My husband’s parents taught me how to pray, even though they never knew it. They didn’t know they were teaching me how to have victory in prayer; in other words, how to receive the Victor’s Crown when this life is over.
Victor was the name of the foreman for the job of constructing the roof to the house we bought a few years ago. It had to have a new roof quickly after we closed the sale so that our homeowner’s insurance would cover it. Our only job was to let the roofing company know when we finished moving.
We were shocked when the very next morning at 7:00 a.m. the roofers showed up. They tore off the old and replaced them with beautiful new shingles on our 3,000 sq. ft. house and picked up all the nails in the yard with a magnet machine. They left at 6:00 p.m. the job completed!
We could hardly believe what had just happened. When the business owner came to see us the next day to get his final payment, we learned the secret to his success. He pays his employees by the shingle bundle, not by the hour, and they are docked pay if one nail is found afterwards.
This event made me think about how Victor had crowned our home with success. I felt absolutely loved by my Creator, highly favored and honored––only a small portion of what it will be like in heaven when we receive the real imperishable crown, or as it is also termed––the Victor’s Crown.
When I Learned How To Pray
I thought back over my life to Jim’s parent’s prayer that God would shield him and his brother when they were in Vietnam. After we were married upon his return, Jim told me he could feel bullets whiz by his head, but they never found him. I learned about power in prayer right then.
I would need that assurance after ten years of marriage when we found ourselves without a job for one year. God met our every need when we crossed our DRY RIVER BED. We learned the facts of faith that year.
I later found 53 Scriptures that give us the ‘shield’ promise we can claim.
I didn’t know I would need to know those Scriptures and how to pray when our own sons were deployed overseas:
· Oldest son: after Desert Storm
· Middle son: twice in Iraq
· Son-in-law – 5 times in Iraq and Afghanistan, now in South Korea and soon to be in Germany the second time.
OR: during open heart surgery for our oldest immediately after he graduated from West Point Military Academy and married his high school sweetheart; then nine years later another surgery because the first valve was too small…doctors told him he was one heart-beat away.
OR: when our youngest son’s daughter was born premature and his wife very ill with pre-eclampsia.
I thought back over all these trials and attacks of the enemy and remembered Isaiah 54:15, “If anyone attacks you, it will not be God’s doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to YOU.”
Yes, we have overcome and continue to do so. These hard times have made us who we are today and give us confidence in the LORD for tomorrow. That’s why I pray you will take this article very seriously, because I know you have trials, too.
There is victory in Jesus! But, also, like the awesome roofing company we experienced, there are secrets to success––especially in spiritual growth. I’m sharing the facts of faith we learned with you today so your problems will surrender to YOU. As you learn how to pray, you will overcome any problem and discover the 5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS now and in heaven.
What is the Victor’s Crown that teaches us how to pray?
The incorruptible victor’s crown is described in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Verse 26 is what we are addressing today:
24. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
25. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
26. “Therefore I run thus, not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”
If the roofing company had come without a strategic plan, they would still be here––as though they were beating the air. The following is the strategic, certain plan for victory:
The B-E-A-R Facts of Faith: how to pray in faith believing––or how to fight like a bear
B – Believing the Word – Believing Comes Before Seeing
Some Christians believe parts of His Word have passed away and cannot be believed for today. However, God says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35), and Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
Miracles seen in the Bible are the same for us today, if we believe. Jesus even tells us that if we believe, He will do greater miracles through us than He did while on earth (see John 14:12). Even He could do no mighty works because of unbelief in His hometown (see Matt. 13:58).
Before God spoke, “Let there be light,” He saw in His mind what He wanted the formless dark earth and water to be. He believed it would happen and planned for success. The story of Lazarus drives home this point.
Jesus waited four days to see his friend Lazarus, because he knew the lesson he wanted to teach. When Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, Martha, the sister of the dead man said, “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:39-40). Jesus spoke directly to Lazarus, “Lazarus, come forth!” And he did so.
