1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Necessity of Prayer - Lesson V, Prayer and Faith

"The guests at a certain hotel were being rendered uncomfortable by repeated strumming on a piano, done by a little girl who possessed no knowledge of music. They complained to the proprietor with a view to having the annoyance stopped. ĎI am sorry you are annoyed,í he said. ĎBut the girl is the child of one of my very best guests. I can scarcely ask her not to touch the piano. But her father, who is away for a day or so, will return tomorrow. You can then approach him, and have the matter set right.í When the father returned, he found his daughter in the reception-room and, as usual, thumping on the piano. He walked up behind the child and, putting his arms over her shoulders, took her hands in his, and produced some most beautiful music. Thus it may be with us, and thus it will be, some coming day. Just now, we can produce little but clamor and disharmony; but, one day, the Lord Jesus will take hold of our hands of faith and prayer, and use them to bring forth the music of the skies."

As new Christians and perhaps even as old Christians much of our praying is like the thumping of the piano by the child.

Producing disharmony with perhaps a little harmony from time to time.

We had little knowledge of what moved God for we had little faith.

But as God moves in us and pre-destines us to be conformed to his Son he takes our hands in his hands and by faith produces in us that which pleases Him and brings Him glory.

As the child, without doubt, without rebellion, yields her hands to her fatherís hands thus producing beautiful music, we must also, without doubt, yield ourselves to Godís hands.

And we do this by believing his word, fully, completely and without doubt.

Believing His word places His hands upon our hands and moves our hands to produce beautiful music.

The beautiful music of prayer.

To Godís ears the prayer of the believer is beautiful music.

But the beautiful music of prayer is produced by genuine, authentic faith, genuine belief in Godís word, definite belief, and belief free of doubt.

Jesus said to his disciples in Mark 11:22-23 ÖÖÖÖÖHave 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 whatever he saith."

We pass this instruction over so casually because our faith is weak.

Think what God has committed Himself to.

Faith and prayer select the things and God commits Himself to do the very things which faith and prayer ask Him to accomplish.

This is not simply a faith that God is good, that God is all powerful, but it is a faith that believes that the things which he saith shall come to pass.

This is faith that results in things specific and definite.

It is one thing to believe that God is all powerful, is everwhere present, has all knowledge, the devils believe that and tremble.

But it is another to believe that I, through faith and prayer can tap into those powers of God.

Notice how unlimited the area of operation prayer includes.

"All things whatsoever!"

And how definite and specific the promise about those "all things." ó"Ye shall have them!"

There is no weakness in God and if weakness there be, it is with our faith.

Our faith must lead us to definite, specific, and unqualified requests.

Faith that leads us to vague and indefinite general requests is weak and without belief in Godís promises.

Just so far as the faith and the asking is definite, so also will the answer be.

Ask vaguely and the answer will be vague.

For God says that the giving is not to be something other than the things prayed for, but the actual things sought and named. "He shall have whatsoever he saith."

It is essential, "He shall have."

The granting is to be unlimited, both in quality and in quantity.

Faith and prayer select the subject that is asked for which by the equation that God gives in his word determines what God is to do.

"He shall have whatsoever he saith."

Christ holds Himself ready to supply exactly, and fully, all the demands of faith and prayer.

If the order on God is made clear, specific and definite, God will fill it, exactly in accordance with the presented terms.

That is the agreement, God will do his part but you must do your part.

James in James 4:2 said: Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Faith is not an ritualistic act of the soul, but a looking to God and a resting upon His promises.

Faith is a uniting of God and myself in an action.

Faith is Godís operation in the human soul.

It is a divine principle which takes of the Supernatural and makes it a thing understandable to me and to you.

Faith allows me to deal with God, and gives me consciousness of God.

Faith is not believing just anything; it is believing God, resting in Him, trusting His Word.

Faith always drives the faithful to prayer for God is the refuge of the faithful and to the faithful there is no other help to the faithful.

Why go elsewhere when God tells us to go to him?

Faith then gives birth to prayer, and faith grows stronger as the wrestlings of prayer intensify.

Faith then, is the one great requirement of prayer.

The lack of faith is at the root of poor praying, feeble praying, little praying, unanswered praying.

Faith is best defined by what it results in than by any definition written about it.

We see in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews the wonderful results of faith.

We see in this list in the book of Hebrews men and women of faith and what their faith wrought though God!

We see the marvelous achievements there recorded, and all credited to their faith!

Heb 11:32, "And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets."

"All these,"" the writer says, "of whom the world was not worthy "obtained a good report through faith."

The Bible records the lives of these men of faith with all their warts and blemishes, their sins and their failures but it is their faith that God sees.

It is as if God chose men with great weaknesses to provide a backdrop for their great faith to be seen.

We look at the strength of Samson, we look at his great sin and failings and we wonder, but God saw the faith of Samson.

Thank God for Samson, for then there is hope for me!

We see David in his sin with Bathsheba but God sees Davidís faith.

It is not the intellectual or the strong that the Bible lifts up.

It is not men of wealth or people of great influence that God requires to do his work.

Above everybody and everything else, it is men and women of faith, men and women of prayer,

Men and women like those counted in Hebrews, who "obtained a good report through faith," that the Church and the whole world needs.

The Church today gives many a good report because of their giving of money, gives a good report because of great mental gifts and talents.

But the good report of scripture is always to those who display their great faith in God.

Those who through faith tap into the power of God though prayer and who do great exploits for God because of their faith.

So today, as in any day, the Church needs men and women of great faith who are great in prayer.

This is what makes men and women great in the eyes of God, the two things which create spiritual success in the life and work of the Church.

But in order for this to be successful doubt and fear must be banished for doubt and fear are the foes of faith.

Peter feared and doubted when he permitted the waves to break over him as he took his eyes from the Lord and regarded the water all around him.

But even in doubt and fear Peter reached out to the Lord in faith and cried "Lord, save, or I perish!"

By faith Peter knew where his strength lay, it lay in the Lord.

Faith always takes its eyes off of self, faith always takes its eyes off of its own weaknesses and always rests itself in Godís strength.

We are instructed in Hebrews 10:35, Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

We are to have a simple, enduring faith, a day by day faith, a daily casting our burden on the Lord faith.

This is the kind of faith that will dissipate fear and deliver us from doubt.

Godís cure for all fear, anxiety, and concern is to pray in faith.

As Phil 4:6, commands us: "Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by supplication and prayer, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God."

How do I be careful for nothing?

By being armed with prayer.

Let your requests be made known unto God.

Ask him about everything that concerns you and place the order in his hands.

Each day we are to take this prescription and it will secure the peace which passeth all understanding, and keep the heart and mind in quietness and peace.

As Hebrews 3:12 reminds us: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God."

We must guard against unbelief as we would guard against an enemy.

We must ask the Lord to increase our faith for faith can be increased.

Paul told us that the faith of the Thessalonians grew exceedingly.

Faith is increased by exercise, by being put to use.

Faith grows by studying and meditating upon the Word of God.

Faith grows by prayer.