The “Word of Faith” has been a movement within Protestantism, especially the Pentecostal Church. What is it? Let us begin by saying it is not the Word of Faith which the Apostle Paul preached. This is what Paul wrote to the Church in Rome:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:8-10)
Paul preached that our the testimony of our mouths plays a vital role in salvation. Satan, as always, has a counterfeit doctrine. His doctrine suggests that we can have whatever we confess with our mouths. “I am believing God for a new car,” one might say. In other words: name it and claim it. Does this work? No! The Book of James states this:
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3)
Our motivations can nullify our prayers. Do we seek things out of personal greed?
The word of faith movement has taken certain scriptures and twisted their meanings. Sound familiar? For example, Jesus said that there is power in faith:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:23-25)
Jesus is saying that, by our mouths, we can accomplish great things. There are qualifiers. We cannot have unforgiveness in our hearts. But if our hearts are clear we can have what we say, provided:
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:6-8)
We must abide in Jesus. His words must abide in us. We cannot ask for anything that is counter to His word. Furthermore, we should not ask for anything that is counter to the will of God the Father. Jesus taught His disciples to pray:
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:8-10)
Jesus is saying that God knows what we need even before we ask. Do not pray like the Pharisees. Pray that the will of the Father be done. What is the Father’s will? That His kingdom will come upon the earth. We should be praying for His kingdom should advance. We should be praying that we have a part to play in it.
Jesus gives this assurance when we pray as we ought:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14)
Asking in the name of Jesus is asking in the character and purpose of Jesus.
We should always pray with hope and trust, that God will accomplish the things we ask according to His will. Jesus told a parable to illustrate this:
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. (Luke 18:1)
How important are our prayers? James writes:
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, ferventprayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)