How to Have Specific Manifestation of Desire
Jesus meant that a Christian ought to have certain definite desires in his mind when he prays and then ought to be able to trust God and get exactly those things from God which he requests. Prayer, in the Bible sense, is getting down to brass tacks and asking God for exactly what you want. Prayer is not only asking, but it is asking something. It is hardly prayer if it is not definite.
How many times the great men of God in the Bible knew exactly what they wanted, and insisted upon it and got it!
I am reminded of Gideon, who prayed thus,
“If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.”
(Judges 6:36, 37).
The next morning Gideon got up, and sure enough, the fleece was so full of water that he “wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl of water”!
That was a very definite prayer and a definite answer. But Gideon was encouraged to change his specifications and prayed again,
“Let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.” (Judges 6:39).
And sure enough, the next morning it was dry upon the fleece: and there was dew on all the ground! Gideon knew exactly what he wanted as evidence from God, and God seemed delighted to give it!
How refreshing is the beautiful story told in Genesis, chapter 24, of the old servant of Abraham who was sent back to the land of Ur to get a bride for Isaac. Verses 12 to 14 give us his prayer as follows:
“And he said, O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: and let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou has appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.”
Isn’t that a definite prayer? He asked that God would send to him the very girl He wanted to be a bride for Isaac. He even gives the very sentence she is to say, “Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also.” And while he was yet speaking, we are told, Rebekah came out, gave him water and offered to water all his camels; and succeeding events proved she was God’s answer to his prayer and to Abraham’s prayer. And if men and women should pray as definitely about mates today in the same spirit no doubt God would guide them just as clearly to happy marriage, under His clear guiding.
How definite was the request of Moses when he asked that the ground open and swallow Korah, Dathan and Abiram and their families (Numbers 16). And so Elijah prayed for drought, prayed for rain and got rain, prayed for fire from Heaven and got fire from Heaven! And when Joshua asked for the sun to stand still, he told the sun exactly where to stop in the heaven and then turned and ordered the moon, giving explicit directions where it should stay, in its relation to the earth.
:And he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon” (Joshua 10:12).
How blessedly definite were the prayers of the Bible characters who got things from God!
In fact, the definiteness of some of these men of God, in their requests, become so bold as to seem to us almost arrogant. They seemed to command God, and God even seemed to delight to obey! They knew exactly what they wanted; they asked it, gave specific instructions about it, almost demanded it, and got it!
Elijah went around for years with the key of heaven in his pocket! God had given him such assurance that he could announce to the king, “As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.” (I Kings 17:1).
This knowing exactly what you want, and asking it, demanding it, expecting it, and knowing that it is in the perfect will of God to give it, seems to be God’s will for Christians, for Isaiah 45:11 says:
“Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.”
Blessed is the Christian who is so in the will of God, who so knows the mind of God, who has such definite desires that concerning the work of God he can command God and have exactly what he asks!
Elsewhere I have told about a recent campaign for trial subscriptions to The Sword of the Lord. We asked God for 5000 trial subscriptions. We posted that number on the office wall, and every day in the office prayer meeting at 10:00 o’clock the workers prayed for 5000 trial subscriptions in that brief campaign. I announced in The Sword of the Lord that we hoped for that number. We set a definite time for the campaign to close. My secretary felt led to give trial subscriptions to thirty friends. When what we thought was the final mail came, we found her thirty made exactly 5000 trial subscriptions! But one of the workers thought she had helped God too much, and they prayed again. The next day mail from stragglers came in, to make 5030 subscriptions, that is, exactly 5000 without the thirty subscriptions she had given! Not one less, and not one more than exactly the 5000 we had agreed upon openly and had prayed for definitely!
Later other subscriptions came in, but it seemed that God was patiently showing us, just as He showed Gideon, that it was His delight to answer definite prayer. For Gideon He first made the fleece wet and all about it dry. And then when Gideon prayed again, He made the fleece dry and all about it wet. And for us God gave exactly 5000 subscriptions including the secretary’s special gift of thirty. Then when that was questioned, God made it exactly 5000 without the thirty specials. And then later, when every doubt was settled and all of us knew that God had exactly and definitely answered prayer to the letter, He sent other subscriptions, as if to say He had more yet if we would but ask!
Beloved readers, let us be definite in our praying and give God a chance to show His mighty power and willingness to answer. Ask God definite things; expect definite answers.
- John R Rice (Prayer – Asking And Receiving)