We walk in faith everyday but are oblivious to it. We put our faith in many things. When we sit on a chair we have faith that the chair is not going to collapse. We turn the key in the ignition and have faith that the car will start. We put our faith in doctors, nurses, dentists, banks, manufacturers, the list is endless. Why then is it so difficult for us to have faith in God?
Faith is a difficult concept, because as we grow up & journey through life we hit hard times, we get hurt and we hurt others. We are let down by people or agencies that are there to support us. So our faith dwindles. We lose faith in people and lose hope during difficult times. So what’s the difference between putting our faith in people (who we can see & know exist) or faith in God who is unseen?
‘Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’ (John 20:29)
It takes a lot to believe in something that at surface appears to have no evidence to back it. You can’t convict a person for a crime unless there is evidence. We like to see the facts. I was brought up in a Christian home so I was brought up believing in God. However as I grew up I questioned things more & more. I discovered a great book by Josh McDowell called ‘More Than A Carpenter’. The blurb on the back says ‘Josh McDowell thought that Christian claims about Jesus were crazy, and he didn’t mind telling people so. But then he discovered for himself the truth about Jesus’. This guy set out to prove to his fellow university students that they were wrong, that there was no evidence, so they challenged him, and as he carried out his research, he found the truth. (Please contact me if you would like a free copy of this book to read)
Now even the disciples with the evidence in front of them still lacked faith. The disciples were there, they watched Jesus perform miracles. They saw people healed, thousand fed with very little food, they saw things that would blow your mind. However Jesus got frustrated at their lack of faith. A well known incident is in Luke 8:22-25
‘One day he got in a boat with His disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out, and as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even winds and water, and they obey Him?”’
Jesus slept soundly and the disciples panicked. He slept through the storm because He knew He was safe, He knew that God was looking after them. The disciples on the other hand didn’t have this strength of faith. They feared for their lives. Jesus questions them, “Where is your faith?” However, even though they struggled to have faith in difficult and scary circumstances, Jesus did not turn His back on them. Yes, He may have got frustrated with them, but He still loved them.
I too struggle in my faith. I often pray a verse from the Bible ‘I believe, help me overcome my unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). Jesus was there, Jesus knew & knows how difficult we as human beings find it to not panic, to not fear the worst when we are going through a storm. That lump has to be cancer, that bill & no money to pay it, an endless situation that no matter how much we fight is not changing. These are things we all face. People have asked me many times how can you put your faith in God when all these bad things are happening?
Having faith in God is not about your circumstances. It’s easy to have faith in God when life is good, but when things go wrong we seek someone to blame, we feel like there is no hope, we lose faith. I have had an uphill battle over the last few years to get the right help for my children. I have prayed & prayed, pouring out my heart to God & begging Him to help, because I know that I need Him to intervene, as nothing I was doing seemed to be getting things moving forward. I knew that the only one who could change things was Him. Jesus says in Luke 18:27: ‘what is impossible with man is possible with God’. This verse helps me to have faith because I know that God can make things happen when people can’t.
This brings me on to my next point, prayer. Prayer and faith go hand in hand, as it says in Matthew 21:22: ‘And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.’ So what is the link between the two? Faith is an act of trust or dependence upon God and it manifests itself mainly through prayer.
‘What is prayer? Prayer is our direct line with heaven. Prayer is a communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to communicate with Him, like a person-to-person phone call. Cell phones and other devices have become a necessity to some people in today’s society. We have bluetooth devices, blackberries, and talking computers! These are means of communication that allow two or more people to interact, discuss, and respond to one another. To many people, prayer seems complicated, but it is simply talking to God.’
(Quote from: www.allaboutprayer.org/what-is-prayer.htm)
How do you pray? It’s a conversation with God, you do not need to overcomplicate it with fancy words or make it lengthy. It is like having a chat with your best friend. Remember God is always with you, so you can talk to Him whenever you want. Sometimes I spend ‘quiet’ time, maybe half an hour, just sitting with Him and talking, however prayer is not limited to a specific time, I talk to God, mostly in my head, throughout the day. Maybe I’ve met with somebody that day that is struggling with something. I may ask God to look after them, to comfort them, I may ask Him if He would bless them with peace. I cannot always fix peoples problems and when you see someone struggling and you are out of ways to help, and you don’t know what else to do, PRAY. In fact pray first, don’t leave it as a last option, because prayer is a powerful weapon.
