Not always, but it can be. The good news is that it’s not hard to recognize the difference.
First, let’s establish this: It is always appropriate for a child of God to communicate openly with the Father. We don’t have to completely stop praying about something once we have taken a stand in faith. When we have taken a specific stand in faith, we can expect that God will continue to speak to us about that situation and He will give us the wisdom and insight we need.
We do need to stop doubting whether God is at work. After we have taken a firm stand of faith, our prayers should change. The main thing we want to avoid is continually saying things like, “God, are You hearing me? Oh, please answer my prayers. God, why don’t I see things changing?” These types of prayers are not effective because they are outward signs of doubt and fear.
Once we have prayed in faith, we don’t have to keep asking God to move. Rather, we should thank God that He is already at work. We can ask for His continued wisdom, guidance and direction as long as we settle the fact that He is already moving on our behalf. An example of this would be, “Father, I know You are moving in this situation, and I praise You for the victory. And Lord, if there is anything You need me to do or understand more clearly about this, I open myself up to Your direction.”
We can have confidence in God’s willingness and ability to answer all of our prayers that are according to His will. First John 5:14-15 says, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”
Here are five steps to building a biblically-based stand of faith based on Hebrews 4:12-16:
- Present the promises: Go to the Word of God and find the scriptures that fit your situation (Romans 10:17), then ask the Holy Spirit to show you the promises He desires you to apply (Romans 8:1-16).
2. Pray and worship God: Humble yourself before the Lord (James 4:10), lay the promises before Him (1 John 5:15), then hear His wisdom and the instruction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).
3. Make your petition: Write your petition out as your Word-based declaration of faith (Philippians 4:6), then present it to Jesus (Hebrews 3:1).
4. Prepare to receive: Let faith and patience work together in your life (James 1:3-4).
5. Praise God for the victory: Let every request be accompanied by your thanksgiving to the Lord for His faithfulness to fulfill His promises (Philippians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 1:20).