In the New Testament, Jesus stated a condition that applies to every time we pray and ask for something:
Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be taken up and cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you (Mark 11:22-24, emphasis added).
The condition Jesus stated is to believe that we have received when we pray. Many Christians mistakenly try to exercise their faith by believing that they have received when they see the answer to their prayer. They believe that they are going to receive and not that they have received.
When we ask God for something that He has promised us, we should believe we receive the answer when we pray and begin thanking God for the answer right then. We must believe we have the answer before we see it and not after we see it. We should make our requests to God with thanksgiving, as Paul wrote:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Phil. 4:6).
As I previously stated, if we have faith in our hearts, naturally our words and our actions will correspond with what we believe. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34).
Some Christians make the mistake of asking repeatedly for the same thing, which reveals they haven’t yet believed they have received. If we have believed that we have received when we pray, then there is no need to repeat the same request. To ask repeatedly for the same thing is to doubt that God heard us the first time we asked.