This brings me to the question, why is prayer so important? Simply put: The more you pray (converse with God), the better you get to know Him, the better you know Him, the more you trust Him. So, why pray? Because it’s faith building. You trust and pray, thus taking a step of faith that God is real and listening. Then you see an answer to that prayer, so you pray again and he answers again, this in turn builds your faith so then you pray again, expectantly (in faith) and so on. Faith enables prayer, in turn prayer builds faith. The two things are interconnected.
Does God answer all prayers? I firmly cling to the promise that God answers all of our prayers. Sometimes we pray relentlessly & things don’t seem to be happening. It’s easy to think ‘Why is God not answering?’, but He works outside of time. He may answer your prayer in a way that is best for you, but not the answer you want. He is our heavenly father, and as a parent you don’t give your kids everything they request because you know certain things aren’t good for them so you say no. You have your children’s best interests at heart, as does God. You may be waiting for an answer, for months or years, but believe me He always answers. No, waiting is not easy, I have often had to wait a long time to see answers, I have gone through doubt myself, is God listening? Does he care? Thankfully my faith helps me to ignore the doubts and reminds me that God is always faithful. He has answered prayers before, and each of those answers has helped build my faith, so thankfully when these doubts come along, I can remind myself of what God has done in my life before this time, so even if I can’t see an answer in sight, I can trust that there will be one.
So let me tell you why I pray. I guess what I’ve learnt over the last few years, well actually throughout my life, is that people find themselves in difficult situations, my family, my friends, even people that I don’t really know that well, I see them struggling and it breaks my heart. I just want to fix things for them, but realise that I’m merely a human being and there’s only so much I can do. I guess that’s why I’m thankful to God for prayer, because I can lift them up to Him, the creator of the whole world, the one who ‘nothing is impossible’ for, the one that meets all my needs and meets all their needs. Even if they don’t know Him, He still loves them and still wants what’s best for them. I also pray because I need God. He keeps me going in tough times, and He blesses me with so many amazing things. When I pray I tell Him how much I love & appreciate Him, I thank Him for all that He does for me and for answering my prayers, I ask Him to forgive me when I get things wrong, (because even when others struggle to forgive me, He is faithful and always forgives). I then pray for others and their needs, and for myself.
So, prayer….prayer is important because it helps me develop and strengthen my relationship with God. It brings me hope, peace, and helps me to remember, no matter what is going on, that I am loved. When my sister was dying, I sobbed and I prayed a lot, and God gave me comfort. People say that God speaks to them, I never really got that. He has spoken to me through scripture and through other people, but then there was this one day, when I was lying on the floor crying, my heart was breaking because my sister was dying, and I reached out to God. I immediately felt a calmness/peace wash over me, and I heard Him audibly say to me, ‘Do not fear, I’m going to look after her’. I knew then that she would be ok. I didn’t know whether she would be healed or if the cancer would take her life, but I just knew that whatever happened, God was looking after her. He was keeping her safe and He would always keep her safe. That gave me such comfort and peace, at such a difficult time. Having this assurance from God helped me to cope with the situation and gave me much needed strength and peace, so I was able to offer my sister the support, encouragement and calm that she needed at that time.
It’s hard when you see people you love struggling, to be honest, I find it hard seeing people I don’t even know struggling. You see people in the street and you can see by their face that they’re burdened with something, and you don’t know what it is, but you can still say a little prayer to God because He knows them and He knows what’s going on in their lives. In fact, He knows what’s going on in our lives more than anybody does, because He knows us inside out and we can hide nothing from Him.
