Table of contents
Praying for Increased Faith
Oh Yahweh, Mighty Everlasting Father, I humbly come before Your throne of grace and mercy, laying down my life before You. I crave You, Lord, You are my everything. You are my heart’s desire,
I yearn to be in Your Holy presence, constantly seeking increased faith, Your will and Your great plans for my life. Draw me nearer and closer to You daily, as my thirst is quenched by Your springs of living waters.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Only You can satisfy this burning desire in my heart that cries out Your great name. There is beauty, Oh Heavenly Father, in the abundant joy, in the unconditional love, in the calming peace and the everlasting happiness You bring to my live.
Increase my faith, Adonai. Give me that strength and power to tear down any strongholds in my way, just as the walls of Jericho came crumbling down with that shout of faith.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
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God will never Fail Me
I believe Your very Word, Oh merciful Lord. For You have never failed me and I can guarantee You won’t start now. You are the God of truth and Your love for me endures forever.
Knowing how much You love me, to give up Your Son to save a lowly sinner such as myself, I trust You. Even though I don’t deserve it, You allowed it to happen so that I can be saved to be promoted to eternal life in Your heavenly kingdom.
Hebrews 11:6 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.
Direct my steps
You hold me in the palm of Your hands, even at my weakest and darkest hour. As You allow my faith to increase daily, walk with me throughout life’s journey. Show me the steps You want me to take. Push me in the right direction.
Wherever You lead, I will follow. Even when I don’t understand, I will trust in You. As I step forth upon the waters, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of You, my beautiful Lord and Savior, Amen.
James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
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What is faith? Can you pray for faith? How can we increase our faith? Are we saved by faith?
Faith is a gift of God but during times of doubt we often feel that it is difficult to have faith. When things seem to be collapsing around us and maybe unpaid bills begin stacking up, and it looks to be impossible to just keep our heads above water, we ask “Where is God in our difficulty?” How can you increase your faith when you see no evidence for it?
What is Faith?
The dictionary’s definition of faith is to have belief in and to trust in something or someone with no physical evidence that you can see it. Faith is to hold a conviction too, to have reliance in, to have assurance of, to feel confidence about, and to have trust in something or someone. Faith is based upon something that might not be visible to the naked eye but still having a realization that it is substantial and real. I drive over a large bridge that is elevated on my way to work. I do not see the underlying steel girders and concrete supports, yet I have confidence that the bridge will hold me up. I have assurance in something that I can not see but trust that it will support me because it has held up my car hundreds of times. I do not have to see the underneath of the bridge to know that there is evidence that it will support me. This is what faith is all about.
When a father brought his demon possessed boy to Jesus he believed that Jesus could heal him by saying “I do believe” (Mark 9:24). So why did the father say in this same verse, “Help my unbelief?“ He asked Jesus for help in his unbelief. He believed Jesus could heal him yet he still had some doubt and asked Jesus to help in his lack of belief. This has been my own experience as well. I believe and have faith in Jesus, but I also experience times of doubt that seem to overwhelm me.
Jesus tells us to “Have faith in God” because “Truly if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it w
ill be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours“(Mark 11:22-24). Jesus associates believing in God and trusting in His ability as having faith. The man who brought his demon possessed boy to Jesus had faith in Christ but he lacked complete assurance and trust. This lack was due to his own disbelief, not to a lack of believing in Jesus. So even though it seems paradoxical to say “Lord I do believe” and then “Help my unbelief” it appears that he was praying for Jesus to strengthen his faith.
I am not going to be too hard on this man because he had his doubts- in fact I would say, “Welcome to the human race!” When we pray for something that is God’s will, He will surely answer that prayer, but as James 1:6 says, “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” It is so hard to pray for something and believe with 100% certainty that God will answer that prayer because we rely on our five senses. We only believe what we see and so it is hard to believe in something that has not yet been seen. Nevertheless, God will hear and answer our prayer but the answer might not be what we had hoped for. God rarely gives us what we want as much as He gives us what we need. Praying to God for Him to increase your faith is one that I truly believe that He will answer. If we pray with doubt in our prayers, it is like doubting God’s ability. Here is the Biblical definition of faith from Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Faith is defined in the Bible much like the dictionary describes it. It is a confident, assurance in believing God. It is not a hope-so but a know-so.
Can You Pray For Faith?
