Below are some thoughts taken from various sources on the importance of prayer and faith. I hope that we will consider these things, and think about our own faith and our prayer life.
“The term faith is sometimes used in the objective sense — that body of belief that we find revealed to us in the Bible. It is what we heard and believed and make a part of our actions and lives.
“Faith is also used in the subjective sense – the active participation in a relationship with God based on the Bible and faith. We believe God exists, but we also believe His word, and strive to live it out in our lives.
“As we look at Hebrews 11, we see both the objective and subjective senses in the actions they took. Abel believed God’s word, and ACTED accordingly. Moses believed God and ACTED accordingly – their faith motivated their actions.
“Jesus teaches us that when we pray, we must believe. Prayer is not effective if we fail to believe that God will not answer prayer (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24). As we consider the Christian life, we know that our failures in living out Christianity often comes from a lack of faith on our part. Lack of faith is the root of all poor praying, feeble praying, little praying and unanswered prayer.
“Doubt and fear are the twin foes of faith. Doubts should never be cherished, nor fears harbored.” Our eyes need to be taken off self, removed from our own weaknesses and allowed to rest implicitly on God’s strength.
“It is not the intellectually great that the church needs; nor is it men of wealth that the times demand. It is not people of great social influence that this day requires. Above everybody and everything else, it is men and women of faith, men and women of mighty prayer; men and women after the fashion of the saints and heroes of old enumerated in Hebrews 11 that obtained a good report, that moves the world. The church and humanity need this kind of faith.”
“The reason why the disciples could not cast out the demon in the possessed boy in Matthew 17 was because of a lack of faith and prayer. They did not cultivate their faith by prayer, so Satan defeated them. We have to wonder if this is part of the reason why the church today does not do the great things that God means for her to do.
“Desire is very important when it comes to prayer. The deeper the desire, the stronger the prayer – without desire prayer is a meaningless mumble of words. What do we desire individually? For the church? Do we desire the restoration of the erring? Do we desire bible school teachers that are faithful to the work and to teaching our children what God wants? Do we desire a strong eldership, and more faith for the preacher to teach and preach the truth? Do we desire, ardently desire, that ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH be faithful to the Lord and his cause? Could it be that we have not received what we have asked, or what we really need from God, because were do not desire it enough? Do we have a deep seated longing, indeed, craving for greater spirituality? Do we have a craving that the world be saved by Jesus Christ? Desire, fervent desire, keeps us focused and thinking about our petition. Prayer ceases to be prayer when it is based on habit alone.
“Tied in closely with desire is the idea of fervency. Fervor-less prayer has no heart in it. Paul’s petitioning was all consuming, centered immovably upon the object of his desire, and the God who was able to meet that desire. God wants warm hearted servants. Fervency is warmth of soul. If our religion does not set us on fire, it is because we have frozen hearts. Feeble praying comes from hearts lacking fervency. The atmosphere around us is too heavily charged with resisting forces for limp or languid prayers to make headway.
“Laxity in prayer must be guarded against; persistence must be fostered and encouraged. In prayer we must hold on, press on, and wait. Prayer has everything to do with molding the soul into the image of God, and has everything to do with enhancing and enlarging the measure of divine grace. It has everything to do with bringing the soul into complete communion with God. In Luke 18 Jesus taught his disciples to continue in prayer, and not to faint. Abraham pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18. Moses prayed forty days and night. Elijah prayed seven times before the cloud arose the size of a man’s hand in 1 Kings 18:41-46. Jesus prayed constantly and continuously to his Father as he ministered here on earth, praying in the wilderness, early in the morning, and all night in prayer to the Father.
Brothers and sisters, how is your prayer life?