A Secret to Great Faith

In 1991 Ruth Shinness' husband suffered brain damage during an operation. For the next four years until his death, she was his caregiver. During this time, she spent hours in prayer and a promise from Mark 11:24 began to fill her mind: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." 

She had never believed that she actually received her answer when she prayed. She concluded that if she believed she already had what she prayed for, then the very least she should do was to thank the Lord for what she had. She took the Scriptures and wrote them into prayers that voiced confidence God was answering.

For instance, Isaiah 44:3 promises, "I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants." She would boldly pray, "You, God, have poured Your spirit upon my children and Your blessing upon my offspring."

As soon as she began to pray this way, she sensed the Lord's presence helping her to believe. She says it was as if God were saying, "At last, someone believes that I hear when she prays."

Superficially, it may seem this type of praying is a shortcut to effective prayer; yet Ruth Shinness calls such praying warfare. Faith is the victory that overcomes (1 John 5:4), and praise increases our faith. Boldness in stating we believe terrifies our already defeated enemy.

Amazingly, Ruth began seeing answers more quickly. Family members reported receiving blessings she recognized as specific answers to Scriptural prayers she had prayed with thanksgiving.

Dear Lord, teach us to pray with confidence using Your words.

"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV).