…Because of your faith, it will happen. Matthew 9:29
I read a story about a church that was located in an area beset by drought. At last, they decided to pray about the matter. Isn’t it funny how we don’t start out praying? We always wait until the situation seems hopeless then yell out, “God! Help!” Anyway, only one person showed up to the prayer meeting with an umbrella. They were all there ostensibly to ask God for rain, but only one among the congregation actually believed God would answer. When you pray, do you carry an “umbrella” with you? Do you pray believing you will receive an answer? If not, then why waste your time and God’s? Just go down to the closest street corner, accost a complete stranger, and spout out a bunch of gibberish at him. It will be just as effective.
Faith is an integral part of prayer. It is by faith that you pray in the first place. You must exercise faith in an invisible God, and yet more faith in the fact that He listens and answers you. Saying “faithless prayer” is like saying “wordless speech”. It is nonsense. If you are not exercising your faith muscles as you pray, you are only pretending to pray.
If you believe your prayers will be answered, you will begin moving on them even before the answer arrives. George Mueller used to minister to the Lord by establishing orphanages in England. He often was totally devoid of funds. His biography recounts a time when he caused all the orphans to gather around a dinner table that held no food. They set the table, placed the napkins and sat down to pray over the non-existent food. As he was thanking God for the food, a knock came at the door. A bread truck had broken down in front of the orphanage and they wanted to know if Mr. Mueller had any use for the bread? A few minutes later, another man arrived asking if Mr. Mueller would care for a truck-load of milk. This did not happen just once. It happened over and over.
The scary part of living by faith is that to truly live by faith, you must act when there is no reason to. You must live with God on the edge of things. Jesus approached his would-be disciples and said “Drop your nets, leave behind your source of income and follow me.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that God necessarily wants you to quit your job and live totally by faith. You should, however, not rely on that job to provide everything for you. You could lose it any day now. You will never lose God.
If you pray in an attitude of faith, and begin putting feet to your prayers without waiting to have everything spelled out for you, you will embark on a scary, exciting and thrilling adventure with God. You will start carrying around an umbrella.
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