Often when we pray, its tempting to wonder if our prayers really “work” and if they are being heard by God. After patiently waiting for a response, we may begin to wonder if we are praying in the wrong way, or whether we should be doing something different.
While it is true that God answers every prayer, he does so in a mysterious way that is in accord with our faith in him. He knows us better than we know ourselves and responds to our prayers in the best possible way, even though it may not be the way we expected.
Nevertheless, if we feel helpless and begin to question the efficacy of our prayers, Jesus did leave us a surefire way to ensure they were answered in a timely matter.He explained to his disciples the key to increase a prayer’s “power.”
When a sick man was brought before Jesus, they explained to him that his own disciples couldn’t cure him. Jesus explained why their prayers were unsuccessful.
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, 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. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21)
A mustard seed is a tiny seed and so Jesus isn’t asking for a monumental amount of faith. He asks us to have even a single ounce of faith.
He says this because often when we pray, there is a large part of us that doesn’t believe God can pull through. Think about it for a second.
Do we truly believe God will answer our prayers?
If we dig deep enough, we will likely discover that our heart is divided, and while we might hope God will answer our prayers, we actually don’t think it could ever happen.
The good news is that we can ask God for the gift of faith. We should cry out like the father of the boy who was healed by Jesus, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
God is a miracle-worker, ready to intervene in our lives and give us an abundance of grace. However, he can only give us what we are prepared to receive. If our heart is not ready, then we will only see a sliver of grace enter our soul.
On the other hand, if we have even a mustard-seed sized amount of faith, anything is possible!
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