We see that belief and prayer are chained together in many passages of scripture. In many of Jesus' healing miracles, he would commend the faith of the recipient of healing.
For instance, in Matt 9:20-22 we read of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe and was healed. Jesus said, "your faith has healed you." & "According to your faith it will be done for you." Matt 9:31
Jesus placed certain conditions on answered prayer... in Mt 21:18-22. "if you have faith you can move a mountain"; "if you believe, you will recieve whatever you ask for in prayer.
Get a look closer at this one: Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing...even greater things..."
We are admonished to "ask and not doubt."
"obey and do what pleases Him."
"have confidence before God."
Continually keeping in mind that we have to take the whole counsel of God into account whenever we read about believing and recieving. If you remember Paul's thorn in the flesh, God chose not to take it away, because it served His purposes. His will was that Paul endure the thorn and thus bring God more glory.
We need to be familiar with God's promises. It is according to His will that He answers. By spending time in His presence, with His word, and bowing in reverence, we come to know His will. If we know His will, when we pray then we have confidence in His answering. "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven".
An example from my life is praying for friends in financial crisis. Knowing that God promises to provide for all their needs. That He supplies streams in the desert. I pray with confidence that God will come through for them. It is His will~it is in His word.
Faith filled prayers often were for spiritual needs. In Eph 4, Paul prays for the Christians to be :
- strengthened w/ power,
- for Christ to dwell in their hearts by faith,
- for them to be rooted and established in His love,
- for them to have power to grasp the magnitude of the love of Christ,
- for them to be filled to the full w/God.
- that whenever (Paul) opens his mouth words would be given,
- that he would fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
- that he would declare it fearlessly as he should.
I really had to meditate on this verse, because it showed me that the one who wrote most of the NT, and started many churches, endured trials that I don't even want to think about, was praying for freedom from fear in his ministry. (!!!!) How much more do I need the prayers of the my sisters for the things the Lord calls me to do.
And in Col 1:9-12
- fill you w/ the knowledge of his will,
- live a life worthy of the Lord,
- please Him in every way
- bearing fruit in every good work.
Couldn't we all use prayers for those things? I am challenged to make sure I use these in praying for my friends and my family. Will you pray for me?
- "To venture to pray requires our trust in the goodness of God. For He is trustworthy, all-wise, all-knowing, full of grace and mercy."
- "It is not the amount of my faith that matters, but where my faith is placed-in God who makes no mistakes, who is always working for the hightest and best for His children."
- "It is faith in His power, knowing that if what we request is in conformity with His purpose and will, He is altogether able to supply it."