“Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”Mark 11:22-23
Jesus also said that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. That’s a tiny portion of faith! Why then do we so often struggle to believe God will answer our prayers?
A Change in Emphasis
Try reading the first part of that verse again. Except this time, instead of focusing on the word ‘faith’, emphasise the words ‘in’. “Have faith IN GOD…”
It isn’t about self effort ~ me, trying to “drum up enough faith”. God is not some sort of cosmic vending machine who responds to special ‘formulae’. He is the Living God, the Father, the Faithful, Eternal one, who cares for me, and you.
The more I get to know the heart of my Father, the more I understand who it is that I place my faith in. When I know His nature; the VASTNESS of His great love for me, His FAITHFULNESS, His WILLINGNESS to care for me, then I understand that it is His heart’s desire to answer my prayers.
The closer my relationship with Him, the more clearly I can see the kindness of His heart, hear the ‘tone of his voice,’ and feel the tenderness of His written words in the Bible. Paul, who was persecuted, imprisoned and beaten for preaching the gospel of Christ, wrote:
“But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.”
(2 Timothy 1:12 ESV)
Paul could say this with confidence; he knew God. He knew that God is faithful to answer prayer because he had intimate knowledge of God; He knew that God is both willing and able. Paul had faith IN GOD, not ‘faith in faith.’
David also knew God intimately, and had faith that God heard his every prayer:
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!”Psalm 139:1-6 NLT
The Lord, who loves you beyond measure, hears your prayers. He knows your need. Draw near to Him and get to know Him as your Father.