Prayer to Receive

Prayer where we ask to receive something from God is one of the types of prayer available to us to produce results in the earth. Having a basic understanding of the prayer to receive will help make our prayers more successful.

The Basic Outline of the Prayer to Receive

James 1:5 and Mark 11:24 provide the basic outline for prayer to receive.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men abundantly, and does not find fault; and it shall be given him.

You can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.

Basic Outline

Prayer to receive is governed by spiritual law. Our prayer will succeed or fail to the degree the steps work according to spiritual law. This is true for all prayer. The principles of spiritual law governing prayer deal with the standard of measures we use in asking, giving, and receiving. According to the measure we use it is measured back to us. If we measure according to a standard that works to produce results in prayer our prayer will succeed. If we measure according to a standard that does not work to produce results in prayer our prayer will fail.

We Ask God For The Results We Desire

The standard of measure we use in asking is one of value: what value do we place on the result for which we are asking? What value do we place on other things we ask for?

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may consume what you get in your pleasures. (James 4:3)

Don't be anxious, saying, 'What will we eat?', 'What will we drink?' or, 'With what will we be clothed?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first God's Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31-33)

About the lowest we can value something we ask for is to value it as something to consume as we seek a temporary pleasure. Such a value is too low to receive from God. We may value other things more highly, but we still need to value them in their place: however important they are to us they are of less value than the kingdom of God and his righteousness. That doesn’t mean that we should not ask for those other things, but that we should seek them according to their true value: seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, seek wisdom above all things we can desire, and seek other things as things of less value than these.

We can only receive things of high value, like wisdom, if we value it with the appropriately high value.

If you search for wisdom as if it were silver and hunt for it as if it were hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD (the beginning of wisdom) (Proverbs 2:4,5)

God Gives Us the Results, or the Means to Produce the Results

God gives to us according to the same measure we use in giving to others.

Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure-- pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. (Luke 6:38)

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 2:6)

Forgiving is giving a release from a debt owed or harm they have caused us. The standard we use in forgiving not only works to set the standard by which we are forgiven, but also works in setting the standard by which God gives us all things we ask him for.

We Believe We Receive It

We receive what we ask for according to the standard of measure we use in receiving all things from God. According to the same measure we use in receiving instruction and correction from God, we receive the things we desire. This is highly important as many times God gives us the means to produce the results we ask for rather than the results themselves. 

We also receive according to the standard of measure of trust we place in receiving from God.

But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, (James 1:6-7)

A More Complete Outline for the Prayer to Receive

A more complete outline for the prayer to receive looks like this:

(1) We ask God to give us something. God (2) will always give it to us (2.1) according to the standard of measure we have used in giving. (3) We receive what he has given to us, or not, (3.1) according to the standard of measure we have used in receiving, (3.2) according to the measure of the genuineness of our faith, and (3.3) according to our overcoming the enemy seeking to withhold what God gives us. (5) Depending on the nature of what we have received, we may have to continue to overcome doubt and fear to keep it once we have received it.

Praying to Receive

Prayer to receive involves quite a bit more than just asking God for what we need. Successful prayer to receive, like all prayer, requires that we prepare ourselves. To succeed in all types of prayer we must prepare ourselves to pray the prayer, line up the prayer, and then pray the prayer. This takes time. Those who are wise will spend the time preparing now so that when a need arises they are able to receive what is needed.


Consistent results in anything we do requires consistent preparation. We prepare for prayer by sowing God’s word into our hearts to build the power working in us that produces the results: love, faith, and patience. Putting on the armor of God and asking God to send his Spirit of truth to guide us and lead us into all the truth is essential for proper preparation.

We also prepare by building our standard of measure history - the standard of measure we use in asking, valuing, giving, and receiving. This is key in receiving in prayer.

Another part of our preparation involves removing those things from our being that choke God’s word in us from bearing the fruit of receiving in prayer. This includes tare faith, doubt, corrupt desires (that cause us to ask with wrong motives), and corrupt standards of measure. It may also include repentance from sin that prevents us from having the spiritual authority we need to overcome spiritual forces that work to withhold results in prayer.

Line Up the Prayer

When we pray we are using God’s ways to produce results in the earth instead of our ways. For each prayer we need to ask God exactly how he wants us to pray the prayer. What scripture should we use as the basis for our prayer? How are we do express our faith? Do we bind, loose, sow, reap? Are we done preparing? These are the kinds of things we need to ask God.

Pray the Prayer

Once we have prepared and asked God how to pray a particular prayer we then pray the prayer according to how he says to pray it. All prayer will involve some expression of faith. Part of God’s instructions should include how we express our faith in the prayer. Do we openly confess before others that we believe we receive what we have prayed for? Do we take a step that risks loss - like when Jesus touched the leper? Importunity? Fasting? How do we use the authority of Jesus’ name to overcome the spiritual forces opposing our prayer? When we pray the prayer we express our faith the way God said to do it and continue to do that until we have the result, or God gives us further direction.