Faith Is The Lack of Doubt
Faith is the main requirement for effective prayer. Without it, prayer is pointless, empty and in vain. Prayer without faith is just a religious ritual routine, like clouds without rain, being repetitious in speaking many empty words. Ritual routines that has no basis for real intimacy with God. And ritual routines can lead anyone of us into ruts. Ruts is an acronym for:
Routine or Religious Rituals
All this makes prayers ineffective, because God will not hear prayers of the sinner or heathen that is without repentence from sinning. Sin separates us from God. Severs our communication line with Him. If we have ruts in our lives, prayer is simply going through the empty motions while there is no heart involved. And I can guarantee you that God see’s the actions. He Judges and finds out the real motives behind the heart, according to:
Matthew 15:7-9 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.
Luke 16:15 And He (meaning the Lord Jesus) said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Now there are three Biblical definitions of faith. We will be dealing with two out of the three in this study. The word Faith defined is: Believing: ‘to take as true or real’ namely God’s promises (according to the Webster’s New World Dictionary).
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is the confident assurance of what we hope for, of things we cannot see yet. And those things are the promises of God. The word, Substance: is translated as: ‘Standing under.’ So we in reality, stand under the promises of God’s Word. Believing God’s Word as true, real and fact, based on the truth and concrete evidence of what His Word really says, and not based on mans own invention, understanding, opinions or assumptions. Being also convinced that God cannot lie concerning His promises. Not doubting. The Word of God warns us about doubting in:
James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (why?) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Being double minded makes one unstable in all ways: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, because it is literally believing and doubting at the same time. To be double minded is to love the world and the things in and of it and “love the Lord.” You cannot love God and the world for the world is in enmity with God: (James 4:4). Another word for double-mindedness is being “luke-warm,” being cold and hot at the same time. As the Apostle Paul wrote under the revelation of the Holy Spirit, “You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:21-22).
God our Father will not hear any prayers from a person who doubts or is double-minded. The second definition to faith, which is the next requirement for effective prayers is,
The second definition of Believing is, ‘To have trust, faith and confidence.’ (according to the Webster’s New World Dictionary). Trusting that God cannot lie and trusting in what The Lord Jesus Christ has taught in: John 14:13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” He gives us what we need. He is the final authority! He has the final say! He also knows what we need better than we ourselves, in the time frame of when we need, what we asked for. He also knows the motives of every heart and knows the motives of our asking. So if our asking is of fleshly things or of unnecessary earthly possessions that does not benefit His will, plan and purpose, than He will not do what we have asked for. Serving God is not the means to financial or selfish gains.
James 4:2-4 You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
So you can kiss your 5 Cadillac prayers good-by. God’s Holy Word teaches that He will bless us with things we need, not our wants. Further more, we read the first hand accounts of King Solomon’s life’s testimony written by King Solomon himself. Who was not only the wisest, but was also the richest who has ever lived on the face of the earth, and nobody today has come close to king Solomon in comparison. And this is the hard truth he eventually came to grips with in his own mistakes in remorse. He writes for our warnings and benefit:
Ecclesiastes 2 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity. I said of laughter—”Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives. I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards.
I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.
So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
And again in: Ecclesiastes 5:10-17 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, They increase who eat them; So what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes? The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; But the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep. There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
But those riches perish through misfortune; When he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, To go as he came; And he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a severe evil— Just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind? All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger.
But God our Povider gives us our basic necessities of living, and anything more than this, is to benefit His call for your life in His purpose, will and plans and to further His kingdom by His Gospel message of Salvation. Which are His instruments He uses in us and through us, to advance His kingdom and glory on earth. Because it’s not about you or me, but this life is all about God. And He blesses us to further His kingdom in many ways, even in trials, testing’s and tribulations of all types. He increases our knowledge of His Holy Bible, in discipline and corrections, rebukes and chastisements. For these too are the blessing from God our Father.
Blessings are not for the purpose of boasting, ‘look at me, I have favor with God, I have faith, therefore I have all these things.’ That’s why “the prosperity gospels” are so dangerous because it gets our focus off of Jesus Christ and fixates our attention on God’s blessings, rather than obeying God, from which goldly blessings results (Matthew 6:31-34). Teaches us to pursue God’s blessings (His hand) rather than God Himself (His face). And ultimately teaching us how to measure our faith by our many wealth and material possessions, which is equal to pride and arrogance, ‘I’m a child of God, I favor with the Lord, I have faith because I am blessed with excessive wealth and possessons.’
These are the things that chokes the Word of God from our hearts, and then chokes our relationship with God which then can destroy our walk in the Lord (Matthew 13:20-22). Having a relationship with God is the principle thing to this life! That’s why He created us to begin with. And as a reminder: this world will perish along with it pleasures, goods and delicacies (Matthew 24:35/2 Peter 3:10-13).
Another great reason why “the prosperity gospels” are so dangerous is because it also teaches us abominable things such as to love money rather than God, and to love this life above God. And it also will teach us gradually and progressively to stray down that road of abominable sins. And those abominable sins will eventually enter our hearts, making us it‘s captives! “For the Love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” as it is written in warning:
1 Timothy 6:5-10 people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Therefore the end result is as follows: 2 Timothy 3:2-5 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
Why? Because they will corrupt you with convincing words and so called “wisdom.” And will also corrupt you through their actions as the saying goes, “One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.” I heard from the Lord which caused me to write this down:
‘The pleasures of flesh,
Who made the riches of earth,
as the principle thing to man.
Folly of pride and arrogance
the Idols of fools,
will lead to destruction…
Woe, The sorrows of Solomon,
the sorrows of Solomon!
