In the School of Prayer
“Have faith in God”
Or, The Secret of believing Prayer.
“Jesus, answering, said unto them, Have faith in God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what He saith cometh to pass; he shall have it Therefore I say unto you. All things whatsoever ye pray and as1( for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them.”— Mark 11:22-24
The promise that God will hear and answer prayer, which was the focus of yesterday’s lesson, is one of the most wonderful things that can be found in the Bible. How many minds have pondered the question, “How can I get to the point of faith where I know that I will get everything I ask for?”
Believe that you receive them, and you will have them–Jesus
This is the question that our Lord would respond to today. Before He made that incredible promise to His disciples, He spoke another word, in which He pointed out where the rise of faith in answers to prayers takes place and where it continually finds its strength. Believe in God first and foremost; the other word is dependent on this one. Keep your faith in the assurance that God will answer your prayers. Faith in the person making the promise is the only thing that can give one the ability to believe what they are being told. The more you believe in the person, the more you will believe what he says. We will only be able to develop the capacity to believe that God will grant whatever we ask for if we have an associate with God with whom we can have personal, loving interaction, if God Himself is all there is for us, if our entire being is continually opened up and exposed to the mighty influences that are at work, if His Holy Presence is made known to us, and if God is all there is.
If we examine the meaning of faith, we will see that there is a direct correlation between faith in God and the fulfillment of His promises. It is frequently compared to the hand or the mouth, by which we take and appropriate what is offered, and this comparison is appropriate. However, we need to realize that faith is not only the ear by which I hear what is promised, but also the eye by which I see what is offered to me. This determines whether or not one has the authority to take. I have to be able to hear the person who is promising me something; the very sound of his voice gives me the strength to believe. I have to see him; in the brightness of his eye and countenance, any anxiety I had about exercising my right to take disappears. My faith in the promise is predicated on my awareness of the nature of the promise; however, the value of the promise is determined by the individual who made the promise.
Because of this, Jesus says, “Have faith IN God” before he makes that wonderful prayer promise. This means that we should let our eyes be opened to the Living God and fix our gaze on Him so that we can see Him even though He is invisible. I allow the things that are in front of me to have an effect on me by looking at them. I open myself up to it, letting it come in, having its way with me, and imprinting itself on my consciousness. Therefore, believing in God is simply looking to God, what He is, allowing Him to reveal His presence, giving Him time, and yielding the whole being to take in the complete impression of what He is as God. This causes the soul to open up to receive and rejoice in the overshadowing of His love. Faith is indeed the eye through which God reveals who He is and what He does. When someone has faith, the light of God’s presence and the activities of God’s mighty power stream into their soul. What I see lives in me, and because of that, I have faith that God also lives in me.
And despite this, faith is also the ear through which the voice of God is constantly heard, and through which interaction with God is maintained. The Holy Spirit is the living voice that communicates with us on behalf of the Father. The Son is the Word, the substance of what God says, and the Holy Spirit is the living voice. This is what the child of God needs in order for him to be led and guided; the secret voice from heaven must teach him, just as it taught Jesus, what to say and do. Hearing God speak requires both an open ear toward God and a believing heart that is waiting on Him to hear what He has to say. The words of God will not just be the words of a Book, but they will also come directly from God’s mouth. They will embody the spirit and the truth, the life and the mighty power. They will bring in actions and experiences of living that are only thoughts otherwise. Because of this opened ear, the soul lingers in the presence of the sustaining life and empowering power of God Himself. As the words I hear enter my mind and continue to dwell and work there through faith, God continues to enter my heart and continue to work there as well.
When faith has reached its full potential as an eye and ear, that is, as the faculty of the soul that enables us to see and hear God, then it will be able to exercise its full power as a hand and mouth, that is, the means by which we appropriate God and His blessings. The power of spiritual perception will be entirely decisive in determining the power of reception. Faith is surrender; I give myself over to the impression that the tidings I hear make on me. This is the reason why Jesus said, before He promised that God would answer believing prayer: “Have faith IN God.” Faith is surrender; I give myself over to the impression that the blessings I hear make on me. Through faith, I submit myself to the ever-living God. His majesty and love are the source of my joy, and they rule my life. Faith is fellowship; I open myself up to being influenced by the friend who makes me a promise and become linked to him as a result of our shared commitment. And it is precisely at the point when we enter into this living fellowship with God Himself, in a faith that always sees and hears Him, that it becomes simple and natural for us to believe His promise in regard to prayer. Faith in the promise is the result of having faith in the one who made the promise; the prayer of faith has its roots in living a life of faith. The kind of faith that enables one to pray effectively is, in this sense, most certainly a gift from God. Not in the sense that it is something that He bestows or infuses all at once, but in a much deeper and more accurate sense, as the blessed disposition or habit of soul which is wrought and grows up in us in a life of intercourse with Him. This is a far more accurate description. It is surely an easy thing to believe the promise that He will do the will of His child who lives in union with Himself if that individual has a strong relationship with his or her own father and maintains constant close communion with that individual.
