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The Important Role of Faith in Prayer

21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

– Matthew 21:21-22 (NASB)

Hebrews 11:6 reads, “And 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 seek Him.”  God requires faith for us to approach Him.  After all, we cannot see God face to face and live (Exodus 33:20).  Faith trusts the promises of God and rests in the knowledge of His sovereignty and grace.  Faith trusts God even when it seems pointless or without hope.  True faith is what amazed Jesus (Matthew 8:10).  The lack of faith also amazed Jesus (Matthew 13:58).  In fact, Matthew 13:58 says that it was the lack of faith that caused Jesus to not do many miracles.  The lack of faith, in this case, stopped the power of God.  Amazing!

Jesus said in Matthew 21:21-22 that if we have faith, we can move mountains by our faith.  He said in verse 22 that all things that we ask for in prayer, believing, we will receive.  That is an amazing promise from Jesus Himself.  Of course some have misconstrued these verses to teach that if we have faith (and they mean faith in our faith), we can do whatever and pray for whatever and God is obligated to hear our prayers and answer them.  The balance of Matthew 21:21-22 and Mark 11:22-24 is that Jesus Himself prayed for the will of God to be done (Matthew 26:39).  John the Apostle also wrote that we are to pray according to the will of God (1 John 5:14-15).  How do we know the will of God?  I believe the will of God is learned from Scripture.  When we pray the Scriptures, we are praying according to the will of God.  For example, when we pray for someone to be saved, we can pray the promise of John 3:16 or 1 Timothy 2:4 or 1 John 2:2, knowing that it is the will of God to save the lost.  We can pray for the Holy Spirit to draw sinners unto the Savior as Jesus said He would do (John 16:8-11; Acts 16:14-15).  We can pray for people to be set free from the power of Satan (John 10:10).  We can pray for people to be sanctified (1 Thessalonians 4:3; 5:23-24).

Yet in all this we must believe the promises of God.  That is why liberals don’t pray because they don’t believe the Word of God.  Those who reject the inerrancy of the Word will struggle to pray as they no doubt struggle with their lack of faith in the promises of God in His holy Word.  Those who deny the authority of the Bible will struggle to wrestle with God since they have nothing to base their prayers upon.  To liberals and those who reject the Word of God, prayer will be nothing more than a boring ritual they perform.  Prayer to them has no power, no authority, no intimacy with the Almighty.

However, for this disciple of Jesus, prayer is wonderful.  I have the promises of God.  I have the promise of Jesus that He would hear my cries.  I have the promise that if I have faith, I can move mountains because of the God who can move mountains.  Prayer to me is vital.  Prayer is my breath.  Prayer brings me closer to the throne of God than any other thing that I do on earth.  Prayer fills me with the power of God to trust Him and do what He wants me to do.

I urge you to increase your faith through the knowledge of God’s Word (Romans 10:17).  I urge you to stand on the promises of God and trust Him through it all.  We have a holy God who is not far from us but abides with those who seek Him.  He longs to hear our cries.  He will hear us.  He will answer us.  He will provide.  He is good.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/12/2013 at 8:00 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Your point about inerrancy and lack of prayer hit me. I know a group of people who don’t think Paul knew what he was talking about, they, of course, do know what Paul meant to say, he just wasn’t mature enough to say it when he wrote it. This leaves them firmly in charge of what God meant, not the word. Along with this peculiar view, there is a lack of prayer. They chalk prayer up to “your will be done” and that’s it. God doesn’t care about your physical suffering. Lord’s Prayer is for Jews not us. It’s all very weird and yet I’m beginning to understand more and more how these things go together. Thanks for helping me think it through!


    06/13/2013 at 10:18 AM

    • I have never met any true intercessors who rejected the Word of God or rejected its authority. People of prayer know that their authority comes from the Word of God and that the promises of prayer come from His inerrant Word.

      Thanks for your comments! Good points.

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