How do we approach prayer, because prayer to a lot of people is this kind of ritualistic, it’s got to be said a certain way with flowery language etc. But actually it doesn’t, it’s just a conversation with God. Think about how you would talk to your own Dad. Ok yes we need to show God respect & revere Him, but He wants a personal relationship with us as well, and He doesn’t want that standing in awe, that respect, to cause distance between us, and keep us at arms length from Him. I found that when I was going to church when I was younger, it was kind of almost like there was a barrier between me and God, and only the priest could go beyond that barrier. We find a similar description in the Bible. In the Jewish Temple there was a place called the the Holy of Holies, a big thick curtain seperated this place from the rest of the temple. Only the priest could go beyond this curtain and only once a year, if anyone tried to access it any other time including the priest, they would be struck down by God. Actually part of my testimony is that when I realised that I could get up close and personal with God, that barrier between me & God was demolished. The curtain was torn in two. Just like after Jesus died and the big thick curtain in the temple in Jerusalem, which was not a flimsy fabric curtain as we are accustomed to, it would have been a really heavy duty thing, it tore from top to bottom. It was like a physical sign showing that there’s not a barrier there anymore, that you can come to God because of what Jesus has done. So today I would urge you to come before God in faith, and pray. God loves you and earnestly waits for you to chat with Him.
I want to reassure you that however alone you are feeling right now, you are NOT alone in your battle. Please message me if you have any questions or if you would like us to pray for you or for someone you know. Please contact me at [email protected]
Do you know the power of the prayer of faith? Learn how to pray the prayer of faith in the succeeding article and experience God’s power working in your life.
Faith can move mountains. It is this propelling force that transcends time, space, matter, and reality. It takes faith to attain the insurmountable and achieve the impossible. Faith is what distinguishes the believers in the Lord Jesus from the unsaved.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. (Hebrews 11.1)
It takes faith to sit on a chair without looking to see if the chair is where you last saw it. You put your confidence on the chair that it can carry your weight and so you sit down. When you fall backwards and you ask your trusted friend to catch your fall, you exercise faith on your friend that he can keep watch and catch your body. It takes faith to go to an ATM machine and receive your cash from the bank. When you put your key in the ignition of your car you have faith that it will start. These are just practical ways on putting faith to action. So you see we all have faith in something.
How about the more critical and crucial things in life like terminal illness or court case or brink of divorce, suicide or bankruptcy or natural calamity? Is faith the answer to situations or conditions like these? Yes.
God is the author, finisher, and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
Undying faith in God can rescue you from the perils of sin, sickness, death, and hell. Having belief or faith in the true God of the Scriptures will definitely help solve your problems and bring life to your darkest world.
Hebrews 11 documents and records the Heroes’ Hall of Faith like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, among others. The prayers of the faithful did not receive the fulfillment of the promises but they believed just the same and were divinely assured. Their prayers were answered even though they did not live to see them.
Faith moves the hands of God. It is the faith of a person that God first sees and He honors him setting him apart from the rest of creation.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 12:6)
Jesus Christ the Son of God when He came on earth 2,000 years ago discerns the faith of those seeking Him and the healing, deliverance, and salvation He freely offers. He notices great faith like that of the Roman centurion and the little faith of His disciples when being tested. Those who exercised faith in God through Jesus received what they asked for and even more.
From the Old to the New Testament up until our current day and age, God requires and demands faith in Him. Those who put their trust in Him and accepted the free gift of salvation when Jesus died on the Cross and paid the penalty of our sins are given the privilege to become children of God and joint-heirs with Christ in the heavenlies and the age to come. It takes faith in the Invisible God and the belief in the redemption to welcome us into the kingdom of God. Accepting this holy invitation needs a measure of faith. It is only by faith that we can receive salvation and redeem our great inheritance, spiritual blessings, and heavenly riches through Jesus.
We have now firmly established the significance and necessity of faith. When it comes to real situations, how do we apply faith and reap the benefits thereof?
We need to ask God to plant faith in our spirits through prayer, intimacy with Him, and meditating and hearing the word of God.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Cultivate the discipline of meditating and declaring Scriptures upon your life. Through this habit, life is being imparted to our inner man as the word of God is life itself who is Jesus Himself. Faith is being deposited in our spirits through the Scriptures and it will unleash and express itself outwardly through our thoughts, words, and actions.
