Faith is essential to effective praying. It is simply
trust - it is confidence in the ability of God to do what He promises to
do in His Word.
One great writer on the subject of prayer, said: 'A
person's prayer life is only as strong as that person's trust in God.'
Because trust and confidence is essential to effective
praying we must
put this important word under the spiritual microscope and examine it
in detail. Corrie Ten Boom labels it as a 'fantastic adventure in
The dictionary defines it as 'trust in the honesty
and truth of another'.
If we are to be effective in prayer then we must believe
God is honest in what He says in the Bible. The Bible contains many
references to faith.
There is saving faith spoken of by Paul in Ephesians
2.8. There is the 'gift of faith' again spoken by Paul in 1 Corinthians
12.9. The great Apostle also speaks in Ephesians of the 'unity of the
faith' (Ephesians 4.13).
The faith of which I am now speaking, however, is what
some describe as simple faith - the innate ability to trust. John
Bisagno, speaking of simple faith, says, 'Don't get the idea that if
you can only muster more faith, you will be effective in prayer.
Faith is not some mysterious commodity to be sought
after. You do not need more faith: you need to learn to appropriate the
faith you already have .. .' It is important to see, of course, that
John Bisagno is focusing here on the innate ability we all have, to
trust and believe.
He is not speaking of the 'gift of faith' nor of any
other kind of faith and his words must not be pressed out of context.
Every man and woman on the face of the earth has a basic ability to
believe and trust, and when they exercise that ability they are
A theologian in the 18th century said that faith
consisted of three parts; knowledge, self committal and trust.
Dr Billy Graham, taking up this definition says; 'I know
from what I read that a jet plane can take me from New York to London.
That is knowledge - the first ingredient of faith. But
unless I take the next step -self committal- and step on board the
aircraft then I have no hope of getting to my destination.
But even then faith is not complete, for unless I trust
myself to the aircraft, and completely surrender to its efficiency, I
will sit in my seat with great apprehension, fear and insecurity.'
Faith, in terms of our present thinking in relation to
prayer, can be described as follows: it is the willingness to act on
God's Word with complete abandonment and total trust.
The Apostle Peter provides a good example of this - he
was willing to act on one single word of Jesus, 'Come'. When he acted
on that word he was able to walk on water. (Matthew 14.29).
When we believe, really believe we act as if we have
what God has promised, irrespective of whether we can actually see the
answer to our prayers or not. John Bisagno shares a touching story on
His five year old daughter came to him one day, whilst
he was in his study, and asked him to build her a doll's house. He
promised that he would and then went back to reading his book.
'Soon' he says 'I glanced out of the window and saw my
daughter with her arms filled with dishes, toys and dolls, making her
pilgrimage to the corner of the yard where, by now, she had gathered a
pile of playthings.
I asked my wife what the purpose of this impossible pile
could be. 'You promised her a doll's house' she replied 'and now she
believes in you. She's just getting ready for it.'
John said, 'I threw the book aside, raced to the lumber
yard for supplies" and quickly built my little girl the doll's house.'
God delights in faith.
The Scripture says, 'He that cometh to God must believe
that He is and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek
Him.' (Hebrews 11.6).
The greatest thing we can do to please God is believe
Him! I have suggested earlier that it is important to read the Word of
God before we pray, but another reason for this is because the reading
of God's Word quickens our faith.
'Faith comes by hearing' says Paul 'and hearing by the
Word of God.' (Romans 10.17) God's Word produces faith, and faith
produces power for prayer.
Prayer, faith and the Word of God are directly related.
They strengthen one another. So when you pray, begin to exercise the
muscles of your faith by committing yourself more and more to what God
has promised you in His Word.
Step out in faith, as Peter did on the water. You may
feel yourself sinking at times, but don't worry - the Lord will be on
hand to deliver you.
The more you exercise your faith the more expert you
will become in the art of prayer . You see it is not enough to simply
ask God for things, we must believe for them also.
Jesus said 'Whatsoever you pray and ask for, believe
that you have received them and you shall have them (Matthew 21:21)
Remember again our definition of faith - the willingness
to act on God’s Word with complete abandonment and trust. If you are
sure that what you ask is according to God's Word then don't just ask
for it, believe for it.
The initiative is in heaven. Only your unbelief can stop
it coming out. Glory to God.
Faith page to Daily Bible Stories Page