Their exposure to the transformative power of prayer is severely limited because so many of God’s children are unaware of the connection that exists between living a life of faith and praying with faith. When they have a sincere need for an answer from God, they center their entire being on the promise, and they do everything in their power to have faith in it. When they are unsuccessful, they are willing to give up hope; the promise is genuine, but it is beyond their ability to take hold of it in faith. Pay attention to the lesson Jesus has for us to learn today. Believe in the God who is still active in the world. Believers should focus their attention on God rather than the thing that was promised. It is His love for us. The faith will be reawakened and strengthened through the power and presence of the living God. A physician’s response to a patient who asks for advice on how to gain more gripping and holding strength in the arms and hands would be to recommend that the patient work on building up and strengthening his entire body. Therefore, the only remedy for a weak faith is to have more meaningful conversations with God, as this will invigorate every aspect of our spiritual life. It will be simple for you to seize hold of the promise if you first acquire the ability to believe in God, seize hold of God, and allow God to seize possession of your life. Those who are familiar with and have faith in God will have an easier time putting their faith in the promise.
Just take note of how clearly this can be seen in the saints of days gone by. Each and every exceptional demonstration of the power of faith was the fruit of a special revelation from God. See it exemplified in Abraham: “And the word of the Lord came unto Abram, saying. Fear not, Abram; I am thy shield. And He brought him forth abroad, and said… And he believed the Lord.” And later: “The Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, I am God Almighty. And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying. As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee.” Because they had a personal relationship with God, these men of faith were unable to do anything other than put their faith in His promise. The promise of God will be to us exactly what God himself is. The man makes his way before the Lord and then kneels down to listen as the living God has a conversation with him. He is the one who will be given the promise. Even though the Bible contains all of God’s promises and we have the freedom to accept them, their spiritual power is lacking unless God Himself speaks them to us directly. And what does He say to those who travel and dwell with Him?
Therefore, have FAITH in God. Let faith be all eye and ear, the surrender to let God make his full impression and reveal himself fully in the soul. Consider it one of the most important benefits of prayer to have faith in God, as the Living Mighty God who is waiting to fulfill in us all the good pleasure of His will and the work of faith with power. This is one of the chief blessings of prayer. Behold in Him the Loving God, whose greatest joy is to bless others and give of Himself. In this kind of worship that is founded on a firm belief in God, the power will rapidly come to believe the promise as well. “All Things That You Ask, Believe That You Receive” is a Bible verse that says, “Yes, see that you do in faith make God your own, and the promise will be yours as well.”
A invaluable teaching that Jesus has for us to learn on this day. We think of prayer as the power to draw down good gifts from heaven; Jesus as the means to draw ourselves up to God. We want to stand at the door and cry. Jesus would have us first enter and realize we are friends and children. Let us accept the teaching. Let every experience of the littleness of our faith in prayer urge us first to have and exercise more faith in the living God and, in such faith, to yield ourselve to him. “We seek God’s gifts; God wants to give us Himself first.
Take time, let your soul exercise in holy awe and worship, and express its faith in the Infinite One. As He imparts Himself to you and takes possession of you, the prayer of faith will crown your faith in God. Therefore, child of God, take time, take time, to bow before Him, to wait on Him to reveal Himself. Take time, let thy soul exercise in holy awe and worship, and express its faith in the Infinite One. Take time.””
Lord, teach us to pray.”
My God, I have faith in Thee. I know and am certain that all that Thou art to me, and all that Thou hast promised Thou would perform. I believe in Thee as the Father, Infinite in Thy Love and Power. I believe in Thee as the Son, my Redeemer, and my Life. And I believe in Thee as the Holy Spirit, Comforter, and Guide and Strength. Three-in-One God, I have faith in Thee.
Lord Jesus, increase this faith. Teach me to take time and wait and worship in the Holy Presence until my faith takes in all there is in my God for me. Let it see Him as the Fountain of all Life, working with Almighty Strength to accomplish His will on the world and in me. Let it see Him in His Love, longing to meet and fulfill my desires. Let it so take possession of my heart and life that God alone may dwell there through faith.
My Blessed Savior, how can it be possible for Thy Church to glorify Thee, and how can it complete that work of intercession through which Thy kingdom must come, unless our entire life is faith in God? Blessed Lord, speak Thy Word, “Have FAITH in God,” into the depths of our souls, and may it be so. Amen.
Original by Andrew Murray
Revised and Updated by Nathan Zipfel