There is power in the spoken word. By word from the mouth of God, the world and man were created out of nothing. Whatever God says becomes law.
Death and life is in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21)
Whatever you declare and confess happens and becomes a physical reality so be careful with what you speak and release from your mouth.
When you have adopted the lifestyle of faith and apply faith in every situation, you become who God created you to be. If you have terminal illness or someone you know suffers from it, exercise faith. The just shall live by faith and the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Remember that without faith it is impossible to please God. What this means is that through your faith you are declaring to God and to the world that you believe in God and therefore your faithfulness in Him and His word works on your behalf so that your prayers are answered.
The prayer for faith is what we need at this time. Here is a prayer for you—
“Father God, I bless Your name and I thank You for manifesting Your presence right now. Build up faith in me so that I can withstand all the challenges facing me. By faith, I re-commit my life to You and accept Jesus’ gift of salvation affirming that I am Your precious child and that nothing can separate Your love from me. I ask You to bring salvation also to my loved ones, heal our sicknesses, provide for our needs, perform miracles, and shower us with Your faithfulness. I speak divine order upon our lives and peace and joy. I exercise faith in You alone knowing that You are in full control over all situations. Grow Your faith in my life over my finances and over relationships that are broken I pray the prayer of faith to heal these areas.
Thank You for listening to my prayer of faith now. I believe You for the impossible and I let You impact my life and all things surrounding me. I declare Hebrews 11 and all the promises You made for those who operate in faith expressed through love. I love You, God and thank You for loving me even more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer of faith, God will honor your faith and do what You ask Him to per His perfect will for your life. God answers the prayers of the faithful
If you have a testimony that you would like to share on the power of prayer in your life, please share it below.
For more prayers, click here.
Does unanswered prayer mean you don’t have enough faith? What does God’s Word say?
The Bible says that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb 11:1), so faith is an assurance we have hope in and the conviction of the things we do not yet see, like we believe in Jesus Christ without ever having seen Him. That takes faith, but faith is not what you conjure up or work yourself up to. It must be the Object of your faith that you are assured about and not the faith that we can muster up ourselves by means of the human will and mind. That’s not faith…that’s wishful thinking, so faith, being a gift of God (Eph 2:8), is not from us but from God, so when we pray in faith to be healed or to mend a broken relationship or even to avoid financial ruin, it’s not our faith that does miracles but God Himself, so if we are not receiving the answer to our prayers, there is a reason for it, and it’s probably not a lack of faith but a lack of being in the will of God.
Word of Faith
I have actually heard some preaches say, “You’ve got a miracle in your mouth. You can speak things into being that are not yet,” and when I heard it, it actually reminded me of a Bible verse where it says, “For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Psalm 33:9), but the “he” wasn’t a man, it was God. It’s similar to when “God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light” (Gen 1:3), so these “word of faith” preachers who believe you can speak things into existence need to understand that the will of God is more important than the will of the so-called “faith-healer.” When Jesus healed people, He would frequently tell them to “say nothing to no one,” and when large crowds started to gather, He would sometimes slip away. This is just the opposite of faith healers today who display their work on a public stage and broadcast it on television and the Internet, as if they are the source, however God’s definition of faith is radically different from those who are showboating their “gift of healing.” The Bible says that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1 NIV), and it’s not what you speak or think that has power. The Apostle Paul prayed three times to have his thorn in the flesh removed but God said, “My grace is sufficient (or enough) for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2nd Cor 12:9). When these fake healers claim to have the power to heal, they are not biblical because God alone heals. Even the Apostle’s miracles were always attributed to God and never once to man, so faith healers do this to rob God of His due glory and ascribe it to themselves.
When Jesus once said, “Be it according to your faith,” what did He mean and what was the context? On one occasion, “some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (Matt 9:2). On another occasion, “a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well” (Matt 9:20-22), so it seems that the person’s faith was responsible for their healing, but is this really what Jesus is saying? Does the person’s faith exist outside of faith in God? Is the person’s faith enough to heal? At least not without the involvement of Jesus because Jesus was still the one healing them, and healed them because they had faith in Him, not because they had faith in themselves. If they had faith in themselves, then they wouldn’t have even come to Jesus, but they had faith enough to know He could heal them…and He did…and it was done according to their faith…their faith in Him!
