Building Faith in Prayer
In Mark 11:22-24, Jesus said faith has the power to move mountains. Unbelief is a hindrance to prayer, while faith promotes powerful praying. Faith is essential to having an effective prayer life. There is power in believing God. Let’s spend time cultivating and building our faith so we can believe Him for great things.
Matthew 21:22 – “All things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Luke 17:5-6 – “And the apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith. So the Lord said, If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.”
How to Build Faith in Prayer
- Forgiveness. Context is imperative to rightly dividing the Word of truth. Just prior to asking Him to increase their faith, Jesus was talking about offenses and forgiveness. Forgiveness of any and all offenses is a prerequisite to faith and answered prayer.
Luke 17:3-4 – “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, I repent, you shall forgive him.”
Just after speaking of having mountain moving faith in Mark 11:22-24, Jesus said, “And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any” (Mark 11:25). Bitterness and unforgiveness is a major deterrent to faith, while maintaining a spirit of forgiveness will help to propel our faith exponentially.
- Servanthood. After the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith He spoke concerning servanthood.
Luke 17:7-10 – “Which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and sit down to eat? But will he not rather say to him, Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”
Our faith will only come to fruition when we have unreservedly surrendered to the service of Jesus, our Lord and Master. Once His will, purposes, and our service to Him have become paramount in our thinking and desires, only then will our faith begin to soar.
Psalm 37:4-5 – “Delight yourself also in the Lord: and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him; and He will bring it to pass.”
- Pray in God’s Will. When we know we are praying in His will, we can have faith and confidence He will grant the petitions we desire of Him.
1 John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, WE KNOW that WE HAVE THE PETITIONS that WE HAVE DESIRED OF HIM.”
- Study the Word. Spending time in the Word of God helps build, grow, and strengthen our faith. Many do not study the Word of God regularly. You may have a Bible laying on your coffee table or dresser and never take the time to dust it off and read it. Our faith will not grow unless we study His Word. Can you remember the last time you read and studied your Bible?
Romans 10:17 – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Romans 10:17 has to do with hearing – listening to the Word being taught or preached. This is why church is so very important. If we want our faith to grow, we must hear the Word proclaimed.
1 Peter 2:2 – “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.
- Meditate on the Word. We need more than a casual reading of the scripture. We must spend time not only reading the Word, but also meditating on it. This means taking a passage, verse, or phrase and tossing it over and over in our mind, letting it sink deep within our spirit. This will build and strengthen our faith in greater ways than we could ever imagine.
Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Psalm 1:2-3 – “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.”
Memorizing God’s Word is a great way to begin meditating on the Word. Meditation of scripture takes place during the memorization process. We are exhorted and encouraged throughout scripture to hide the Word of God in our hearts.
Psalm 37:31 – “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.”
Psalm 119:11 – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”
Colossians 3:16 – “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
1 John 2:14 – “I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the Word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.”
- Use your imagination. See God doing what you’re praying for. See it as a done deal. Jesus saw what the Father was doing in the spiritual realm before He did anything and then acted accordingly. If we really believe something our imagination will be stirred and our imagination will stir our faith.
John 5:17 and 19 – “Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also does the Son likewise.”
- Pray in the Spirit. Praying with your spirit is one of the most powerful forms of prayer a believer can implement.
Romans 8:26-27 – “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
1 Corinthians 14:3 – “He that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
- Fasting is the cure for unbelief. A man brought his son to Jesus saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and often into the water. I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not cure him” (Matthew 17:15-16).
Jesus of course cured the child. “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:19-21).
Notice Jesus said they could not cast the demon out because of the littleness of their faith and “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Clearly there are times when fasting stimulates greater faith that may be needed for more intense spiritual conflict.
Ephesians 6:18 – “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Jude 1:20 – “But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we humbly come before You asking You to build our faith and help us have a productive prayer life. We commit to prayer afresh and anew. Increase our faith so we can once again believe You for great things. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!