Devotional - 97-11-20 - The Life of Faith in Prayer
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith without any doubting...
Prayer and faith are companions that don’t function well when they part company and try to succeed alone. For example James 5:15, “the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick.” If we try to separate prayer and faith here the verse becomes absurd. “The prayer offered without faith will...” or “Lack of prayer and faith will...” The will is obvious, “will not restore the one who is sick.” The two must function together.
The first act of faith is prayer. The first act of our coming to faith in Christ is to cry to God, in prayer, for mercy. From that starting point prayer and faith work together to build up the Christian in the Christian life. This can be seen in the Christian practice of Trusting God. Psalm 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Prayer and faith also end together with the death of a saint. In death, faith becomes sight and prayer becomes praise.
There is much to be said about prayer and faith. How can we know that when we pray and there appears to be no answer, that God has really heard our prayer? First we must have faith that God has heard us, but that only satisfies a little when we have been pleading our cause before the thrown of grace and there seems to be no answer. How can we know that we have been heard?
Well, the book of Daniel is a great help here. In chapter 9, Daniel begins to pray, and then by verse 23, Gabriel says to Daniel, “At the beginning of your supplication the command was issued.” Did Daniel know this? Apparently not, he went on and on in chapter 9 pleading his case, not knowing that not only had God heard his prayer, but already answered it. This is repeated in Daniel 10:12, 13. His prayer was heard, it was a prayer of faith, and eventhough he did not know that it had been answered already or even that God had heard him, Daniel prayed. This should be a great encouragement to all who labor in prayer and long to see prayers answered that have been prayed for hours, days, weeks, or years. All those who pray should take the example and experience of Daniel and be encouraged.
“When faith sets prayer on work, prayer sets God on work.” Thomas Watson
Soli Deo Gloria,