No doubt there have been times when we may have hindered the work of God in our lives because of unbelief. Scripture tells us that Jesus could do no mighty work in His hometown because of unbelief (see Matthew 13:58).
Clearly there is a place for faith in prayer. However, I disagree with those who say it is all about faith and that if your prayer isn’t answered, it is because you lack faith.
Sometimes I only have so much faith. I think of the man whose child needed Jesus’ healing touch. This desperate father said, “Lord, I believe.” Then he added, “Help my unbelief!” (see Mark 9:24). We read that Jesus delivered the boy from demon powers. Do you know why? It was an honest prayer: Lord I believe. Help my unbelief! Lord, I believe, but sometimes I have lapses. Sometimes I have doubts.
Sometimes there is a lack of faith in our prayers. We all have had doubts. But that is when we take the Word of God and apply it to that doubt. As Romans 10:17 tells us, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The early church had their doubts when Herod had Peter arrested and thrown into prison. But they prayed. And even though their prayers were weak, they were still mightier than Herod. Why didn’t God answer their prayers earlier? Did He want to teach the church perseverance? Or, was it to teach Peter faith? Their story reminds us that prayer is warfare, and the battle is not won through human strength but on our knees.
It has been said that prayer is striking the winning blow; service is gathering up the results.
So let’s go. Let’s start barraging God’s throne with requests that will bring glory to His name.
Also – check out the new website to the right — Praying for America.
Read Ephesians 1:1-14
Do you think of yourself as rich? No matter how much money you have, if you’re a believer in Jesus, you’re extremely wealthy because God has lavished the riches of His grace upon you. At the moment of salvation, He deposited into your account “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (v. 3). Why, then, do so many believers live in spiritual poverty?
1. Ignorance. Some Christians don’t know about this unlimited spiritual “bank account,” and, therefore, they never draw upon it.
2. Confusion. Too many believers just don’t know how to access the treasures of God’s grace. As a result, they worry and complain about their needs and problems or in desperation come to the Lord begging and pleading for help, never realizing His abundant supply has already been deposited into their account.
3. Competing Interests. Distraction by things of this world may be the most common reason. Christians in this category focus on possessions, pressing responsibilities, and advancement but lack interest in God’s spiritual blessings.
The riches of God’s grace supersede any earthly wealth. They give the peace and contentment that money can never buy, and their benefits reach all the way into eternity.
The only way to access God’s spiritual riches is by faith. We don’t have to beg or persuade the Lord to give what He has already made available to us. Instead, we simply choose to believe that we are who He says we are and can do what He has called us to accomplish.
Read | Philippians 4:8-9
The popular expression “You are what you eat” is an encouragement to give our physical bodies good food. The idea also applies to our mental wellbeing. The mind’s appetite is much like the stomach’s, which becomes accustomed to the diet we provide and craves more of the same. Dwelling on whatever is pure, lovely, and right develops a hunger to receive more of God’s goodness. But if we take in what our culture calls excellent, we develop a taste for that instead.
The world presents some delicious-looking offerings—TV is one example. But mixed in with some fine educational programming is a lot of junk. Certain believers consider it okay to watch a show that violates scriptural values, since it’s “just entertainment.” However, everything our mind ingests shapes our views and values. Allowing incorrect teaching and sinful ideas into our thinking can warp our understanding of right and wrong.
If an idea, action, or activity is not true or honorable—that is, if it violates Scripture in some way—then God is not in it. And if God is absent, then Satan is present. The Enemy’s mission is to draw our focus away from the Lord. Once the Devil has someone’s attention, he’ll keep presenting more tasty-looking “junk food” to keep that individual occupied while leading him farther from the Lord and deeper into depravity.
There’s so much clamoring for our attention—entertainment, philosophies, teachings—and whatever isn’t of the Lord has potential to taint our value system. Believers are wise to use discernment and feast only on the things of God.
Wolfgang Pauli was an Austrian theoretical physicist who won a Nobel Prize in 1945 for what is called the “Pauli exclusion principle.” Though his research was done at the molecular level, his work laid the foundation for this popularized law: Two different objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
Pauli’s principle can help us think about a corresponding spiritual law: a Christian cannot be moving forward toward maturity and backward toward immaturity at the same time. Many Christians worry about the possibility of falling away from the faith, about losing their salvation. But one simple test will relieve those fears: Are you pressing on toward the high calling of God in Christ Jesus? That is not to say our salvation is dependent on our pressing on. Rather, it means that our hunger to grow in Christ is a sign of our genuine spiritual state. If we are moving forward, we cannot be moving backward.
If you know you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), make sure you are continually pressing on toward maturity in Him.