The Secret Of Believing Prayer
By Andrew Murray
“Jesus, answering, said unto them, Have faith in God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what He saith cometh to pass; he shall have it. Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:22-24).
“Have faith in God.” ...Believing God is just looking to God, and who He is, allowing Him to reveal His presence, giving Him time and yielding the whole being to take in the full impression of what He is as God, the soul opened up to receive and rejoice in the overshadowing of His love. And it is when we enter into this living fellowship with God Himself, in a faith that always sees and hears Him, that it becomes easy and natural to believe His promise as to prayer. Faith in the promise is the fruit of faith in the promiser: the prayer of faith is rooted in the life of faith. And in this way the faith that prays effectually is indeed a gift of God. Not as something that He bestows or infuses at once, but in a far deeper and truer sense, as the blessed disposition or habit of soul which is wrought and grows up in us in a life of communion with Him. Surely for one who knows his Father well, and lives in constant close fellowship with Him, it is a simple thing to believe the promise that He will do the will of His child who lives in union with Himself.
It is because very many of God’s children do not understand this connection between the life of faith and the prayer of faith that their experience of the power of prayer is so limited. When they desire earnestly to obtain an answer from God, they fix their whole heart upon the promise and try their utmost to grasp that promise in faith. When they do not succeed, they are ready to give up hope. The promise is true, but it is beyond their power to take hold of it in faith. Listen to the lesson Jesus teaches us this day: have faith in God, the living God. Let faith look to God more than the thing promised. It is His love, His power, His living presence will waken and work the faith.
Revelation of God
Just note how distinctly this comes out in the saints of old. Every special exhibition of the power of faith was the fruit of a special revelation of God. See it in Abraham: “...The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield.... And He brought him forth abroad, and said.... And he believed in the Lord” (Gen. 15:1-6). And later again, “The Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am Almighty God.... And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold My covenant is with thee” (Gen. 17:1-4). It was the revelation of God Himself that gave the promise its living power to enter the heart and work the faith. Because they knew God, these men of faith could not do anything but trust His promise.
God’s promise will be to us what God Himself is. It is the man who walks before the Lord, and falls upon his face to listen while the living God speaks to him, who will really receive the promise. Though we have God’s promises in the Bible, with full liberty to take them, the spiritual power is wanting, except as God Himself speaks them to us. And He speaks to those who walk and live with Him. Therefore, have faith in God. Let faith be all eye and ear, the surrender to let God make His full impression, and reveal Himself fully in the soul. Count it one of the chief blessings of prayer to exercise faith in God, as the living mighty God who waits to fulfill in us all the good pleasure of His will, and the work of faith with power. See in Him the God of love, whose delight it is to bless and impart Himself. In such worship of faith in God the power will speedily come to believe the promise too: “All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them.” Yes, see that thou dost in faith make God thine own; the promise will be thine too.
Precious lesson that Jesus has to teach us this day. We seek God’s gifts: God wants to give us Himself first. We think of prayer as the power to draw down good gifts from heaven; Jesus as the means to draw ourselves up to God. We want to stand at the door and cry. Jesus would have us first enter in and realize that we are friends and children. Let us accept the teaching. Let every experience of the littleness of our faith in prayer urge us first to have and exercise more faith in the living God and in such faith to yield ourselves to Him. A heart full of God has power for the prayer of faith. Faith in God begets faith in the promise, in the promise too of an answer to prayer.
Therefore, child of God, take time, take time, to bow before Him, to wait on Him to reveal Himself. Take time, and let thy soul in holy awe and worship exercise and express its faith in the Infinite One, and as He imparts Himself, and takes possession of thee, the prayer of faith will crown thy faith in God.
“LORD, teach us to pray.”
O my God! I do believe in Thee. I believe in Thee as the Father, infinite in Thy love and power. And as the Son, my Redeemer and my Life. And as the Holy Spirit, Comforter and Guide and Strength. Three-One God, I have faith in Thee. I know and am sure that all that Thou art to me, that all Thou hast promised Thou wilt perform.
Lord Jesus! Increase this faith. Teach me to take time, and wait and worship in the Holy Presence until my faith takes in all there is in my God for me. Let it see Him as the Fountain of all Life, working with almighty strength to accomplish His will on the world and in me. Let it see Him in His love longing to meet and fulfill my desires. Let it so take possession of my heart and life that through faith God alone may dwell there. Lord Jesus, help me! With my whole heart would I believe in God. Let faith in God each moment fill me.
O my blessed Savior! How can Thy church glorify Thee, how can it fulfill that work of intercession through which Thy kingdom must come, unless our whole life be faith in God. Blessed Lord, speak Thy word, “have faith in God” into the depths of our souls. Amen.