Faith In Prayer
It is very important to have faith when we pray. 1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
What very clear, strong, and sure language. You see terms here like confidence and know. As long as we are asking according to his will, we are to have confidence and know that we have the petitions that we desire. Jesus said a similar statement in Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Faith and doubt are opposites and they will have opposite effects upon prayer. Where Faith brings answers, doubt does the opposite. James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
One of the reasons is that whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Heb_11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
There is no doubt that there is a connection between getting answers to prayer and having faith. When you go to God you must believe that He is a rewarder, and you are to believe what the Bible says about Him caring, being good, and all His promises about answering prayers.
Some struggle with Faith. It is sad that sometimes the lost world can have more faith than we do. For example a man who jumps out of an airplane. He is willing to have faith. I mean live saving faith in a piece of material and some cords that strap it to his back. And all he has to back this faith on is some manufactures word for it. He is willing to trust his life to what someone he does not know did in a factory somewhere. And many people do this all the time. And you can find many other examples of the lost world having faith with only a little to base it on.
We have something infinitely greater to base our Faith on. The Word of the Almighty. He has all power. But even more amazing is that He is our Father. We have both His sinless perfection that makes it impossible for Him to lie, and we have His great infinite Love. His perfect Word and His perfect Character and His perfect Love.
We can know all of that and still at times our minds can become filled with doubt.
You can know those verses and still find yourself low in faith when you pray. This can and does at times happen to everyone. George Muller is what we would call a great man of prayer. He ended up providing for over 10,000 orphans without ever asking anyone but God to supply their needs. He testified that he knew of around 50,000 specific answers to his prayers. He would have dedicated prayer in the morning get up and keep praying as he went thru his day and he said the answers just kept coming.
God always did supply, but often it was at the last possible minute. George had trial after trial upon his faith. He wrote in his journal on September 17, 1838, “The trial still continues. It is now more and more trying, even to faith, as each day comes. Truly, the Lord has wise purposes in allowing us to call so long upon Him for help.” He mentions some small amounts of money that did come in and then writes, “This evening I was rather tried respecting the long delay of larger sums coming, but being led to go to the Scriptures for comfort, my soul was greatly refreshed. My faith again was strengthened by Psalm 34, so that I went very cheerfully to meet with my dear fellow laborers for prayer. I read the psalm to them and sought to cheer their hearts through the precious promises contained in it.”
He went to God’s word and had his faith lifted. Faith truly does come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. He then went and encouraged others and they prayed in faith. His journal entry for the next day is very interesting.
September 18, “Brother T had 25s in hand and I had 3s. This 1 pound 8s enabled us to buy the meat and bread that were needed, a little tea for one of the houses, and milk for all. No more than this is needed. Thus the Lord has provided not only for this day, but for tomorrow as well, for there is bread on hand for two days. Now, however, we have come to an extreme situation. The funds are exhausted. The laborers, who had a little money, have given as long as they had any left. Now observe how the Lord helped us.
A lady from the neighborhood of London, who brought a parcel with money from her daughter arrived four of five days ago in Bristol and took lodging next door to the boys’ orphanage. This afternoon, she kindly brought me the money herself, amounting to 3 pounds 2s. 6d. We had been reduced so low as to be at the point of selling those things that could be spared, but this morning I had asked the Lord, if it might be, to prevent the necessity of our doing so. That the money had been so near the orphanages for several days without being given is a plain proof that it was from the beginning on the heart of God to help us. But because He delights in the prayers of His children, He had allowed us to pray so long. He also permitted our faith to be tried in order to make the answer so much the sweeter”.
Like George Muller our faith can get low in times of trial. What you need to do in those times is what he did. Go to the Word of God. In the example above George found great encouragement and strengthened his faith by going to Psalm 34. So let’s take a look at some of the promises listed for us there that really helped George Muller.
I. He hears us, and can deliver us from all of our fears.
Psa 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
II. He lightens burdens, and those who look unto Him are not ashamed.
The reason is because He cares and He does answer.
Psa 34:5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
III. God answers the poor man, He hears, and sends answers. He sends help.
Psa 34:6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
IV. God is close
Psa 34:7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
For those that fear the Lord, He is close by. The word encampeth is used. Not only is God close, but He is on all sides of you. He surrounds you. And will deliver you. What a great picture of care protection and deliverance. His great help is available.
V. The Lord is good.
Psa 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
VI. The Lord provides
Psa 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
Psa 34:10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
VII. The Lord has his eyes upon you and His ears are open
Psa 34:15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psa 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
VIII. Pray knowing that He understands, He cares, He is close to those who are hurting.
Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Do not confuse having afflictions with God not caring. Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
IX All that trust in Him will not be desolate.
All that trust in Him will not be desolate. It does not say maybe. They will not. He is worthy of our trust.
Psa 34:22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
What a wonderful concentrated list of promises. It is no wonder that Psalm 34 has given the people of God much encouragement and has had the effect of strengthening the faith of many who went before us like George Muller. These precious promises can do the same thing for us. We need to take God at His Word. Trust in Him and honor Him by praying with Faith.