How big is your faith? I ask myself that question quite often as I try to live a life of power and purpose. I don’t want to “settle.” I want to be a vibrant “get after it” kind of guy. The whole prayer of a faithful man is a little confusing at times. Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Pray without ceasing. So we know that our life should be saturated with heartfelt, constant prayer. Have you ever seen the youtube video that shows the lady texting while walking through a mall and she walks into the fountain at the center of the mall and creates a good laugh about not watching where you are going. The constant prayer that never ceases that Paul writes about is not a prayer type that gets us run over by a car because we have our eyes closed or we walk into that fountain like the texting lady. It is a “life of prayer.”
What is a life of prayer? It is a life that has it’s thoughts and intentions focused in on Jesus and following His way. God is “in the flow” as I like to call it. He is always the same, but constantly changing as only God can do. God takes the circumstances of life and shows us what to do and how to do it as our life is going on and sometimes that is at 100 miles per hour. In our busy world we have a sovereign God who never gets caught off guard by situations and is always on time to work His great power. A life that is intent on a deeper walk with our God is a life that is constantly in contact with God. For me this life of praying without ceasing is one where I get to share my innermost thoughts with Jesus and ask Him questions about things and then LISTEN!! Sometimes it seems like Jesus and I are looking at things together and something happens and I will say in my mind, “Look at that Jesus. Isn’t that cool?” Or it could be “Jesus what do I need to do as a reaction to this situation?” To which He replies something rather scriptural and fresh that is from His Word. This constant unceasing prayer life begins almost like a chore and develops into something I cannot get away from and desire. So Paul’s challenge to the church at Thessalonica, and to you and me, is a step in the right direction. Just like the old Alka Seltzer commercial “Try it, you’ll like it”. The difference between this and the commercial is that the guy who tries it gets heart burn and has to take an Alka Seltzer. We will only get heart freedom when we try praying without ceasing.
And then there is the juiced up prayer that has faith like a mustard seed as written in Matthew 17:20 And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. Juiced up in that the power of that kind of prayer is “off the charts” and it makes us realize that pure, total faith results a very powerful prayer of faith. Here is a story of powerful prayer that saved the Mount Herman Camp in California. From the beginning, Mount Hermon Road ran through the conference center—not a problem when it was a sleepy street. But by the 1950s, the 1,200 vehicles a day that roared along the thoroughfare became a troubling situation. Fences provided some protection, but they kept getting knocked down by drunk drivers. On Sundays, the road was so busy, police had to direct traffic. As years passed and traffic increased, the troubling situation became a disaster waiting to happen. Directors and conferees alike prayed that God would somehow close the road. But if that happened, where would the cars go? And how would people get to Mount Hermon? By 1968, a full 16,000 vehicles roared through each day. Trucks rumbled along so loudly that anyone speaking in the auditorium had to pause and wait until they passed. Once again, God’s people raised their voices to heaven. And God answered. A tremendous winter storm closed the road. But the county rerouted it to Graham Hill Road, and back up through Mount Hermon. People prayed on, and the rain poured down. The next year, the road washed out again, but this time it sank forty feet. Enough was enough. The county built a bypass around Mount Hermon. The Mountain moved!
As you can see God DOES answer prayer and there IS power in prayer. In fact, if it is pure and faithful, a mustard seed prayer can “move the mountains.” I believe it. Do you? James wrote about the kind of faith we need to pray these prayers of power. He also speaks to the amount of wisdom we get from those types of prayers. In James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. So praying not only affirms our faith, but it always gives our lives stability and that stability helps us continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord.
Both Quality and Quantity are needed when praying. A few years ago I decided I was going to deal with my thinning hair and got a product that required me massaging it in my scalp for one minute and then rinsing it out with a special shampoo. The first treatment was in a very small container and after reading the directions I realized “this stuff is powerful!” So I put the required amount in my hand and worked it into my scalp and boy, my head began to tingle. I thought, “I can feel it working!” Then I used a normal amount of the shampoo provided and rinsed the treatment out. It worked real good and I began to realize the shampoo was not the necessary ingredient for getting the best results. It was the treatment that made the biggest impact. The quality and power of the treatment is like the mustard seed of faith. It is powerful and you can see it working. God’s power is quickly evident when we pray with that kind of faith. The shampoo was like the overall attitude of prayer I live in my daily life. It takes those powerful prayer moments and teaches me how to grow in my faith. Both are needed and important, but both are different in many ways. The way they are the same is that both are focused on God and His power and not on ourselves. SINGLE MINDED LIVING!!!
In whatever way you pray just keep praying and believe and God will come through every time. Keep your eyes open and you will see His mighty hand working in the situations of your life.
The Pilgrimage continues….