The Necessity of Prayer :: 02

Where exactly did the time go?  I’m not sure how I got so far behind in this already!  Anyhow, on to chapter 2, “Prayer and Faith (Continued)”.

This weeks’ reading I found to be much more difficult than the previous weeks.  It is not that there was little to glean from the text, but rather that it was harder to identify the significant bits.  Part of that seemed to be due to the semi-random flow of the main points of the chapter, and some, I think, just from the general difficulty of the text itself.

The main points of this chapter were:

  • Faith and Fear & Doubt
  • Faith Clarified
  • Growing Your Faith
  • Main Purpose of Ministry
  • Prayer and Rewards

In chapter 1, I’d found that prayer is a starting point for faith.  As the week went on, and I began to apply what I’d read, I found that my own faith was growing.  In chapter 2, we read that strong faith is the root of strong praying.  We end up with a sort of chicken-or-the-egg dilemma.  To have faith, you must pray, but to pray well and strongly, you must have great faith.

How can we overcome this?  Our prayers are weak, because we do not REALLY believe.  We don’t have an expectation that God is really going to move on our behalf.  Why shouldn’t he, if our prayers are already in line with his will?

What then, of our prayers when we are out of touch with the Fathers’ will?  Allow me to suggest a few things to keep us away from that.  First, pray.  Second, pray. Third, pray.  When you pray, ask God for more faith.  Ask the Holy Spirit to impress divine thoughts on your heart.  Ask to be drawn closer to Him.  But, most of all, just pray.

In time, as our faith is cultivated, and we see that our prayers are being answered, our faith will continue to deepen.  This deepening will continue to reveal more and more of His character to us, which will, in turn, cause our prayers to take on more strength and efficacy!  We find, in the end, that faith and prayer (when practiced together with diligence) grow hand in hand.  And without one or the other, neither can reach much past the hope from which they spring.

Finally, I am finding (so far) that each week has shown me a specific idea, concept, or method that I can apply directly and personally to my own prayer life.  In chapter 1, I found that the idea of praying for today’s needs had taken hold of me.  In chapter 2, it was that we should pray deliberately, for specific things.  As we ask, so shall our answer be.  If we ask God for things in specific, rather than in the general sense, he will reward our prayers with specific answers!

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~ by brianackermann on 2010-02-17.

One Response to “The Necessity of Prayer :: 02”

  1. The key does seem to be in our intentional steps to take hold of what God has promised us. We can say as the tearful father said in Mark 9, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief,” knowing full well, that he will lovingly answer us and help to strengthen our faith when we ask. He never condemns where there is a root of love for the Lord and he promises that his strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. When you said we should ask the Holy Spirit to impress divine thoughts on our hearts, it reminded me of this prayer from St. Augustine:

    Breathe in me, o Holy Spirit,
    That my thoughts may all be holy.
    Act in me o Holy Spirit, that my work, too,may be holy. Draw my heart o Holy Spirit,
    That I love but what is holy. Strengthen me o Holy Spirit,
    To defend all that is holy.Guard me, then, o Holy Spirit,that I always may be holy.

    As Christians, we are often praying for more of the Holy Spirit in our lives but Jesus tells us in the gospels that if we are his, we have the Holy Spirit in fullness. St. Augustine, like you, seemed to understand that it is not so much that we need more of the Holy Spirit, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to have more of us. Another excellent post my love!

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