In the Spirit, I saw many prayers ascending upward toward the throne. I sensed that many of these prayers were being prayed according to the Father's perfect will. Many were prayers for gifts, callings and destinies to be manifested. A majority were bundles of prayers for the lost, especially for family members. Many of these prayer requests were made up of strong cries, day and night with fasting, that had become heavy burdens on hearts over the years.
As these prayers began to ascend, they seemed to go only so far and then drop back down to earth as though they were bouncing off the ceiling from where they were being prayed. I saw in heaven something like a huge heavenly post office where prayer requests are received and answers to prayers are sent out. At the entrance of this heavenly post office, on the front door was written in gigantic letters the Scripture Philippians 4:6 (NKJV): " Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."
These Prayers Weren't Making It
As huge bundles of prayer requests came through the front door on the way to the throne room, I was appalled by how many requests were being stopped and never made it to the throne for answers. I heard a voice that shook me. An angelic postmaster general proclaimed, "These prayer requests have no 'postage' on them. Return to sender!"
In the Spirit, I saw these huge bundles of prayer requests like letters that had no postage stamps on them. These could go no farther! The ones I did see going on into the throne room to be answered carried a postage stamp of "thanksgiving." These ones became priority mail inside the throne room, and immediate confirmation of peace was sent to the sender with the following verse: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7, MEV).
Before the answer of these prayers were manifested on earth, the people who sent their requests with thanksgiving were receiving the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen because of the peace of God they were receiving through giving of thanks.
There Can't Be Thanksgiving Until There's Believing
Many prayers for lost loved ones never really reached their heavenly destination, not because people weren't praying, but they simply were not believing that they would receive what they were asking for. Therefore, being thankful was very difficult for them.
The Lord seemed to say, "Tell my people that many have already prayed and prayed and filled heaven with their prayers for the lost and their loved ones. They actually need to stop praying and simply believe ME to save them. 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you and your household will be saved' (Acts 16:31). Many are carrying a false responsibility, feeling that they are responsible to get their family members saved. May I remind you that you could not save your own self; and therefore, you cannot save anybody else. Since I saved you, I can save anyone!"
Many who were faithfully praying for family members for many years were actually praying themselves into a state of depression. I sense the Spirit saying, "This kind of praying is not scriptural! Begin to believe and start thanking Me that I am going to save them now. Thank Me that I am going to bring in the lost. Just send up some stamps of 'thanksgiving,' and I will stamp your prayer requests to forward them to the throne. Start living as though your prayers are already answered!"
I sensed the Father saying, "As you are thanking Me, go ahead and start treating your lost loved ones as though they are already saved. When you do, your life will become so full of thanksgiving and praise and worship, that you will begin to see My heavenly UPS and Fed Ex arrive, bringing speedy delivery from heaven to impossible requests upon the earth. Praise and worship move Me to do outrageous acts of blessings upon the earth!"
I remembered when Peter was put in prison and the church was praying for his deliverance (see Acts 12:6-17). There was also a prayer meeting going on for Peter in a woman's house. Her name was Mary. As the angel came and delivered Peter, he made a straight run to Mary's house (see Acts 12:7-12) I believe he felt the power of their prayers.
You Must See His Ghost!
As he knocked on the front door, a handmaiden, Rhoda, answered the door and got so excited, she forgot to let Peter in. Rhoda ran inside that prayer meeting shouting, "Peter is at the front door, we can stop praying now!"
For some reason they didn't seem to hear her. Perhaps someone was giving a strong prophetic utterance about Peter's soon release. Again, I can hear Rhoda shouting, "Our answered prayer is at the front door. We can stop praying!" (see Acts 12:13-15).
Finally, Rhoda gets the prayer group's attention, and here is the spiritual temperature inside that prayer room; here is what they say to Rhoda: "You must see his ghost!" (see Acts 12:15). In other words, "We don't believe it!"
You Will Never See It If You Don't Believe It
You can pray for a hundred years, but unless you believe you are going to receive what you are asking for, you will never see it. "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24).
I personally believe there are some prayer meetings that need to be broke up. Many churches have prayer meetings, but few have "prayer-believing" meetings. It was easier for Peter to get out of prison than it was for him to get inside that prayer meeting.
Our Thanksgiving Proves Our Faith
Next time you pray, try putting a postage stamp of thanksgiving on your request. I promise you, you will enjoy prayer time much more, and you will probably live much longer.
Prayer with thanksgiving proves to God that we believe we are going to receive what we are asking for.
As a father, when my children thank me for something in advance, it's hard for me to get out of giving it to them!
Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years and now travels full time, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill has authored several prophetic books. His latest book is Handfuls of Purpose. His prophetic email list is: @billyountweekly.com. Visit Bill's website at billyount.com.
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