll call this motivation a sense of urgency. This will come up later.
I’ve already told you that the prayer was spectacularly answered. So no mystery there. But what did I do in that basement that caused God to sell our house and leave other would-be home-sellers on our left and right scratching their heads and asking us how we did it?
I like to walk as I pray. I’ve found it’s quite difficult to fall asleep in prayer if I’m walking. It also helps me to focus. So, there I am in the basement walking around with a bowl of realtor cards lifted up over my head.
Sometimes I was down there for up to a couple of hours. I’d worship my Father and tell Him how much I loved Him. I’d remind myself of all the good things He had already done for me and thank Him for it. I’d talk to Him about the stories in the Bible I’d read about Him performing great miracles for people who had no other hope but Him.
I’d remind Him that I had signed the other contract only because I was convinced He wanted me to do it. I told Him that although I had signed the contract because by faith I was trying to follow His leading, I could have been mistaken (although I didn’t think I was). I asked Him to have mercy on me if I had indeed made a mistake.
I shared with Him what would happen if He didn’t help. I told Him that I knew we wouldn’t be helped, and He wouldn’t receive glory if my bank account was depleted and we lost our home. I’d also point and jab my finger at the floor or at the ceiling and shout at the dark powers of Satan and declare that God was my Father and that He was listening to my prayers. I quoted or read Scriptures out loud to myself, to the devil, and to God.
There are Scriptures in the Gospels where Jesus told His disciples that they could release unfathomable power in their behalf if they spoke to problems in His name and had faith that the problems would obey them (Matthew 21:18-22). Crazy stuff, I know! But whoever said Jesus was ordinary? And who started and spread the lie that His followers were to be ordinary? I think we know who this is.
So in obedience to words in the Bible that seem utterly ridiculous, I obeyed. I’d point and jab my finger figuratively at the problem of a house that, according to the expert, couldn’t sell unless I drastically dropped the price. I’d say things like this:
I know what my realtor says. I know what the market says. I know that no one in this subdivision can sell their home unless they practically give it away. I know that my neighbors on both sides of us have put For Sale signs out and have had to pluck them up again in frustration.
But you listen to me, mountain! I am a son of God, a child of the Most High God. You don’t dictate my limitations; He does. My Father gives life to the dead. He brought Lazarus back after he was dead four days. He made water come out of a rock for Moses. He fed the prophet Elijah in famine and drought by commanding a bird to deliver food to him twice a day.
There is nothing my great God can’t do. His word tells me that you must obey my command if I speak to you in faith. Well, listen up, oh mountain! Mountains were made to be moved. I command you in Jesus’s mighty name to move. House, I command you to sell!
Now, precious son or daughter of God, in the presence of God and knowing that I will have to give a public accounting of my words on that great day of judgment, I tell you without the slightest embellishment, this is what I said next (the spectacular part!):
I see that the weather has been bad and no one has been coming by to look at the home. I command people to come look at our home. Furthermore, oh mountain, I see you sitting there and looking at me. I hear your mocking laughter. You say, “I’m a mountain, and you’re just a puny little man. You can’t make me move!” Well, this is my response! Lord God, I thank You right now in the face of this great mountain. I declare that this mighty mountain is being moved, and in a little while I will see with my natural eyes that which has already happened, as far as I’m concerned.
Father, I’m only selling one house. I know that somewhere in this world there is a person who would be blessed by purchasing our home. And, Lord, I know there’s someone out there willing to pay full price for it. I ask You to find and direct this person here. [Check out my next words!] Lord, it doesn’t matter if they’re from out of town. It doesn’t matter if they’ve already signed a contract with someone else. You are able to cause this person to fall in love with our home. You’re able to work this situation out so that no one is hurt financially. I ask You to bring that person to us.
I continued to pray this way. One day soon thereafter, my wife was sleeping and heard a loud voice shout, “Exit!” She jumped up wondering what it meant. For the next several days, whenever she went to an enclosed area, she searched out the exit and made sure she was ready to make her exit. Why else would the Lord give her such a dream? (From time to time we receive dreams from the Lord and figured this was another.)
