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Faith in Prayer

BASIC DOCTRINES
LESSON 6

PRAYER IN FAITH

Nelson's Bible dictionary defines FAITH in this way:

FAITH
     A belief in or confident attitude toward God, involving commitment to His will for one's life.

 This definition seems to fit Jesus' Words in Mark 11:


Mark 11:22-26
22     And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23     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 whatsoever he saith.
24     Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
25     And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (KJV)

We see a condition to answered prayer. Jesus said when you stand praying (asking the Father for that which you desire), you are to have a forgiving heart to all.

Luke 17:3-10
3     Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4     And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

The Lord's disciples thought this was a hard requirement that the Lord was putting on them, so they asked Him to “increase their faith” so they could obey His Words. What Jesus told them next is a revealing statement.
We CAN walk in forgiveness…it is a choice that each one of us have to make. Jesus said that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we could say to a tree or a mountain to be removed, and it would be removed. Forgiveness doesn't require faith…it requires an obedient servant's heart.

Luke 17:5-10:
5     And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6     And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
7     But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8     And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9     Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
10     So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (KJV)

It is our duty to do what the Word of God instructs us to do. As we have seen, Repentance and Faith go hand in hand with one another. Obedience to the Word of God follows repentance. If we ask anything in line with and in obedience to His Will, it will be given to us.
 But the condition is obvious. Believing the Word, Abiding in Christ, Living in Truth. If we are walking according to these conditions, then the things we desire will not be contrary to His Will.  

We will look at some Biblical examples of prayers of faith, and we will see that a prayer of Faith will not demand things for our own selfish gain, because a child of God has been instructed to deny himself.

Through a contextual study of the Word of God, we can see that a prayer of faith will not be about material possessions for ones' own creature comforts, because we have been told to lay up treasures in the Kingdom of God, rather than treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupt and thieves break in to steal.

Matt 6:19-21
19     Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20     But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21     For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

A prayer of faith will be prayed more often for others than for ourselves.

A prayer of faith will be about souls and furthering the Kingdom of God. Jesus and the apostles were our examples. Let us see how they prayed.

1) They prayed for more laborers in the harvest field.

Matt 9:37-38
37     Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38     Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest

2) They prayed to see people delivered from demonic strongholds.

Matt 17:21
21     Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

3) They prayed that people would be healed.

Acts 9:40-42
40     But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41     And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.
42     And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.

     4) They prayed for those who are in authority, and others.

1 Tim 2:1-4
1     I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2     For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3     For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4     Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

    5) Jesus instructed His disciples to pray for those who treat us wrong.

Matt 6:12
12     And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Luke 6:28
28     Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.


6) They prayed that others would receive the Holy Spirit:

Acts 8:14-15
14     Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15     Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

7) They prayed for each other, that they would become all that Christ wanted them to become

Eph 1:16-23
16     Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17     That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18     The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19     And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20     Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21     Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22     And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


Eph 6:17-19
17     And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18     Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19     And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Phil 1:9-11
9     And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10     That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
11     Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Col 1:9-11
9     For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10     That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11     Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

1Thes 5:23
23     And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Th 1:11-12
11     Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
12     That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We can see a pattern where Christians pray for themselves:

1) They prayed for boldness to proclaim the Word of God.

Acts 4:29
29     And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,

2)They prayed that the Lord would be glorified in their ministry.

Acts 4:30-31
30     By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
31     And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

3) We are to pray that we won't enter into temptation.

Matt 6:13
13     And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

               Matt 26:41
41     Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Luke 21:36
36     Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

4) They prayed for wisdom in appointing others to ministry:

Acts 1:23-26
23     And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
24     And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
25     That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26     And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

5) They prayed that God's Will would be done in their lives:

Matt 6:10
10     Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

6) Even in the face of the greatest adversity, Jesus prayed that the Father's Will would be done in His Life:

Matt 26:39
39     And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

In the model of prayer that the Lord gave us, we see we are to pray for our daily bread. This means that we are not to worry about tomorrow's provision. The  Lord's provision today is sufficient for our needs.

We are to pray with a clear conscience.

1 Tim 2:8
8     I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Throughout the gospel accounts, we can see that Jesus' life was a life of prayer:

Mark 1:35
35     And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Mark 6:46
46     And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.   

Luke 5:16
16     And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.   

Luke 6:12
12     And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.   

Luke 9:28
28     And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

Jesus taught us to pray with expectancy.

