The Necessity of Prayer – Lesson VII, Prayer and Faith
So faith is the one "must have" condition of successful praying.
James puts this truth very plainly in James 1:5-7
"If any of you lack wisdom, 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."
God finds no virtue in ignorance and provides everything necessary for his children to be wise.
We can say for sure, based upon the word of God, that the will of God is that his children be wise.
James says that here when he tells those who lack wisdom to ask God and He will give it.
But let him ask in faith.
Asking in faith is believing God’s word and that belief in God’s word affects your asking.
The diligent seeking of God provides the seeker with the light of the word of God and this affects his praying in all ways.
Faith brings the diligent seeker to ask for certain things and faith also provides for not asking for certain things.
Biblical faith results in asking aright and does not ask amiss.
For Biblical faith is based upon a knowledge of the One who answers prayer.
Those of faith do not go to God ignorant of God but by diligent seeking of His word they know God.
And diligent seekers of God do not doubt, for doubting is always a foe to prayer and hinders effectual praying.
But study of the word of God, and what moves God, will remove doubt.
Study will provide confidence in prayer that your praying is praying that pleases God for study will bring faith which pleases God.
Study will reduce the askings that are amiss, the askings that will not bring glory to the father.
In the First Epistle to Timothy, Paul gives us this truth relative to the conditions of successful praying.
He says "I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."
Holy hands are separated hands that handle the word of God decently and in order.
They are hands that rightly divide the word of Truth.
Holy hands are hands that have diligently sought after God by the study of his word.
Holy hands are hands that have been given confidence though the study of God’s word and are not doubting hands.
Holy hands are hands that are moved by faith, hands that cause all doubt to flee.
Faith then is the key to prayer.
I cannot emphasize it too much.
Effectual prayer is effectual because of faith.
Edward M. Bounds in his book, "The Necessity of Prayer" wrote this.
Great incentives to pray are furnished in Holy Scriptures, and our Lord closes His teaching about prayer, with the assurance and promise of heaven. The presence of Jesus Christ in heaven, the preparation for His saints which He is making there, and the assurance that He will come again to receive them — how all this helps the weariness of praying, strengthens its conflicts, sweetens its arduous toil! These things are the star of hope to prayer, the wiping away of its tears, the putting of the odor of heaven into the bitterness of its cry. The spirit of a pilgrim greatly facilitates praying. An earth-bound, earth-satisfied spirit cannot pray. In such a heart, the flame of spiritual desire is either gone out or smoldering in faintest glow. The wings of its faith are clipped, its eyes are filmed, its tongue silenced. But they, who in unswerving faith and unceasing prayer, wait continually upon the Lord, do renew their strength, do mount up with wings as eagles, do run, and are not weary, do walk, and not faint.