Well, there was another reason the Lord shouted, “Exit!” One day I came home from work and looked in the bowl for any new realtor cards. There was only one. Guess what was on the card. Come on, you can do it. Yep, Exit Realty. Guess who sold our home. Right again. Exit Realty. What a coincidence, you say. I say it was our loving Father letting us know He answers prayer.
Remember that part of my prayer to God where I specifically said, “Lord, it doesn’t matter if they’re from out of town. It doesn’t matter if they’ve already signed a contract with someone else. You are able to cause this person to fall in love with our home. You’re able to work this situation out so that no one is hurt financially. I ask You to bring that person to us”?
The lady who purchased our home was from New York. She was in town for only one weekend and had to purchase a home that weekend. She had already placed a contract on a home. Yet, we found out from her realtor that when she walked into our home, she said, “I feel the peace of God here. This is it. It’s the house.”
And the rest is history.
Now don’t jump on me because I included in my prayer for God to include in His search people who had already signed a contract. It was up to Him to find a buyer and seller who wouldn’t be hurt if He used them to answer my prayer.
Prominent Elements of My Prayer
We will explain these elements in detail in later posts. But I want to list them now so you’ll have a clearer understanding as we proceed. God isn’t a system to be manipulated or a formula to plug into a prayer request. He’s Almighty God. By the very definition of being God, no one can make Him do anything.
So let’s be clear that I am not listing how I made or manipulated our Creator and Lord and Savior and Judge to do my bidding. I am listing how He helped me do His bidding. Quite a difference!
- Element One. I recognized the problem as the mountain it was, but I compared the mountain to God’s ability to move it.
- Element Two. I believed I had been in the will of God when I created part of this scenario by signing the second house contract. (Think David and Goliath. Where does the Bible say God told him to challenge Goliath? Wasn’t it, shall we say, from a natural perspective…foolish?)
- Element Three. I committed myself to change the situation through prayer.
- Element Four. I had a sense of urgency to change the situation.
- Element Five. I quoted the word of God out loud to myself, to Satan, and to God.
- Element Six. I spoke to the mountain in faith just as Jesus said we should.
- Element Seven. I prayed with great fervency and many tears.
- Element Eight. I talked to God in great detail about the threat of the problem and the great blessing in having it removed.
- Element Nine. I praised and worshiped God before, during, and after my prayers.
- Element Ten. I asked God for something ridiculous and expected a spectacular answer.
- Element Eleven. I boldly approached God’s throne for mercy to help in my time of need.
- Element Twelve. I believed that despite my imperfections that our great God and Father wanted to help me.
See How Easy It Is?
I say the above jokingly. Trust me. Although it’s not complicated, it’s often not obvious how you should pray. If it were, there’d be no need for articles like this one. Nonetheless, you’re on your way to getting regular and spectacular answers to prayer. But you need to know there is a single ingredient of getting spectacular answers to prayer that often—not always, hallelujah!—challenges the most seasoned Christians. Here it is in all of its formidable simplicity:
It’s acting upon the mountain
with biblical prayer principles,
and waiting patiently and expectantly on God
for the answer
while and after you pray.
We’ll take a brief look at a few people who were facing mountains, and who I had the privilege of teaching these prayer principles. Since they were part of our church, I was blessed to be able to personally see them get spectacular answers to their prayers.
Afterwards, we’ll systematically examine in detail what’s all involved in getting these kinds of prayer answers. We’ll end each article with Lessons Learned to help you easily see the main points. We’ll also go through some practical exercises and ways to get your own prayers answered. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that not all spectacular answers to prayer take a long time to come. Some come shockingly fast!
Prayer Hit-List Action Plan
This first exercise is short and easy, but full of opportunity. Imagine you’ve been invited by God into His throne room. You sit across from Him. He smiles at you and pushes a piece of paper and pen across to you. He asks you to write down a prayer wish list. Do it. Review the list as you read this book. Later, you may find yourself adding things and removing others.
If you liked this excerpt of Eric’s book, You Can Get Answers to Your Prayers, please share it with someone on social media. And if you like spiritual warfare novels, click on the graphic below for a wild ride!
The next article in this series is When the Mountain Says No, Move It Through Prayer.