Believing Prayer

Posted: September 10th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

40 Days of Believing God – Day 40

It’s day 40 of our journey together. Of course this is only the end of the beginning (not the beginning of the end!). You may have begun believing God during these 40 days, so don’t stop now! I will continue to blog just about every day as I was before our 40 days. I hope you will continue to join me in the great adventure of walking by faith.

Before I get to the meat of today’s post, I’d like to ask you to share your story with me. Use this email address:

Whether you’ve seen God do great things or are still waiting and believing–I want to hear what God is doing. I would love it if you would take a moment now to send me an email to share your story. Know that I will also pray for you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yesterday, I met a young woman from Los Angeles. I talked with her and her boyfriend for over an hour. At the conclusion of our time together, she prayed over me. It was a powerful, authoritative prayer. She was praying as one who was expecting God to answer.

Do you pray like that? Do you expect God to answer?

I’ll be honest, I have a much easier time praying for others and believing God will work for them than I do praying for myself. I wonder how often my prayers are just empty words wrapped around a hopeful wish.

In Isaiah 29, the Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”

I know the context here is worship, but is it the same with prayer? Do I come near to God with my mouth and honor Him with my lips, but my heart is far from Him? Am I praying according to rules taught by men?

Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:7)

Really, Jesus? Anything I wish? You’ll give it to me?

Maybe the problem with unanswered prayer is not God’s willingness, but my unwillingness to remain in Him and allow His words to remain in me.

James wrote:

“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Why don’t I have? Because I don’t ask. When I do ask, I don’t receive because of wrong motives. My wrong desires are the issue. If I remain in Jesus and His words remain in me…I’ll be that clears up the motives and desires problem.

Jesus also said:

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

So if I believe I’ve received it, it’ll be mine? Really?

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant to even include that last passage. I’m afraid of raising someone’s expectations. Hold on though…I didn’t say those words, Jesus did. I’m not the one raising expectations. He is.

So what does this practically look like?

First, the types of prayers God answers are grounded in His word. We can pray with complete confidence for God to supply our needs. We can be confident that when we lay our requests before Him that we will experience His peace. If we pray for the strength to love and forgive those who have hurt us, we can be sure He will provide it.

Why can we be so confident? Because God has promised to meet our needs, give us peace and enable us to love and forgive. He answers prayers that are according to His will.

So what about those areas that aren’t so clear? Like when we pray for someone to be healed? Or ask God to provide a job? Or pray He’ll bless us with a godly spouse?

This is where we must be faithfully and consistently in His word, asking Him to fill our minds with His thoughts and desires for us. Then we can pray in line with His specific will for us.

Will we sometimes get it wrong and pray for things He doesn’t desire for us? Sure we will. Will we run the risk of feeling disappointed? Yup.

But that’s when we can rest in the fact that He knows far better than we do what will be good for us, what will advance His kingdom and what will bring Him glory.

Here’s the bottom line: what if we invest as much mental and emotional energy in believing God as we do in doubting God? What if we pray and actually expect Him to answer because we know our prayer is in line with His word?

What if you presented your request to God, trusted in His love and goodness and power, and then expectantly and patiently began looking for His answer?

So what desire has God placed in your heart? What do you feel burdened to pray for?

Ask Him for it. Confidently. Boldly. Humbly. Expect Him to answer. Then wait patiently for His perfect timing and know He’s developing your faith as You wait.

What If God Spoke Today?

Posted: August 8th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Truth | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

40 Days of Believing God – Day 8

Have you ever prayed something like this?

“Lord, I’m afraid. I just don’t see how things are going to work out. I know You say not to worry, but I do. I try not to, but I can’t help it. I know You see what I’m going through, but sometimes it feels like maybe You don’t care. I pray about things, but nothing seems to change. And it feels like…well, sometimes it feels like I can’t really count on You. Things are pretty bad, Lord. Where are You?”

Can you relate to that prayer? Maybe you feel that way today.

So what if you poured your heart out to God like that…and He answered You?

“I know you’re afraid and I know you can’t see how things are going to work out, but is it enough that I see how things are going to work out? Can you rest in knowing that I not only see how things will work out, but I am the One who is working them out for your good and My glory?

“Today, will you believe that I love you? I mean the kind of love that would die for you even though you didn’t deserve it. Will you believe that I am good and could never do anything toward you that isn’t motivated by My perfect love and kindness? Will you believe that I am faithful to every promise I’ve ever made and that I will never fail you nor forsake you?

