Prayer is a mystery. Prayer and faith are inseparable. It takes a lot of faith to enter into a closet alone and pray to a God that you cannot see. No one prays to God or any higher power without a belief that prayer will change the circumstances. Therefore, I tell you, "whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:24).
The Scripture says when you believe, you will receive.
Prayer and the Umbrella
In frustration, the farmer gathered his family around the breakfast table and prayed, "God, please make it rain soon. We so desperately need it to survive." After he had finished, the farmer got up from the table and went to leave the house.
"Dad, where are you going?" his 6-year-old daughter asked.
"I'm going out to inspect the damaged crops. Why?"
"Take an umbrella," she advised.
"Don't be silly," the farmer replied, "it hasn't rained in months."
"Yes, I know, but we just prayed for rain. Don't you believe God can answer our prayers?"
The farmer looked at the umbrella next to the open door. He looked out at the cloudless sky. He looked at his daughter's innocent face. He sensed a voice speaking within him. "It's great to pray. It's better to believe that your prayers can come true. But what I want is for you to act in anticipation of the miracle that you are after."
The farmer walked up to his daughter, kissed her on the forehead and then picked up the umbrella on his way out the door, twirling it in his hand as he walked down the path.
Pray and take an umbrella. That's real faith.
To believe beyond what your eyes can see is another challenge. This requires another level of faith. Faith is the substance of things the natural eye cannot see. Christians walk by faith and not by what they see with their eyes. This faith is the ability to believe that God does things on earth when we pray to Him.
The Bible says we can move mountains with our faith.
"For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says" (Mark 11:23).
Yes, mountains can be moved. Of course, these are spiritual mountains. Specific struggles can feel mountain-sized. Mountains cause us to feel small. Fear, doubt, worry, insecurity and other strongholds feel like unmovable mountains. Prayers mixed with faith have mountain moving ability. But God says faith in Him moves His hand to move our mountains.
"Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. And nothing will be impossible for you" (Matt. 17:20).
Nothing is impossible. No thing is impossible.
There is nothing that is not possible when we come to God in prayer.
Prayer benefits from Health and Fitness Revolution:
—Better sense of self.
—Good for your heart.
—Gives us hope.
—Emotional and physical recovery.
—Provides a positive outlook.
Watch and Pray
Jesus said to watch and pray. In other words, be alert and petition God.
"Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38).
The disciples were entering the most troubling time of their lives. Their leader was being arrested, tested and murdered. Jesus told them prayer would strengthen them against temptation. And how many times have we failed to follow the desires of the Spirit because our flesh was weak?
This is a spiritual battle, and we are in the fight.
"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:5). The flesh is weak. We can testify to that. I definitely can.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).
Christians are born again of the Spirit. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus. Christians have a new master. Sin is not our master, and temptation is not our end game. The battle we fight is a fight for righteousness. The struggle is not one of choosing not to sin but to do the right thing.
"So that just as sin reigned in death, grace might reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 5:21).
"Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" (Rom. 6:16).
Most of us struggle to not sin. But the sin struggle is not the real battle. It's a battle for righteousness. The battle is righteousness fighting against sin to draw you to a better choice. This may be a revelation to you. This flesh/spirit battle is not about not sinning. It is about the Holy Spirit leading us to the right decision. Prayer strengthens us when the flesh is weak.
Say yes to the Spirit, and you will find strength when you are tempted.
Thomas McDaniels is a pastor/writer and the guy behind thomasmcdaniels.com. He has written for ChurchLeaders.com and is currently a contributing writer for Fox News. He is also the founder of LifeBridge.tv and the Longview Dream Center in Longview, Texas. Thomas can be found on Instagram and Twitter.
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