What is Faith?
We believe that Jesus came speaking the words of His Father…and He says to us in Mk 9:23, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes. "
The word believe is pistis in Greek, #4100 in the Strong’s Concordance. It means
The words belief and faith come from the same Greek word.
Faith ...To trust in ...To have faith in ...To be fully convinced of ...To rely on
So, if I can just believe, then…all things are possible ….whooh! Is this too much to take in one gulp? This verse has been food for meditation for me for two decades. I’ve wanted to cry out in response along with the poor man Jesus was addressing. He said, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! " (Mk 9:24)
Yes, Lord, me too! Doesn’t this man sum it up for all of us? We can be encouraged, though, in realizing that Jesus moved powerfully in delivering the man’s son. The man’s thimble-full of faith appears to have been sufficient to engage the mater’s reponse.
We’ve all been given a measure of faith…apparently the same amount of faith for each of us. That faith amount can be small and still be potent:
"I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. " Matt 17:20
This is good news!
When we pray scripture, our faith is the helium in the balloon that causes it to rise before the throne of Grace, where God hears and answers
Without faith, our scripture prayer would be little more than an incantation from which we would expect magical results. Scripture prayer is not about magic.
What Can Faith Accomplish?
Scripture prayer is about the Lord wanting to share His power with us. He wants us behaving and speaking like He does….and when Jesus speaks, things happen:
*Water turns into wine.
*Bread and fish are multiplied..
*The demonized are delivered.
*Fish spit out gold coins.
*The blind see.
*Paralytics are restored to perfect functioning.
*Storms are stopped…..to mention a few things!
When we first start with faith-filled scripture prayer, we probably won’t have a list like the one above to put on our resumes. However, Jesus is making it clear in the above scripture that we are to expect the miraculous.
How Does Faith Grow?
My first experience in such praying was praying for a lost set of keys. One of the keys was a master that opened every door in my husband’s school except for the superintendent’s office. I prayed fervently and we found the keys! (Click here to read the whole story.)
That was such a breakthrough for me! Now I pray for lost things as a matter of course.
"Lord, You know all things. Nothing is hidden from You. You will cause the hidden and secret things to be revealed. (I have braided three scriptures together here.) Now I ask that You will cause my hidden wallet to be revealed. Holy Spirit of Truth, lead me to my wallet. "
Then I stay in a spirit of peace and prayer and usually walk right to the lost article. Only once did this prayer not yield quick results…and that’s an even better testimony to what God will do in response to our pleas. (Click here for that story.)
In my growing up I received a pretty good foundation in theology. At least, I knew enough to understand that faith is supposed to grow. I wasn’t long into my young life when I realized that my little measure of faith had not grown. What faith I had was adequate for a 16 year old, but now I was in my late twenties with a family and a home. I needed bigger faith!
I began inquiring of people who I thought would have an answer. "How does faith grow? " No one seemed to have a clue, but all encouraged me to pursue that answer.
About that time I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, which changed my prayer life. I had much more intimate time with the Lord now. “Lord, how does faith grow?” He didn’t tell me. He showed me. In fact, He set up a whole workshop to show me.
Enter Agnes Sanford – a great woman of faith and prayer
As a result of her five-night workshop on prayer and my resulting experience, I had my answer. Faith grows by use….just like a muscle…a major spiritual muscle! A prime avenue for using and developing faith is prayer…scripture prayer in particular.
The Word of God is a two edged sword and as you use it in prayer, three things happen:
• The living Word goes forth and accomplished what God intends
• That same Word swings inward and has a profound effect on you It roots deep into you heart and opens up tot you the nature of God, of His ways, His plans
As you get to know God better, you trust Him more
As you trust Him more, your faith grows
• Then you come to a place where you enter into what Andrew Murray call the essence of true prayer: “the joyful adoration of a God whose hand always secures the fulfillment of what His mouth has spoken.”
No one speaks more eloquently or encouragingly about the growth of faith than Andrew Murray in His With Christ in the School of Prayer. This little book will challenge you to higher realms in the spirit and provide a great ladder to get you there. (Click here for more on Andrew Murray’s With Christ in the School of Prayer)
Persevere in faith and in prayer. Your life will never be the same!
More Pray the Scriptures Resources on Believe/Faith
1. Agnes Sanford: Woman of Faith and Power
2. Andrew Murray on Believe/Faith
3. The Faith of Abraham
4. Just Believe: an encouraging podcast to stir faith