The Necessity of Prayer - Lesson II, Prayer and Faith
I will use his subject order to teach these lessons. They are:
A. Prayer and Faith
B. Prayer and Trust
C. Prayer and Desire
D. Prayer and Fervency
E. Prayer and Importunity
F. Prayer and Character and Conduct
G. Prayer and Obedience
H. Prayer and Vigilance
I. Prayer and the Word of God
J. Prayer and the House of God
So we will begin this series by discussing Prayer and Faith
A man named A.C. Dixon wrote this:
"A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: ‘Rising early one morning,’ he said, ‘I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, moreover, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength.’ So is it, when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God."
Whenever we are to study the principles and process of prayer, its purposes, its results, we must first discuss faith.
For faith is what moves a man to pray.
Faith is the engine of prayer.
As the fawn rushes between the legs of the man seeking refuge from the dogs a man out of helplessness flees for refuge to God.
Helplessness means a lack of help from all that a man sees.
But only a man of faith is not helpless for "My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."
So a man out of the helplessness of this world flees for refuge to God.
And he does this through faith.
He believes that God will help him.
So when all is said and done prayer is simply faith in action.
Prayer is claiming its God given privileges, prayer is taking possession of its unlimited inheritance.
Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us and nothing is impossible with God.
Paul in 1 Cor 1:26-28 wrote: For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
And God confounds the wise, the things which are mighty, by choosing the foolish, the weak, the base, the despised and by giving them access to all things, all power, all authority through the quiet, personal, closeted activity of prayer.
The wise, the things which are mighty, cannot know the power of the prayer of the foolish, the weak, the things which are despised for it is hidden from them neither can they know them because they are without faith.
So faith has the ability to unleash unlimited power because God is unlimited.
We are the ones to impose limits because we limit God by our lack of faith.
For faith is what moves God.
Faith pleases to move him and without faith it is impossible to move him for without faith it is impossible to please him and if he is not pleased he does not move.
So doubt is to be outlawed from the heart, for when doubt is expressed it doubts the power of God.
That is why unbelief is so abominable to God, because it doubts the power and authority of God Almighty.
For who is the one who answers prayer, it is the one who is of all power and authority.
Without doubt, what we ask of God shall surely come to pass
Jesus Christ did not say casually in Matthew 21:21……………Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
I can’t move mountains.
Only God can move mountains but faith and prayer move God Almighty to move mountains.
Jesus said in (Mark 11:24) "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
—"Believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
This statement describes a faith which has a certain unwavering consciousness of God, a fellowship, a closeness that knows that God is committed to act in accordance with belief.
This is a faith that believes God’s word about the matter.
This is a faith which can appropriate the power of God.
Faith is the foundation of Christian character and the security of the soul.
When Jesus was cautioning Peter against his denial of him, He said to Peter in: Luke 22:31-32
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, to sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not."
Notice what Jesus Christ prayed for Peter. That his faith fail not.
Jesus Christ was in this statement declaring a central truth.
It was Peter’s faith He sought to guard; for He knew that when faith is broken down, the foundations of spiritual life give way, and the entire structure of a Christian walk falls.
For faith is man’s connection with the power of God.
Faith is man’s electrical connection with the power plant of God. It takes faith to plug in to God’s power plant.
It was Peter’s faith which needed guarding for without faith there is no walk with God.
In 2 Pet 1:5 Peter has this idea in mind as he speaks of growing in grace in order to be fruitful in the Christian walk.
"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."
This is the best of the addition process.
But where does it start?
Faith is the starting point, the foundation of the gifts of the Spirit.
Faith is the foundation on which other things were to be built.
Peter does not direct us to add to works or gifts or virtues but to faith.
Starting right is all important in any endeavor and especially in the matter of growing in grace.
There is a Divine order in all things for our God is a God of order.
Are we not told to "Let all things be done decently and in order?"
So Peter goes on to declare we are to give diligence to making our calling and election sure.
And this election is made certain by adding to faith which in turn is done by constant earnest praying.
So faith is kept alive by prayer, and every step in our walk with God, adding grace to grace is accompanied by prayer.
Therefore pray without ceasing is the command of scripture.