Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


If and only if… part 2

posted by Mark Herringshaw

There’s a second Biblical condition to answered prayer. Jesus makes some amazing promises about the power of intercession, then attaches some contingencies. You can check out Thursday’s post if you’d like to explore this more. Bottom line: God has put himself on the line with audacious promises!

 

Yet as bold as these promises are, they come with specific conditions – if/then. Jesus includes some lines of fine print at the bottom of the contract: “If and only if…” God will honor his promise to answer prayer… when certain conditions are met. Asking is the first. Here’s a second:

 

Faith: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘be uprooted and planted in the sea’ and it will obey you” (Luke 17:6).  Jesus places “faith” as a condition for response.  What does he mean?  Faith as the Bible defines it is an action based on a conviction that something promised with be delivered, even before any evidence appears that it will be so.  Faith in God means a Christian is to begin prayer from a posture of confidence, knowing ahead of time that God listens and keeps his word.  Jesus invites his followers to pray to God knowing that he already knows what they truly need.  But God enjoys the relationship that grows from the asking and responding process.  Prayer is not a broadcast shot into the skies, but a direct and focused communiqué that will be received. 

 

How can foster this kind of faith when it’s hard for me to trust anyone I can see let alone God who I can’t see? There’s a simple answer: the first condition – ask. If I don’t have faith I can ask for it as a gift. I may not be able to manufacture it myself, but God can give it. If you need faith, ask for it… It’s all a kind of circular experience, I admit, but this seems to be the process. I can’t have an answer to prayer without faith, but I can’t get faith without prayer. One man who Jesus addressed answered this problem by saying to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief.” That’s a good prayer. Take the little sliver of faith you and spend it asking for more faith.

 

God always answers the prayer for more faith… Try it.



  • Your Name

    God, I understand everything I truly desire you will give it to me, I just have to be patient, I dont doubt you but I am getting scared. Im not losing hope and faith but I am scared that what I want may not be what you want for me and it hurts. Lord show me the way, show me that I have no reason to be scared and that this may take some time or what Im asking for will come sooner than expected. Lord, show me today! Amen!

  • margaret

    father-god i’d had recently got a letter in the mail to be egibly for a two bed apartment,which that is good,i’d have dreaming about this for a long time ,and now it’s my turn to shine ,so i’m wating for than to send me another letter in the mail telling me that i do not have a crimmal record,so right now i’m being very patient, and i’d owe it all to you father god.

  • Tim

    God, I know your there listening to our prayers and hearing every need that we have. Three months ago I was layed off from my job and have been actively looking since. Two weeks ago my best friends father (who was like a second dad to me) passed away with a massive heart attack and now, two weeks later, his mother was placed in the hospital as several tests are being ran to dertmine the cause of this new illness. Time will tell.
    Regarding the job search, just recently I have had a few phone interviews but nothing has come from them. One of my dear friends has a friend in the HR industry at a leading company that I’m trying to work my way into so I’m waiting patiently to hear back.
    I know that “Patience is a Virtue” and “To Worry is a Sin” but dear Lord, I’m really scared and need comfort, not only for myself but for my best friends family during this time of sorrow. I want to work again, real soon, and I pray that something will open up. I pray that this new position will be your will. I will never loose faith or my trust in you. Lord, please hear my prayer and show us the way.
    Amen!

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