I want to address something that I have discussed several times before, but it is so important, I want to see if I can take a different tact, to make my point clearer. You see, many of us pray, squeal, plead, stomp our feet and raise our fists, but to no avail. We can pray and pray, but it won’t do us any us any good if immediately afterward, we don’t believe our God was listening.
Jesus’ brother James, put it this way:
When you ask for something, don’t have any doubts. A person who has doubts is like a wave that is blown by the wind and tossed by the sea. 7 A person who has doubts shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7)
The author to the letter that was written to the Hebrew church wrote:
“No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Now, that seems like a given. I mean why are you praying in the first place, if you don’t actually believe that He exists? But the point seems to be that all the praying you do won’t do you any good, unless you mix it with faith! You can fast, rip your clothes, beat your back and pray for three days straight without sleeping, but without faith, you may as well spend the watching TV, instead. Without any faith, you will never please our God. All our hours in prayer, all our petitions, all our “coming to Him” will be of no benefit, unless our heart is anchored in faith!
Come on! If you are truly spending two hours with your God and yet never believe that He will answer you, you are embarrassing Him for two hours! Sure, you might feel good about it; it may make you feel real spiritual, but in reality you are wasting your time — and His! You are giving Him two hours of unbelief and doubt. And yes, I hope it does hurt your feelings!
I know all kinds of believers who tell me that they pray every day, often weeping and praying in tongues, yet nothing happens. They remain heavyhearted and depressed. Their lives always remain in turmoil, and it is all because they have embarrassed the Lord by coming into His presence without being fully persuaded He will do what He promised!! Ooh, did I hit a sore spot, yet?
You see, Jesus stated, quite emphatically, “I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours!” (Mark 11:24). That sounds pretty clear. There is nothing confusing about it. “Have faith that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22). Yep! Pretty clear!
Many of us are living as spiritual paupers simply because something happened that made us question His love for us. Some have written me, saying, “How can I trust God when I don’t understand why He allowed _______ such a thing to happen to me?” (And they describe whatever it was that happened).
I understand, and my heart goes out to them. But there is nothing I can say to soothe their confusion. But I do know that our Father does care, and that He knows the end from the beginning and unfortunately, there are some things we won’t understand until we are in stand before Him in Eternity. That is when will we understand why some of these winds and waves have tossed us and why it was allowed to happen. Until then, we must trust His faithfulness and love.
Isaiah gave one answer to this great mystery we must live with. And frankly, I believe it is all we need to know for now:
“Can a woman forget her nursing child?
Will she have no compassion on the child from her womb?
Although mothers may forget,
I will not forget you.
I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.
Your walls are always in my presence” (Isaiah 49:15-16).
That my friend, is our Father word for us today: “You are My child. You are written in the palm of My hand. Just trust Me!”
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