“I know you’re afraid, but it’s because you’re not looking at Me. Like My disciples, you’re looking at the storm. Like My children in the desert, you’re looking at what you don’t have instead of what I do have. Fix your attention on Me today. There’s nothing I can’t handle.

“Will you believe Me?”

Did You Think He Wouldn’t Notice?

Posted: August 4th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

40 Days of Believing God – Day 3

It’s now day 3 of our journey together. The first day might have been fun. It was still the weekend, the start of something new and you probably exchanged encouraging emails with your partner.

Day 2 fell on Monday. Or maybe it felt like Monday fell on you. Maybe things didn’t go so well. Your boss was upset. An unexpected bill came in the mail. You fought with your spouse. Or whatever obstacle was there last week is still hanging around this week. You may have found it tough to believe God can help.

One of the reasons you will experience some difficulty during these 40 days is due to the fact that you have an enemy. We need to remember that. The last thing he wants is for you to believe God. No, your enemy wants your full attention on your circumstances, your weaknesses, your inadequacies and your lack of resources. The last thing he wants is for you to believe God can and will help you.

Satan, which means “deceiver”, has plans for you today. His name alone tells us that he will attempt to deceive you. You will attempt to believe God and remain positive. He will try to deceive you into believing God is not good and can’t be trusted. It’s what he did to Adam and Eve.

Jesus told us in John 10:10 that the thief (Satan) came to steal, kill and destroy. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6 that the devil is scheming against us. Jesus also said the devil is the father of lies.

I don’t share all this to cause an unhealthy focus on our enemy. Our focus and attention must be on Christ. But it would be foolish to embark on a 40 day journey of believing God and think the enemy of our souls will not notice.

If you’ve already encountered difficulty in believing God, if your circumstances suddenly turned worse, if you feel bombarded by negative thoughts, then keep fighting! You’re on the right track. Don’t give into the lies and deceptions. That’s all they are. Don’t believe them.

James wrote in chapter 4 of his letter: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Surrender fully to God. Give him control of every area of your life. Then choose to believe Him and reject the enemy’s lies. The devil will flee. You have it on the authority of God Himself.

Keep believing. Keep encouraging each other. God is up to something in your life. The best is just ahead.

Will You Believe God For 40 Days?

Posted: July 27th, 2009 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Truth | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

Confession time. I’m a worrier. I hate to admit it, but I am.

I’m working on it, so maybe you could say I’m a worry-aholic who’s in recovery. I’ve been worry-sober for about, oh, maybe eight hours. I seem to often fall off the wagon.

And that’s why this blog is called, “I Believe God.” I need the daily (or almost daily) reminder to believe Him. Not my circumstances. Not my feelings. Not the media. Not the opinions of others.

A couple years ago, a friend of mine approached me with the idea of exchanging emails for 40 straight days–focusing on believing God. We would choose to intentionally believe God.

We often exchanged more than one email a day. We prayed through email. We encouraged each other through email. We believed God together through email. It was an awesome 40 days.

Of course, we didn’t stop believing after the 40 days were up, but the 40 day focus was a great way to stay committed and get the ball rolling.

God responds to faith. He just does. He wants us to believe Him. We often talk of wanting to know God better…well know this–God wants to be believed. He is pleased when we choose to trust Him, not our circumstances. Just read the accounts of Jesus and watch how often He commends people for their faith or rebukes others for their lack of it. Meditate (think about it, chew on it, pray over it) on Hebrews 11:6. You can’t get away from the fact that God is moved by our faith.

So what might happen in your life if you chose to believe God for 40 days? What if you chose to trust Him, not what you see? What if you found a partner to join you? What could God do?

On August 2nd, we will launch a 40-day faith adventure. We will believe God. We will encourage each other. We will share stories of what we’re trusting Him for and what we see Him doing.

If you’re on Facebook, I encourage you to join our group, “I Believe God.” We already have over 100 people in the group.

Whether you’re a regular reader of this blog or just stopping by, let me encourage you to join us. Find a partner with whom you can believe God together. Check back here each day for encouragement to keep believing.

Let me encourage you to also share your stories by leaving comments. It’s hard to believe God and not our circumstances. It’s almost impossible to do it alone. We need each other.

Whether you’re in South Korea or India or Europe or Canada or the Philippines or the United States or some other place on the globe–join us. Let us know you’re taking part in the 40 days of believing God. Your prayer or your story may be what God uses to encourage someone on the other side of the world.

The 40 days launches in just six days. Find a partner. Leave a comment so we know you’re taking part. Check back daily. Share your story.

And believe God will do great, great things.