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Faith and prayer

Faith and prayer

By John Chopores


Faith and prayer

HEB 11:6 But without faith {it is} impossible to [1]please {him}: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and {that} he is a [2]rewarder of [3]them that diligently seek him. (KJV)

MAR 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things {are} possible to him that believeth. (KJV)

JAM 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (KJV)


 Visualize the answer

MAR 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye[1] [4]receive {them}, and ye shall have {them}. (KJV)

  I believe that Jesus is saying, "when you pray, believe that you are receiving as you pray". [See footnote on Greek word for, "receive"].

   "Man alone,as the masterpiece of God's creation, possesses the ability to pray and to visualize the answer to his prayers. ...Man has been given this remarkable ability which is denied the lower creation. " [ASP. PAGE. 24.]


“Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us, and nothing is impossible with God. How great — without qualification or limitation — is the power of faith!…

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

We should ponder well that statement — “Believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Here is described a faith which realizes, which appropriates, which takes. Such faith is a consciousness of the Divine, an experienced communion, a realized certainty….

When Jesus was looking forward to Peter’s denial, and cautioning him against it, He said unto His disciple:

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, to sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fall not.”

Our Lord was declaring a central truth; it was Peter’s faith He was seeking to guard; for well He knew that when faith is broken down, the foundations of spiritual life give way, and the entire structure of religious experience falls. It was Peter’s faith which needed guarding. Hence Christ’s solicitude for the welfare of His disciple’s soul and His determination to fortify Peter’s faith by His own all-prevailing prayer. In his Second Epistle, Peter has this idea in mind when speaking of growth in grace as a measure of safety in the Christian life, and as implying fruitfulness.

“And besides this,” he declares, “giving diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.”

Of this additioning process, faith was the starting-point — the basis of the other graces of the Spirit. Faith was the foundation on which other things were to be built. Peter does not enjoin his readers to add to works or gifts or virtues but to faith. Much depends on starting right in this business of growing in grace. There is a Divine order, of which Peter was aware; and so he goes on to declare that we are to give diligence to making our calling and election sure, which election is rendered certain adding to faith which, in turn, is done [among other things] by constant, earnest praying….The faith which creates powerful praying is the faith which centers itself on a powerful Person. Faith in Christ’s ability to do and to do greatly, is the faith which prays greatly. Thus the leper lay hold upon the power of Christ. “Lord, if Thou wilt,” he cried, “Thou canst make me clean.” In this instance, we are shown how faith centered in Christ’s ability to do, and how it secured the healing power.

It was concerning this very point, that Jesus questioned the blind men who came to Him for healing: “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” He asks. “They said unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. It was to inspire faith in His ability to do that Jesus left behind Him, that last, great statement, which, in the final analysis, is a ringing challenge to faith. “All power,” He declared, “is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.”
Again: faith is obedient; it goes when commanded, as did the nobleman, who came to Jesus, in the day of His flesh, and whose son was grievously sick.

Moreover: such faith acts. Like the man who was born blind, it goes to wash in the pool of Siloam when told to wash. Like Peter on Gennesaret it casts the net where Jesus commands, instantly, without question or doubt. Such faith takes away the stone from the grave of Lazarus promptly. A praying faith keeps the commandments of God and does those things which are well pleasing in His sight. It asks, “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” and answers quickly, “Speak, Lord, Thy servant heareth.” Obedience helps faith, and faith, in turn, helps obedience. To do God’s will is essential to true faith, and faith is necessary to implicit obedience. Yet faith is called upon, and that right often to wait in patience before God, and is prepared for God’s seeming delays in answering prayer. Faith does not grow disheartened because prayer is not immediately honored; it takes God at His Word, and lets Him take what time He chooses in fulfilling His purposes, and in carrying on His work. There is bound to be much delay and long days of waiting for true faith, but faith accepts the conditions — knows there will be delays in answering prayer, and regards such delays as times of testing, in the which, it is privileged to show its mettle, and the stern stuff of which it is made.

…GENUINE, authentic faith must be definite and free of doubt. Not simply general in character; not a mere belief in the being, goodness and power of God, but a faith which believes that the things which “he saith, shall come to pass.” As the faith is specific, so the answer likewise will be definite: “He shall have whatsoever he saith.”

Faith deals with God, and is conscious of God. It deals with the Lord Jesus Christ and sees in Him a Savior; it deals with God’s Word, and lays hold of the truth; it deals with the Spirit of God, and is energized and inspired by its holy fire. God is the great objective of faith; for faith rests its whole weight on His Word. Faith is not an aimless act of the soul, but a looking to God and a resting upon His promises. Just as love and hope have always an objective so, also, has faith. Faith is not believing just anything; it is believing God, resting in Him, trusting His Word.

…Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the assurance and realization of the inheritance of the saints. Faith, too, is humble and persevering. It can wait and pray; it can stay on its knees, or lie in the dust. It is the one great condition of prayer; the lack of it lies at the root of all poor praying, feeble praying, little praying, unanswered praying.

…Doubt and fear are the twin foes of faith. Sometimes, they actually usurp the place of faith, and although we pray, it is a restless, disquieted prayer that we offer, uneasy and often complaining. Peter failed to walk on Gennesaret because he permitted the waves to break over him and swamp the power of his faith. Taking his eyes from the Lord and regarding the water all about him, he began to sink and had to cry for succor — “Lord, save, or I perish!”

Doubts should never be cherished, nor fears harbored. Let none cherish the delusion that he is a martyr to fear and doubt. It is no credit to any man’s mental capacity to cherish doubt of God, and no comfort can possibly derive from such a thought. Our eyes should be taken off self, removed from our own weakness and allowed to rest implicitly upon God’s strength. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.” A simple, confiding faith, living day by day, and casting its burden on the Lord, each hour of the day, will dissipate fear, drive away misgiving and deliver from doubt:

“Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by supplication and prayer, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” That is the Divine cure for all fear, anxiety, and undue concern of soul, all of which are closely akin to doubt and unbelief. This is the Divine prescription for securing the peace which passeth all understanding, and keeps the heart and mind in quietness and peace.

All of us need to mark well and heed the caution given in Hebrews: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

We need, also, to guard against unbelief as we would against an enemy. Faith needs to be cultivated. We need to keep on praying, “Lord, increase our faith,” for faith is susceptible of increase. Paul’s tribute to the Thessalonians was, that their faith grew exceedingly. Faith is increased by exercise, by being put into use. It is nourished by sore trials.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glow at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

Prayer is absolutely dependent upon faith. Virtually, it has no existence apart from it, and accomplishes nothing unless it be its inseparable companion. Faith makes prayer effectual, and in a certain important sense, must precede it.

“For he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Before prayer ever starts toward God; before its petition is preferred, before its requests are made known — faith must have gone on ahead; must have asserted its belief in the existence of God; must have given its assent to the gracious truth that “God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek His face.”

Faith makes prayer strong, and gives it patience to wait on God. Faith believes that God is a rewarder. No truth is more clearly revealed in the Scriptures than this, while none is more encouraging. Even the closet has its promised reward, “He that seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly,” while the most insignificant service rendered to a disciple in the name of the Lord, surely receives its reward. And to this precious truth faith gives its hearty assent.

“Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.”

James puts this truth very plainly.

“If any of you lack wisdom,” he says, “let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth (or doubteth) is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”

Doubting is always put under the ban, because it stands as a foe to faith and hinders effectual praying. In the First Epistle to Timothy Paul gives us an invaluable truth relative to the conditions of successful praying, which he thus lays down: “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”[Bounds].


Prayer and trust

It was then that Jesus said to them, “Have faith in God.”

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore, I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”Trust, in an historical fact or in a mere record may be a very passive thing, but trust in a person vitalizes the quality, fructifies it, informs it with love. The trust which informs prayer centers in a Person.

Trust goes even further than this. The trust which inspires our prayer must be not only trust in the Person of God, and of Christ, but in their ability and willingness to grant the thing prayed for. It is not only, “Trust, ye, in the Lord,” but, also, “for in the Lord Jehovah, is everlasting strength.”

…How we need to pray, “Lord, increase our faith,” until doubt be gone, and implicit trust claims the promised blessings, as its very own.[Bounds].


[1] euaresteo, "to please well" [BULLINGER. PAGE. 588.]

[2]misthapodotes, "a payer in full of wages; hence, requiter, rewarder" [BULLINGER. PAGE. 646.]


[3]"them that diligently seek" in the Greek, present active participle, the "present participle expresses continuous or repeated action" [BULLINGER. PAGE. 855.].  That is those who continuity seek God!


[4]lambano, "to take, take hold of, apprehend, to take or receive from another; to take what is given hence, receive, pointing to an objective reception"[BULLINGER. PAGE. 626.], "in many instances lambano suggests a self-prompted taking" [VINE. PAGE. 511.]. present indicative active, the "present indicative asserts something which is occurring while the speaker is making the statement" [CWSNT. PAGE. 857.]. I believe that Jesus is saying, "when you pray, believe that you are receiving as you pray".