Stop and ponder the sorrows of Solomon…
Do not go by that way!
For at the end of the day,
is only eternal doom and fiery misery
Laid down for those who impenitently stray’
With this selfishness comes warning that must be heeded: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.
So if you are serving God for blessings. Than you are conceited and know absolutely nothing. And God will not bless those who seeks after riches. But if you serve God because you love Him with all your heart sincerely and obey Him. He will bless you well beyond what the riches of earth could ever bring. So we need not to worry about anything at all. He gives us what we need when we need them. We serve The One and Only true God who supplies the needs of the righteous as it is promised,
Psalm 37:25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor their children begging bread.
If God cares for the smallest bird (Luke 12:6-7), how much more will He provide for those who knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, loves the Lord and following in His ways? The bottom line is, without a shadow of doubt according to His word, God will provide for His righteous, who sought God and all His righteousness.
Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Conditions To Effectual Praying
Now in order to pray effectually, Christians must do the following, because answered prayers are conditional. First of all, you must be His child and then do what His Word says to do in order for God to answer prayer:
Psalm 37:3-7 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him;
Condition #1). “Trust in the Lord” In order to trust in the Lord, you must know Him in a personal, close relationship and not just know something about Him.
Condition #2). “Do good” according to God’s Holy Word and His righteous standards of living.
Condition #3). “Delight yourself also in the Lord” is to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, strength and soul (Mark 12:30). Delight means to, ‘take pleasure in something.’ In this case, taking pleasure in spending time with God, (seeking His face.) Taking pleasure in His Word, in communion with God, and going to church faithfully.
Condition #4). “Commit your way to the Lord” is to be sold out completely to the Lord, not for what you can get from Him, because He see’s right through that. This boils down to truly “love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your mind, with all your strength and with all your soul.” when you do that, then “He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
Condition #5). “Trust also in Him.” And then the Blessings will follow: “And He shall bring it to pass. Bring what to pass? What ever you are believing and asking the Lord for according to His will and word.
Know The Truth
The third requirement to praying effectually is knowing the Holy Bible in order to stand upon the promises of God and praying the Scriptures. Sin separates us from God. Sin severs our communication line with God. We’ve already done many past studies on this subject by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So we don’t need to repeat ourselves again and again with this truth. But to briefly reminds us all, our sins are offensive to God, therefore He has to separate Himself from us. Just like if someone offends us, what is our initial reaction? To distance ourselves from those who have offended us, right? And to avoid them until they make it right. It’s the same way with the Lord.
Isaiah 59:1-4 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
But if a person or a nation sins against God, there is a remedy as long as you do not continue to sin deliberately against God,
2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God does not change! Living right (righteously/holy) in the ways of the Lord is still the requirement to effectual prayer. That is why Jesus Christ taught repentance while He taught us how to pray, Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts (sins), as we forgive our debtors.
Praying The Scriptures
Now you cannot pray effectually without the Holy Bible, because the Word of God and prayer do go hand in hand. “Praying the Scriptures” is not reminding God what He says or had said, for He does not need reminding. He’s not an old decrepit God who is slow in obtaining knowledge or has Alzheimer’s. He certainly is not deaf nor has forgotten anything at all. We pray to God Almighty our Father (The One and Only true God), who has no age in the way we measure age as we know it. For He is eternal of whom there is no beginning nor an end.
We pray the Scriptures for our own reminding and benefit of what God says and what He has established. Again, you cannot pray effectively without the Scriptures. Because on what basis will you stand your faith on? And do you know what the will of God is without the Scriptures? Certainly Not. I have personally heard some pretty ignorant prayers in my life-time so far. Which was really on the lines of literal witchcraft in prayer groups. Prayers that treats God like a dog, trying to make Him bark on command. Petitioning to Him to do our will and to forsake His own. That’s not prayer, nor is it the will of God.
All of the Holy Bible are factual accounts! A lot of the Holy Bible are accounts of what He has established and done on behalf of prayer, believe it or not. Praying the Scriptures is to raise our faith in God and be assured that He is Faithful, Just and True. All Powerful, Almighty God, in whom we can absolutely trust, He cannot lie because He doesn’t know how. And you have to be convinced of that first and foremost, as it is written:
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Not only that, but praying the Scriptures helps us to stand in the face of adversity in what He has promised to us, if we do not doubt, waver or give up in our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. And the forth requirement to powerful, effective prayer is,
Expectation is what some ministers teach as, ‘Putting a demand on God.’ The Word “demand” is really the wrong word to use here in the applications of prayer or in sound Theology of God’s Word. Because no one has the authority to demand God nor command Him to do anything. He’s not the family pet on a leash that we command to do what we want Him to do, when we want Him to do it. We are servants of the Most High God in Jesus Christ not the other way around. Because He has already served us while He was on this earth and on that cross. He is now at rest, at the right hand of God His Father. And His Father also made the earth Jesus Christ’s foot stool.
You can now petition to God with prayer, but the Word of God does not give us grounds or license to demand or command God anything at all. So therefore the correct word to use here is, Expectation ‘An expecting; anticipation. A thing looked forward to.’ (according to the Webster’s New World Dictionary). I would personally define it as: ‘A thing looked forward to, not forgetting, but eagerly awaiting patiently for something unseen to manifest.’
Psalm 5:2-4 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation. You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell.
Prayer is a powerful weapon of warfare in the hands of the believers and followers of Jesus Christ our all powerful Lord, in which the devil does not underestimate. Our next study, “Prayer Is Spiritual Warfare.” God Bless you your family, and your friends. And Keep up the good fight of faith, because we are almost Home.