Believing comes before seeing, if you want to know how to pray for answers.Believing Comes Before Seeing--if you want to know how to pray for answers
E – Expecting from the Word – Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible
After we believe God has our answer, our hearts are filled with expectation. Until we expect to see something happen, we will not know when the answer comes.
When Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Moab and Ammon came to make war. Surrounded by a vast army, the Israelites came together to seek the Lord. The king encouraged the people, saying to the Lord, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chron. 20:12).
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Janaziel, son of Zechariah, who said,
“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them . . . . You will not have to fight in this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” –2 Chronicles 20:15-17
Keeping our eyes on the Lord means keeping our eyes in His Word. When we look at His Word, we are looking to Jesus who is the “Word made flesh.”
The first chapter of John says Jesus was the second person of the Trinity who spoke into existence everything that was made. “In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).
The bottom line is this: when our eyes are not in the Word, we are not looking to Jesus. When we are not expecting from the Word, we are focused on the problem, or the circumstances, allowing fear, doubt and worry to overtake us. We cannot keep our eyes focused on the problematic situation and on the Lord at the same time. The word from our mouth, working in conjunction with His Word, opens the door for Him to fight those battles.
Earnest expectation that turns the head from any distraction assumes that once we have made a quality decision to trust God concerning a situation, we can expect opposition, harassment, trials and challenges.
Words contradicting what we believe will come. That’s when we must fix our heart and keep on believing, saying out loud, “[I] will have no fear of bad news; [my] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Ps. 112:7).
We can lay our requests before God each morning (see Ps. 5:3), but unless we expect something to happen, it’s unlikely we will see any results.
Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible if you want to see results from learning how to pray.Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible - if you want to see results from learning how to pray.
A – Asking from the Word – Praying the Scripture, not the Problem
The book of James tells us what to do when we have a problem. After we begin to believe God’s Word has a solution for every situation and embrace hopeful expectation for the answer, we need wisdom such as Jehoshaphat received through Janaziel.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Furthermore, he says, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).
Jehoshaphat did this very thing. Alarmed, he resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for himself and all Judah. He praised the Lord, recounting the covenant promise to Abraham and God’s deliverances in the past.
He put his faith in God’s ability, rather than his own, to take care of things in the present. He then spoke positive, believing words, “You will hear us and save us” (2 Chron. 20:9). He did not belabor the problem. God already knew it, and he knows ours, too.
Asking from the Word means praying the Scripture. His Word is His will. His Word contains the answer to any problem we could have. The more we take our words from God’s Word, the more we are looking to Jesus who fights for us. For God says, “. . . I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12 Amplified).
Jesus himself defeated Satan during his forty days of temptation with Scripture saying, “It is written.” He tells us, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).
Seeking God’s wisdom, and asking from His Word, involves hard work much like digging for hidden treasure, such as picking up acorns one by one like bears should naturally do. Furthermore, having God’s revealed wisdom and then doing something about it is a matter of life and death—to our marriages, children, cities and nation.
As we put voice to Scripture during our situation, the entrance of His Word gives light and brings victory (see Ps. 119:130).
Pray the Scripture, not the Problem, if you want to know how to pray for answers.Pray the Scripture, not the Problem, if you want to know how to pray for answers.
R – Receiving from the Word – Confessing the Word and Living the Word
We can receive answers to prayer through Believing, Expecting and then Asking through Scripture. However, the “R” of our faith-bear is reserved for the critical battles. It requires a more disciplined decision to battle with faith to overcome the most trying circumstances.
Therefore, it is wise to choose our battles wisely, and know what is truly important and worth fighting for.
Without the “R” there might be no answer to prayer. We could pray, believe, expect, and ask, but unless we are willing to receive, there could be no victory. This is where many Christians miss out on the joy of their salvation, because this is the hardest part.
Receiving from the Lord involves two aspects: a deeper knowledge of what faith is and how it works with words of praise with positive actions. Receiving from the Lord requires us to understand “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20 KJV).