Luke 11:1-13

1     And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
2     And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3     Give us day by day our daily bread.
4     And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
5     And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
6     For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
7     And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
8     I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
9     And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10     For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11     If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12     Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13     If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The parallel verse to the passage quoted above is in Matthew 7:11, where Jesus says that the Father in Heaven will give good things to them that ask Him:

11     If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

While there are some who would interpret Jesus' comment here concerning good things as material things, we can see that He is talking about spiritual things, or things that we need to get by in life. The “good things” must be measured in the light of the One who is the Giver of those good things.

1 CORINTHIANS  10: 24 TELLS US THAT OUR FOCUS SHOULD BE ON SEEING OTHER'S WEALTH BE REALIZED, AND NOT OUR OWN.

1 Cor 10:24
24     Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.


Luke 18:1-30
1     And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2     Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3     And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4     And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5     Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6     And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7     And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8     I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Jesus prayed on behalf of others, knowing His prayers would be answered

Luke 22:31-32
31     And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32     But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Jesus sought the good of others, over His own good. He instructed the disciples that if they ask anything in His Name, it would be done for them. Yet we know that what we asked would be in accordance to the Will of God, and not according to our selfishness.

John 14:10-18
10     Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11     Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12     Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13     And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14     If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15     If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16     And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17     Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18     I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

See how Jesus prayed to the Father for His disciples:

John 17:1-26

1     These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2     As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3     And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4     I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5     And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6     I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7     Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8     For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9     I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10     And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11     And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12     While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13     And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14     I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15     I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16     They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17     Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18     As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19     And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20     Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21     That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22     And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23     I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24     Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25     O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (KJV)

In this prayer, we can see that Jesus was concerned about the furtherance and the success of the disciple's ministry. Here He was, on the brink of the darkest hour of His Life, and instead of praying for His own well being, He prayed for their well being.  
Also consider the fact that Jesus knew His Father, and that all things that He did was in Faith toward God. Jesus KNEW the Father would hear and Answer His prayer.


NELSON'S BIBLE DICTIONARY SAYS THIS ABOUT FAITH:


     According to <Hebrews 11>, faith was already present in the experience of many people in the Old Testament as a key element of their spiritual lives. In this chapter, the various heroes of the Old Testament (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses) are described as living by faith. In addition, the Old Testament itself makes the same point. Abraham "believed in the Lord" <Gen. 15:6>; the Israelites "believed" <Ex. 4:31; 14:31>; and the prophet Habakkuk taught that "the just shall live by his faith" <Hab. 2:4>.
     In the New Testament, "faith" covers various levels of personal commitment. Mere intellectual agreement to a truth is illustrated in <James 2:19>, where even demons are said to believe that there is one God. Obviously, however, they are not saved by this type of belief. Genuine saving faith is a personal attachment to Christ, best thought of as a combination of two ideas-- reliance on Christ and commitment to Him. Saving faith involves personally depending on the finished work of Christ's sacrifice as the only basis for forgiveness of sin and entrance into heaven. But saving faith is also a personal commitment of one's life to following Christ in obedience to His commands: "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" <2 Tim. 1:12>.
     Faith is part of the Christian life from beginning to end. As the instrument by which the gift of salvation is received <Eph. 2:8-9>, faith is thus distinct from the basis of salvation, which is grace, and from the outworking of salvation, which is good works. The apostle Paul declared that salvation is through faith, not through keeping the works of the law <Eph. 2:8,9>.
     Finally, in the New Testament, faith can refer to the teachings of the Bible, the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints <Jude 3>. In modern times, faith has been weakened in meaning so that some people use it to mean self-confidence. But in the Bible, true faith is confidence in God or Christ, not in oneself.
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
(Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

1) WHAT IS ONE CONDITION TO ANSWERED PRAYER ACCORDING TO MARK 11:25? ___________________________________________________
2) IT DOESN'T TAKE ___________________ TO FORGIVE SOMEONE.

3) WHAT IS ANOTHER CONDITION TO ANSWERED PRAYER ACCORDING TO 1 JOHN 5:14-15?__________________________________________

4) A PRAYER OF FAITH SHOULD BE  FOCUSED MORE ON ________________ THAN _________________________

5) LIST SOME BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF PRAYERS THAT WERE LIFTED UP TO GOD ____________________________________________________-
     6) WHAT DOES 1 CORINTHIANS 10:24 MEAN TO YOU? _______________________________________________



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