Yes you can pray for faith. Matthew 7:7-11 points the way to receiving from God what we desperately need: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him?” Faith is most certainly a good thing to ask the Father for so why not pray to Him to receive it?
How Can We Increase Our Faith?
One way to increase your faith is to read the Word of God (the Bible). Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message (the Word or the Bible), and the message is heard through the word about Christ.“ That word about Christ is the Bible. This means that faith comes from hearing the message at church from your pastor or teachers, during Bible studies, and reading your Bible. Paul says that “the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Since Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1) and the Word of God is Christ, reading the Bible is a great way to increase your faith.
Faith is not the power of positive thinking or positive reinforcement. It is not found within the will of the human mind. It is not pulling oneself up by their own bootstraps. It is not by any human effort at all except by the intake of the Word of God. Faith is a gift from God and He will give you or increase your faith by the daily reading of the Bible and we know that what we lack, we can ask for (James 1:5). We can increase our faith by reading and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17) but also by trusting in Jesus even though we can not see Him today. John 20:29 makes it crystal clear as Jesus said in John 20:29, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” If you trust in Jesus, then you already possess faith and without faith we can never really please God (Heb. 11:6).
The fact is that we are justified by the faith that God gives us as Paul explains in Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” Galatians 3:26 states, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” If you are a believer in Christ, then you are in Christ and if you are in Christ, then you have been given the gift of faith by God. Paul says in Romans 11:20 that as believers “we stand by faith.” First Corinthians 15:17 says that if we believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead, as born-again believers do, then our “faith is not in vain.”
Saved by Faith
We are actually saved by faith – faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But before Christ had come to the earth to die for us, Abraham was justified by faith. Look at what I call the “Hall or Faith” in Hebrews 11:8, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Abraham was not the only one who was saved by faith before Christ’s death on Calvary. There were dozens of men and women who were saved by their faith even before the atoning work of Christ by His shed blood in Hebrews 11:
Verse 4 “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.”
Verse 5 “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”
Verse 7 “By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”
Verse 8,9 “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.”
There are so many more that had faith before the Promised Seed had come and that Seed was Jesus Christ. The good news is that faith comes by the hearing and the reading of the Word of God, the Bible (Rom 10:17), faith comes by asking God to strengthen our faith (Mark 9:24, Matthew 7:7-11), and we can pray for faith (James 1:6). The plain fact is that God has given us the gift of faith when we choose to believe in Jesus Christ. As Paul said in Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Since God gives us faith as a gift, never doubt that anyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and takes away their sins, already has faith – we just have to increase our faith and I pray this article helps you do just that.
The Holy Bible, New International Version
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Do We Have Faith of a Mustard Seed?
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. – Matthew 17:20
For many of us, this verse is a source of discouragement rather than encouragement. If we don’t get what we ask in pray, this verse seems to chastise us for a lack of faith. We thought we had faith. We tried to have faith. But in the end, we must not have had it after all.
I don’t want to add to the burden we all may feel we’re under by having a lack of faith. But, instead of disbelieving this verse, maybe we really don’t have very much faith in God. Why would I say this?
What Do We Have More Faith For?
What are you more surprised by, when God answers your prayer or when He doesn’t? If you are like most people, you agreed with the first option. In reality, we don’t expect God to answer our prayers.
You can see this in our prayers. We often tack on ‘if it’s Your will’ to our requests. Our lack of awareness of what is God’s will creates little faith on our behalf.
People ask us to pray for a sick family member or friend having surgery, and we pray that God be with them and that God give wisdom to the doctors or surgeons. Not that those prayers are very bad, but we don’t take the risk to pray for the healing of the person. We have greater faith in the doctors than we do in God’s intervention.
Our Faith Actually Expects God Not to Answer
I’m not saying we shouldn’t go to doctors, but I want to highlight where our faith really lies. Our faith is creating an expectation for God not to show up. Maybe this is why our prayers don’t get answered?
You may ask, “what if we pray for healing and they don’t get healed?” Wouldn’t that create false expectations in the people we are praying for? My question back to you is, “what if we pray for healing and they do get healed?” Wouldn’t that create a greater longing in them for more of God? You have faith for one of these things to occur. Which one will it be?
I Have Faith To Fail
One negative faith belief I have struggled with most of my life is that I will be a failure. I more naturally believe that the work I do will fail than I believe it will succeed. This belief tries to hold me captive and not take risks. It tries to keep me from being successful.