The mature Christian knows that “works” are tied to our words, because positive words spring forth positive actions based on what we believe from the Word.The mature Christian knows that “works” are tied to our words, because positive words spring forth positive actions based on what we believe from the Word.
One thing Jesus said about believing is puzzling: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
We all want to receive, but what does it mean, to “believe that you receive?”
The verse before this one gives us our first clue: “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.” So, we know receiving has to do with what we truly believe and, therefore, speak (like Jesus spoke TO Lazarus).
Our next clue is found in 1 John 5:14-15. This Amplified translation says it plainly: know that God has “granted us as our present possessions the requests made of Him” when it’s in agreement with His plans for us. This is what faith is, and what the B-E-A-R Facts of Faith are all about.
Faith is further defined in Hebrews:
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and conviction of their reality–faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. –Hebrews 11:1 AMP
By faith, we already have the title-deed to what we have requested from the Lord. Faith is “perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”
If we can claim for ourselves what we want to see happen, knowing God has already granted (past tense) what we have asked for as our present possessions, then would we not have already received? Almost, but not quite.
With this knowledge, our words are still the key. Hosea tells us, “Take words with you and return to the Lord” (Hosea 14:2). Then, God says, “I will create the fruit of the lips”—what our words say.
The Amplified translation explains how God uses His own faith-filled words: “God . . . who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed” (Rom. 4:17).
So, does not our creative power with God lie in speaking of the nonexistent things as if they already existed and then acting that way? Yes!
How Jehoshaphat Put the ‘R’ on His Fighting BEAR
Jehoshaphat and his people had to put the R on B-E-A-. Early the next morning after they sought the Lord, Jehoshaphat spoke words that perceived as real fact what was not yet revealed to his senses. He told them, “Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld . . . .” 2 Chron. 20:20).
Because of what he believed, expected and asked of God, he appointed singers to praise the Lord as they went out at the head of the army—a work of faith. His actions were bold. Though still fearful, the people began to sing and praise (a positive action). The Lord sent ambushes against their enemies; no one escaped. Most were destroyed by each other.
Praise puts the R on B-E-A-. When we praise the Lord, no matter how we feel, we are receiving the past tense of what God said He would do. In different words, praise claims our requests. Until we have a thankful heart toward God, we will never receive His best.When we praise the Lord, no matter how we feel, we are receiving the past tense of what God said He would do. In different words, praise claims our requests.
Without the R, there is no enduring faith, and without faith, we cannot please God—there is no “mama or papa bear” who is caring and fighting for their cubs. With God-given faith we have His knowledge that brings light and victory in ALL situations.
Confess the Word and Live the Word daily to receive answers to your prayers.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge it will eat the fruit of it [for death or life]” Proverbs 18:21 Amplified, meaning we bear the consequences of our words.
Laura W. was diagnosed with rectal cancer that reoccurred FIVE times. She had FOUR surgeries with radiation. By the fifth time, she was maxed out on radiation and no more tissue could be excised. So, what did she do?
She turned from looking only to her doctors and formed a prayer group and learned how to pray in faith believing. Shortly thereafter, the doctor told her, “We see no sign of disease!”
Learning how to pray takes time, study and work, yes. But if we are to have victory, peace, joy and life now––which will result in receiving the Victor’s Crown when this life is over––we must live above our circumstances. It takes the B E A R Facts of Faith–a strategic, certain plan for success to overcome.
Gaining victory will be confessing the Word through your tears, but the result is SO worth it: HOW I LEARNED TO RECEIVE BY FAITH
Here are two wonderful tools below to assist you in your faith journey:
B-E-A-R Facts of Faith Laminate fold and cut into a 5 x 7 sheet laminate to keep in your Bible–a summary of the above.
Quick Start Guide to Supernatural Answers to Your Concerns -Scriptures for every situation
For an introduction to the 5 Eternal Crown Rewards and their meanings, with links to the article about them, click this link for a nice printable summary>>5 ETERNAL CROWN REWARDS.