Faithful Prayer

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Default article daily reflection

"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it."

Matthew 21:22

Matthew 21:22 is one of those verses that gets some Christians into trouble. They take it out of biblical context and turn it into something Jesus never intended. Faith becomes a magic formula for the miraculous, rather than utter trust in God. The "secret" for producing such faith is somehow forcing ourselves to believe that which we want.

Jesus was not teaching us to rev up some sort of confidence in ourselves when we pray. Nor was he promising that if we can make ourselves believe the impossible, then the impossible will happen. Rather, he was using typical Jewish hyperbole (exaggeration) to emphasize the importance of faith in prayer. True faith is not placed in ourselves. Nor is it faith in our own faith. Rather, true faith relies fully upon God. Praying with faith means offering our desires and ourselves fully to God. When we do this, God, through the Spirit, will give us the gift of faith to believe that he will, indeed, do what seems to be impossible.

True faith comes, not from our efforts to convince ourselves about some desired end, but from knowing God. The more we have a truthful relationship with God, a relationship shaped by his Word and inspired by his Spirit, the more we will trust God in all things, including our prayers.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What helps you to pray with faith? When you struggle to believe, what do you do? Do you ever ask God for more faith?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, how I wish I trusted you more! I know in my head that you are fully trustworthy. And you have proven your reliability to me again and again. But, I must confess, my heart often lags behind. I get caught up in my doubts and uncertainties. I worry when I should be resting in you. Forgive me, Lord, for my lack of faith.

Help me, gracious God, to trust you more. When I pray, give me the gift of supernatural faith. Guide me to pray for that which is consistent with your will. May my prayers reflect your values, your kingdom.

All praise be to you, dear Lord, for hearing and answering even my prayers! How good you are! Amen.