There's praying, and then there's praying. The first kind is the kind I have done most of-not particularly believing that I will get an answer. The second kind is the kind I will do from now on-believing I have received what I asked for, and that delivery is on the way.
I feel I am on solid ground in this New Year's resolution. Here is my warrant:
"But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts … must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-8).
Besides brother James, I have the backing of other spiritual men closer to our own times, including Norman Grubb (1895-1993), British missionary, author, and founder of what is now the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship in the U.K. and of the present form of Worldwide Evangelism Crusade. In his pamphlet "Touching the Invisible," he describes the ineffectualness of his team's early prayer meetings:
"But much of the praying, although sincere, was without strong assurance because so often we were not sure if our requests were according to God's will. Therefore most requests would be prefaced by such a phrase as 'If it is Thy will.' Often we rose from our knees as uncertain in heart about the answer as before we asked. …"
They discovered in Scripture that effective praying was praying according to God's own mind and heart, and then boldly believing God will answer-and continuing to believe.
Whether we ask for wisdom (James 1) or for any other thing that the Bible says God want us to have, let us learn the habit of praying in a state of expecting an answer. It may help just to say the words to Him outright:
"Lord, I believe that you hear me and that you will answer this prayer in the best way for me and for your glory."