Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24 NIV)

 

The following thoughts were taken from the book The Necessity Of Prayer by Edward M. Bounds
on the subject of prayer and faith.

Genuine, authentic faith must be definite and free of doubt. Not simply general in character; not a mere belief in the being, goodness and power of God, but a faith which believes that the things which "he saith, shall come to pass." As the faith is specific, so the answer likewise will be definite. Our eyes should be taken off self, removed from our own weakness and allowed to rest implicitly upon God’s strength. A simple, confiding faith, living day by day, and casting its burden on the Lord, each hour of the day, will dissipate fear, drive away misgiving and deliver from doubt:

We need to keep on praying, "Lord, increase our faith," for faith is susceptible of increase. Paul’s tribute to the Thessalonians was, that their faith grew exceedingly. Faith is increased by exercise, by being put into use. It is nourished by sore trials.

Faith grows by reading and meditating upon the Word of God. Most, and best of all, faith thrives in an atmosphere of prayer. It would be well, if all of us were to stop, and inquire personally of ourselves: "Have I faith in God? Have I real faith,—faith which keeps me in perfect peace, about the things of earth and the things of heaven?" And there is another question, closely like it in significance and importance—"Do I really pray to God so that He hears me and answers my prayers? And do I truly pray unto God so that I get direct from God the things I ask of Him?"

Prayer is absolutely dependent upon faith. It has no existence apart from it, and accomplishes nothing unless it is its inseparable companion. Faith makes prayer effectual, and in a certain important sense, must precede it. "For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."(Heb 11:6) Before prayer ever starts toward God; before its requests are made known—faith must have gone on ahead; must have asserted its belief in the existence of God; must have given its assent to the gracious truth that "God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek His face." This is the primary step in praying. In this regard, while faith does not bring the blessing, yet it puts prayer in a position to ask for it, and leads to another step toward realization, by aiding the petitioner to believe that God is able and willing to bless.

Faith starts prayer to work—clears the way to the mercy-seat. It gives assurance, first of all, that there is a mercy-seat, and that there the High Priest awaits the pray-ers and the prayers. Faith opens the way for prayer to approach God. But it does more. It accompanies prayer at every step she takes. It is her inseparable companion and when requests are made unto God, it is faith which turns the asking into obtaining. And faith follows prayer, since the spiritual life into which a believer is led by prayer, is a life of faith. The one prominent characteristic of the experience into which believers are brought through prayer, is not a life of works, but of faith. Faith makes prayer strong, and gives it patience to wait on God. Faith believes that God is a rewarder. No truth is more clearly revealed in the Scriptures than this, while none is more encouraging.

We need constantly to be reminded that faith is the one inseparable condition of successful praying. There are other considerations entering into the exercise, but faith is the final, the one indispensable condition of true praying. As it is written: "Without faith, it is impossible to please Him."

Faith must assert itself and bid the foes to prayer depart. Ask God for more faith. Ask Him morning, noon and night, while you walk by the way, while you sit in the house, when you lie down and when you rise up; ask Him simply to impress Divine things more deeply on your heart, to give you more and more of the substance of things hoped for and of the evidence of things not seen.

May faith be yours in increasing measure.

1998, 1999

  

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