Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Roger Barrier's book, Got Guts? Get Godly! Pray the Prayer God Guarantees to Answer, (Xulon Press, 2011).

God listens carefully to all of your prayers, but you usually can’t predict how He will choose to answer them. There is one prayer that God always answers “yes” to, though: praying for spiritual growth.

Since spiritual growth always reflects God’s will for you, you can count on God helping you when you let Him know that you’re willing to pursue spiritual growth at any price. Your willingness to do whatever it takes to become more spiritually mature invites God to work in your life in powerful ways.

Here’s how you can pray for spiritual growth and work with God to mature in your faith:

Recognize the three different levels of spiritual maturity. Christians start as spiritual children, getting acquainted with Jesus as their Savior but not yet developing much of His character. Then Christians progress to spiritual young men and women who are growing in their knowledge of Jesus and the Bible. Finally, Christians mature into spiritual mothers and fathers, who have developed intimate friendships with Jesus and have learned how to live in ways that help them fulfill His purposes for their lives.

Pray for the passion you need to devote yourself wholeheartedly to Jesus. Ask God to spark passion within you to set you on fire for pursuing spiritual growth. Make your relationship with Jesus your top priority in life, basing all of your decisions on it. As you do, you’ll gradually get to know Jesus more, which will cause you fall in love with Him more and motivate you to keep growing closer to Him. Keep in mind that God’s ultimate goal for your spiritual growth is for you to become more like Jesus.

Pray for the wisdom you need to follow the right path. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind regularly so you can think about everything from God’s perspective, which will empower you to avoid wrong religious paths and focus on the right path that leads you closer to Jesus. Learn how to test spirits to discern which are from God and which aren’t, to guard against falling prey to evil deception that counters biblical truth.

Pray for friends to accompany you on the journey. Ask God to connect you with some good friends who are also pursuing spiritual growth so you all can encourage and support each other.

Learn how to apply biblical truth to your life. Read, study, and meditate on the Bible’s words often to get to know it well and absorb its truths into your soul. Practice applying what it says in the various situations you encounter – focusing especially on trusting in God’s grace rather than your own efforts to be righteous, valuing God over what the world offers (such as money), choosing faith over fear, and learning to love in deeper ways.

Practice spiritual disciplines. Practicing spiritual disciplines will help you consistently reduce the amount of selfishness in your attitudes and actions while increasing the amount of holiness in your life. Spiritual disciplines to pursue include: celebration, community, confession, fasting, fellowship, guidance, meditation, prayer, simplicity, service, solitude, study, submission, and worship.

Discover how the brokenness in your life can put Jesus on display. You’ll inevitably encounter suffering in this fallen world, but God will use it to accomplish good purposes in your life. View suffering through the lens of a biblical worldview so you can see that it’s not God’s fault and you’ll be able to trust that God has people’s best interests in mind at all times and in all situations. As suffering causes brokenness in your life, invite God to use it as a sculptor would, to chip away at your selfishness and reveal more of Jesus in your soul.