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How Should We Pray In Faith?

God wants us to approach His throne of grace with the proper blend of boldness and submission

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

God’s Word provides a rich catalogue of promises of the power of prayer. Jesus shared:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7–8, ESV).

See what James said:

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.

“And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”(James 5: 14–16, ESV).

But it seems that many Christians have become confused and perplexed over how to use these promises, as in this heart-breaking scenario.

A loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness, so the family and friends of this person begin to pray. Over time the sickness gets worse, and the family and friends blame themselves and think that their loved one was not healed because they lacked faith.

Or the family and friends resent God and think that He should have healed the sick person if He really cared. In either case, faith did not entail trust in God, but a kind of demand that God come up with the desired outcome. What does it mean to pray in/with faith?

Faith prays with assurance when God has made the outcome known

Where prayer is concerned, never underestimate what God can do with the power of One.

“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.” (James 5:17, ESV).

In 1 Kings 17–18, Israel was under great idolatry, and the prophet Elijah told King Ahab that no rain or dew would fall in Israel in the next few years, except at Elijah’s instruction.

Elijah knew that what he prayed would happen, and rain did not fall in Israel for 42 months!

“After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, ‘Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.’” (1 Kings 18:1, ESV)

So, Elijah spoke to Ahab and then began to pray, and the rain came. God revealed what he was going to do, so when Elijah prayed, he had great confidence that what he prayed would happen.

When God makes His purpose known either through a promise of Scripture or a prompting of the Holy Spirit, be bold and pray with great assurance.

Faith prays with submission when God has kept the outcome hidden

This is how faith prays in all the situations where you do not know what the outcome will be.

You can apply for a job, but there is no special promise of Scripture that you will get it, and you may have no special prompting of the Spirit about it. The outcome has not been made known. So, faith prays with submission.

A good example of this type of prayer is in the story of the man with leprosy who came to Jesus and begged him on his knees to heal him if He was willing (Mark 1:40).

From the man’s prayer, he knew Christ could heal him, but he did not know if it was Christ’s purpose to make him clean, so he asked with submission, and this honoured Jesus, who then reached out His hand, touched the leprous man and healed him (Mark 1:41).

So faith prays with assurance when God has made the outcome clear, and with submission when God has kept the outcome hidden. In the latter case, pray with humility as you are asking, not commanding, God (James 4:13–15).

The promises of God open the door to a faith that prays with great assurance and boldness (Hebrews 4:16).

So from today onwards, let us not be afraid or unwilling to strengthen our prayer life through praying with assurance and/or submission. Our communication with God, and our spiritual life, will be infused with power and blessings!

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Arulnathan John

Arulnathan John

Loves storytelling in all its forms, from books to movies to videos and all else. Life is a story and I want to fill each chapter with life or lives well lived

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