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The Prayer of Petition

The Prayer of Petition
by Annette Capps

   I receive letters and e-mails fairly often from people who are confused about “praying more than once about the same thing.” Sometimes they think that if they confess the Word more than once, the second time is in doubt or unbelief.

   Prayer and confession of the Word are two different things. Prayer is simply talking to God and talking to God can be for many different purposes.  You can talk to God simply to fellowship with Him and not ask anything. You can praise Him for the blessings in your life and all He has done. You can worship Him because of Who He is – holy and worthy of our reverence.

   Then, there is confession of the Word – speaking the Word out loud. The number one purpose of this is to plant His Word in your heart so that it will produce the fruit of faith within you. This may or may not be a form of prayer, but its primary purpose is to get the Word in you. God knows what He said and it pleases Him to hear you repeat His Word and promises. A combination prayer-confession could be, “Father, I thank you that Your Word is true. I have given and it is given unto me. You supply all my needs according to Your riches in glory!” That is a prayer of thanksgiving and confessing His Word is true – a powerful combination. Confession can simply be repeating the Scriptures as they apply to you personally and not directed to God specifically.

   Once faith is established in your heart, your confessions may take on a more powerful anointing and become “declarations.” You are no longer just confessing to plant seeds – the faith has come that enables you to declare with confidence and call the end result of healing or needs met, abundance or deliverance, etc.

   You must repeat the Word over and over for the purpose of planting seeds in your heart. What kind of garden would you have if you tilled the ground and planted one seed?!? This planting of seed is confession, not petition.

   The prayer of petition is a formal act of prayer in that you are going to God seeking to receive a specific result or thing. Jesus gave many examples of this, such as Mark 11:24 and I John 5:14-15.

   You must prepare yourself before a prayer of petition in order to be effective. Prepare yourself like an attorney going to court before the judge and jury.  Do you have precedence for what you are asking?  Can you state the cases (Scriptures) that support your request? Do you have witnesses? Make your case!  Put God in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26), because that is what the court honors – God’s laws, His Word.

   The principles of courts and law in our country are generally based on the laws God gave Moses for judging people. (That doesn’t mean our courts are always right.) To petition the court, you must bring facts. Courts are not based on emotions. Crying and begging doesn’t work! So, when we are talking about the prayer of petition, this is not a repeat performance where we go to God and beg again and again for something. What if you went to God and He said, “OK. Your request is granted!” Would you leave crying, begging, and say, “I hope God helps me.”  No – it is done, over with! If you reschedule another hearing and court appearance, then you didn’t believe what He said in the first place!

   If He already said, “Yes,” what else is there to say? If you didn’t believe Him, then you are in unbelief. There are things God has already stated in His Word that He wants you to have. He wants you to have Peace, but you have to cast all your cares on Him. Do your part.

   He wants you to be well and healthy. He wants you to be delivered from poverty and debt. Find out what is in the Bible that God has promised! Put your case together and go before the courts of heaven and present your case. Hear the Father affirm, “Yes, I said that.” If he already said it, then who can argue against it?

   Find 3 scriptures to back up your petition. “…in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (II Corinthians 13:1) Present it before God, the Judge. Let all of heaven and earth hear what He has said and declared! Hear that – angels! Hear that – devil! I receive and accept that God has granted my petition. I have it now!

   After that, if doubt comes – if the devil says to you, “It didn’t work. You’re not going to get it…” laugh at him. He is a liar. You already have it. It’s already yours. You received it and because God’s Word is true, it is already done.

   Bring Your Thoughts Into Agreement with the Word

   Now, you must resist the lies of the devil and bring your thoughts into subjection to the spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit. THIS is what you must do. Resist the devil (James 4:7), stand in faith and patience. The enemy will tell you that you need to go to court again, because it’s not manifest yet in the material world. DON’T BELIEVE HIM; HE IS A LIAR! He will even use scripture, “Yes, but Jesus said to ask and keep on asking.” No, Jesus said ask and you shall receive. (Matthew 7:7, John 16:24) So, first ask and receive what you asked for. Then ask for something else and receive it. Don’t stop asking, but ask for different things each time!

   Research the scriptures and see if it is God’s will for you to have what you are asking for. You can’t go in confidence before the courts if you don’t know what your case and petition is and if there are laws supporting your case.

   I have had people ask me to agree with them in prayer (this is another type of prayer – the prayer of agreement) and what they wanted was outside of God’s laws. One lady asked me to agree with her that her daughter would not move to another town and accept a job there. (1) God does not violate anyone’s will or right to choose, and (2) I do not know or have revelation of what is right for her daughter’s life (and I doubt she did). So no, I won’t agree with that prayer. Now, if she would restate what she was asking, “Please agree with me that the Holy Spirit will lead my daughter to the place God has for her…” I will certainly agree with that, because it lines up with God’s Word!

   Prayer is never an excuse to control or manipulate others. The prayer of agreement, the prayer of petition, and all prayer must be based upon the principles of God’s Word and character to be effective. Remember, the disciples wanted to call fire down from heaven and Jesus corrected them. It wasn’t their place to execute judgement on others. It is our place to intercede for others.

Intention in Prayer

   This brings us to a question, “What is your intention in prayer?” Is your purpose and intent to manipulate a person? Manipulate God? You can try as much as you want, but begging, pleading and crying to “talk God into something” won’t work, because God is moved by faith, trusting in His Word, NOT EMOTION.

   There are two ways to look at prayer for things: (1) as a petitioner in a court, and (2) as a child with a parent. The fact is that God is both our loving Father as well as Judge of all. Two different perspectives, but in order to understand prayer, we must embrace both.

   As children of natural human parents, we learned that begging, crying and manipulating was sometimes effective in getting us what we wanted, but this does not carry over to our heavenly Father, because He has already said “Yes” to all that we would require to live a blessed, healthy, abundant and righteous life. 

   The prayer of petition (asking God for something) is only a small part of prayer life. If the only time we talk to God is when we need something, then we don’t have a balanced prayer life or relationship with God.

   Fellowshipping with the Father and enjoying His Presence is so important. Jesus said if we abide in Him, in His Presence, then He abides in us.

   (John 15:7) As a result, we do the Father’s will just as Jesus did. He declared that He and the Father are one and so we are one with Him. (John 17:21-22) This fellowship is the basis of our prayer life as believers. A non-believer may call upon God for mercy and help and God will attempt to help all who call upon Him, but there is no true fellowship outside a blood covenant. Upon making Jesus the Lord of your life, He dwells with you and in you by His Spirit. Within this relationship there are prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of intercession for others, prayers for wisdom and understanding, and prayers for things is a small part of prayer.

Here are some things to remember about prayer:

  1. God is not only able, but He is also willing to hear and answer you.

  2. Meditate on the scriptures that demonstrate His willingness to provide whatever it is that you are asking for.

  3. Ask in Jesus’ name. It is because of what He did and who we are in Him that we have the right to use that name in prayer. In John 16:23-24, Jesus said, “At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”

  4. When you pray, receive from the Father by faith, knowing it is accomplished in the spirit and will manifest in the physical in due time.

  5. Refuse every thought that tells you that your prayer was not heard or that you did not receive. Instead, thank God and worship Him when doubt rises.

  6. Do not speak contrary to what you received. Instead, continue to thank God for His goodness and mercy and trust Him for Divine Timing.

We serve a God who is more than enough, El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One. He is well able to provide and meet your every need – and He is willing!



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