James on Faith and Works
Many have been so confused over the centuries about James statement that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17), but James is not in disagreement with Paul (Eph 2:8-9) but actually supports what Paul was writing that we are saved, not by works, but for works (Eph 2:10), so saving faith is revealed in doing good works such as these mentioned in Matthew 25:34-40 and James 1:27. Works don’t save us but a saved person naturally works the work of God. Later on, James puts it this way, “ anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14) and “the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:15), but again, James is not saying that if you can conjure up enough faith in yourself you can be healed. It is the “prayer of faith” to a God Who can heal that can erase any sickness or illness, but truly, it is only the Lord Who can heal and if you have enough faith that He will, He might, but there is no guarantee anywhere in the Bible that claims God will answer every single prayer and heal every person who prays for it…in faith or a faith that wavers. It depends on what God’s will is and not how strong or weak our faith is.
If God doesn’t seem to be answering your prayer, think about this; maybe God wants to keep you humble and totally dependent upon Him (which is His will) or He wants you to be able to comfort others who are going through the same thing…or God’s will is hidden and we don’t really know why God didn’t answer the prayer specifically, but even unanswered prayer is an answer, and sometimes, unanswered prayer is the best answer of all. One final thought; we may never know why God didn’t answer our prayer, at least this side of the kingdom, so rest in this: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deut 29:29). Whatever is God’s secret counsel is none of our business, but what is our business to know is what is “revealed to us and to our children” by God. I can live with that. How about you?
Read more about faith and healing here: Is Healing All About Faith?
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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For you faithful examples in the Bible. Prayer of faith is prayer we say with absolute confidence in God that He is not only can to answer but that he also wants to answer us, and hear what we ask of Him. Pray!
Prayer of faith examples
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are the almighty God. Help me to trust you absolutely with my life. Help me by your Spirit to have faith in you even when what I see does not agree with your word.
I decree and declare today that no matter what happens around me, I will only stand on your word. God, I choose to believe you, I choose to trust you, and I choose to have faith in your word.
God, I decree and declare today that no matter what the doctors says, I choose to believe your word. I arise in faith today, above my challenges and circumstances in Jesus name.
Prayer faithful examples in the Bible – trust God
To have faith in prayers is to trust God absolutely and believe that what He promised in His word, He is able to do.
“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15).
To pray a prayer of faith, we must firstly know that what we ask of the Lord is provided in His word. If God says it, that settles it. The Bibles says: “And this is the confidence which we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” (1 John 5:14). So our prayers must align with his promises. For example, if one prays to God for healing, healing is a promise in God’s word. He said “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree…” (1 Peter 2:24).
Secondly, we need to confess what we believe in His word when we prayer. The more we confess God’s word from our heart, the more our faith becomes strengthened to receive from God. In Matthew 17:20 the word “say” or “confess” used 3 times. The word “believe” or “faith” mentioned once.
It does not matter how little your faith is, all you need is just that little faith, as little as a mustard seed and God will take it from there. However, our faith can grow as we learn to receive God’s word and pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20).
Thirdly, we should know that a prayer of faith honours God. To doubt God when we pray is something that completely dishonours God. God does not take it likely when we doubt him. James 1:5-6 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind”.
A prayer of faith is absolutely crucial to our receiving from God as well as our growing in God. “…without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6).
When your faith says yes, God will not say no
Even a gentile woman once exercised faith in the Bible (Matthew 15:22-28), by simply believing that Jesus can heal her child. She honoured Jesus and He granted her request, how much more when a believer prays a prayer of faith.
Finally, how do I have faith? Faith comes by hearing them, and hearing the word of God. Romans 10:17 says: “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ”.
God is not asking you for some gymnastics and theatrics when you pray. All He asks is just to believe Him from your heart that he is more than enough for you. Have faith in Him. What would you believe God for?
Also read: PRAYER FOR HOPE