I have had major things in my life that I felt like a failed out. I was embarrassed and discouraged. I’m actually on the edge of one those potentially happening right now in my life. I have to choose: will I back down to avoid the embarrassment of failure, or will I press forward choosing to believe I will be successful?
Does God Want Me To Fail?
In the parable of the talents, three men were given some money to invest. One of those men out of fear buried the talent to be able to return it when the master came back. This man was chastised not because he didn’t make an increase, but because he refused to do anything with it (Matthew 25:14-30). God doesn’t want me to fear taking risks; He believes I will be successful.
If God wants me to be successful, what am I to do with all those past experiences that tell me I am not? This is where we need to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We have faith in what He has said not what we have experienced. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
How Can We Train Our Brain to Have Faith?
Those thinks you think about all day will create faith in your heart. If you think about how things will go wrong, you will have faith for things not to work. Therefore, we are to set our minds on whatever is excellent, pure, praiseworthy, etc. (Philippians 4:8).
The things you speak about will also increase your faith on those things. If you say that you are a forgetful person, you will set an expectation that you will forget things. Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). Therefore why not hear yourself say some things that will increase your faith in God?
We Believe, Help Our Unbelief
Why not hear yourself say these things to increase your faith?
God loves me and has a wonderful plan for my life. He works out everything for my good because I love Him and am called by His purpose. God has lavished me with His grace. My life is changed. God will never leave me nor forsake me. There is nowhere I can go apart from Him. Therefore wherever I am, He is with me. I am never alone. God promised to hear my prayers and answer them. I will expect more of His answers than His silence. God wants to speak to me. He wants to use me. He wants to love me. I say yes, yes, yes. I receive Your love, allow you to use me, and expect to hear you speak.
Three Ways to Increase Your Faith
How do you increase your faith? I used to struggle with this as a young Christian. But in time I’ve learned at least three simple ways to help build and increase our reliance on God.
1. Read the Word
Or at least hear God’s Word. Romans 10:17 (NKJV) says, So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. If no one had ever told me about Jesus, and about God’s plan for my life, or if I had never read for myself about Him, I would be clueless about the need for faith.
Reading or hearing God’s Word is like planting a garden. If you want to grow or “build” a garden, you must first plant the seeds, or the actual plant or flower. God’s Word is the seed that grows the faith. Knowing His promises, what God says about you, about life, and about Jesus’ plan for eternal life won’t transplant themselves into your brain by osmosis. Become familiar with the Bible and what faith is all about by meditating on its contents. This will give you the basis for growing or increasing your faith.
2. Heed the Word
James 1:22-24(NKJV) offers a second way to increase your faith: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. What I see in the mirror when I first wake up is not the most beautiful sight. Obviously I see there is work to do and makeup to apply if I want to add to my appearance.
If we fail to heed what we’re reading and ignore what God is telling us, then our faith grows stagnant. It took faith for us to become children of God in the first place. Therefore, in order to grow and increase our faith, we need to use that “measure” of faith God gives to everyone and build on it.
3. Test the Word
There is a difference in “testing” God by “contesting” Him (seeing how far God’s patience will go with your own self will) and “testing,” or proving God’s Word is true. Malachi 3:9-11 (NIV) offers one practical way God says we can prove Him faithful to His Word. This passage concerns tithing and being good stewards of the things He has given us: Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” As you “test” or act on what God says and experience God’s blessing, your faith grows.
The process of testing the measure of faith you have may involve trials and difficulties. How can you increase your faith in those circumstances? Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3, NIV).
A Personal Example
The first time my husband and I had to admit we were financially challenged, we had some choices to make. The biggest one was, would we trust God and the promises we had read in His Word? When a new difficulty developed, we faced the same choices. If we chose to believe God, our faith grew a little more. Then the really big crises erupted, like unemployment, parenting, and marriage challenges.
But each time we looked back and saw the tracks of God’s faithfulness. He truly had kept His Word, and we came to understand the true meaning of “perseverance.” Trusting Him with smaller problems has built our faith to believe Him for the harder issues. Yet, there are still times when I feel more like a baby in my faith than a giant. It’s always in need of growing.
My Prayer for You
Lord Jesus, increase our faith as we learn to depend on You and trust You more and more. Help us to crave Your Word: to read it, to heed it, and to test it, so it can truly become part of our lives. We long to be doers and not just hearers. Lord, we desperately need more of You and less of ourselves. Thank You for Your faithfulness in always keeping Your Word.
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Publication date: August 16, 2012