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Genuine, authentic faith must be definite and free from doubt. It is not general in character or a mere belief in the being, goodness and power of God. It is a faith that believes that the things that "he says will be done" (Mark 11:23, NKJV).
As faith is specific, so the answer will also be definite. "He will have whatever he says" (v. 23). Faith and prayer select the things, and God pledges Himself to do the very things that faith and persistent prayer name and ask Him to accomplish.
We might also translate Mark 11:24 this way: "All things whatsoever you pray and ask for, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them." Perfect faith always has in its keeping what perfect prayer asks for. How large and unqualified this area of operation is--"all things whatsoever"! How definite and specific the promise is--"you shall have them"!
Our major concern is our faith. A faith that holds onto the very things it asks for, without wavering, doubt or fear--that is the faith we need. We need faith in the process and practice of prayer.
Our faith must be definite and specific. It must be an unqualified, unmistakable request for the things asked for--not a vague, indefinite, shadowy thing. It must be something more than an ideal belief in God's willingness and ability to do something for us. It should be a definite, specific asking for and expecting the things for which we ask. Note Mark 11:23: "Whoever...does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says."
Just as the faith and the request is definite, so the answer will be definite. The giving is not something other than the things prayed for but the actual things sought and named. "He will have whatever he says." It is a certainty: "He will have." The granting is unlimited both in quality and quantity.
Faith is not an abstract belief in the Word of God or a mere mental belief. It is not a simple agreement of the understanding and will or a passive belief in facts.
Faith is an operation of God, a divine illumination, a holy energy planted by the Word of God and the Spirit in the human soul. It is a spiritual, divine principle that takes from the supernatural and makes it an understandable thing by the faculties of time and sense.
God is the great objective of faith, for faith rests its whole weight on His Word. Faith is not an aimless act of the soul but a looking to God and a resting on His promises. Just as love and hope always have an objective, so also has faith. Faith is not believing just anything. It is believing God, resting in Him and trusting His Word.
Faith gives birth to prayer. It grows stronger, strikes deeper and rises higher in the struggles and wrestling of mighty petitioning. Faith is the substance of things hoped for (see Heb. 11:1), the confidence and reality of the inheritance of the saints.
Faith, too, is humble and persistent. It is the one great condition of prayer. The lack of it lies at the root of all poor, feeble, little, unanswered praying.
If we could only produce a race of saints with mighty faith and wonderful praying, what a glorious period of achievements would begin for the church and the world! The church does not need the intellectually great. The times do not demand wealthy men. It is not people of great social influence who are required.
Above everybody and everything else, the church and the whole wide world of humanity need men of faith and mighty prayer. We need men and women like the saints and heroes counted in Hebrews 11 who "obtained a good report through faith."
Today, many men obtain a good report because of their monetary donations and their great mental gifts and talents. But there are few who obtain a good report because of their great faith in God or because of the wonderful things that come about through their great praying.
Today, as much as at any time, we need men of great faith and men who are great in prayer. These are the two chief virtues that make men great in the eyes of God. These two things create conditions of real spiritual success in the life and work of the church. It is our main concern to see that we keep this kind of quality faith before God. This kind of faith grasps and holds in its keeping the things for which it asks without doubt and fear.
Doubt and fear are the twin enemies of faith. Sometimes they actually take the place of faith, and, although we pray, it is a restless, disquieted, uneasy, complaining prayer that we offer.
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