If I decide to travel to a foreign country as a missionary or just on vacation, I need to have an understanding of the language that is being spoken. If I do not then it will be very difficult to have effective communication with the people that I am talking to.
I’m an insurance salesman. When I talk to clients about the products that I sell, I need to talk in language that they will understand. It would be easy for me to list off the benefits quickly and use all the acronyms that insurance tends to have. But if I don’t show them how those things will benefit them then I will not be communicating effectively with them. They will hear me but the benefit of my programs will go right over their heads.
It’s one thing to be heard and it’s another thing to be understood. Now we can go to God with all the prayers we want but we have to speak in a way that He understands. I know that God knows every language on the face of the Earth. This is not a language issue. This is an issue of going to God with a heart and words that communicate with Him on the level that He wants to communicate with us.
Being understood is the second key pillar in carrying on effective communication in our prayer life. And there is one key ingredient to being understood by God – faith. If we talk to God with faith then He understands our prayer.
Hebrews 11:6 King James Version (KJV)
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The author says it is impossible to please God without faith. You might ask what about the unbeliever who reaches out to God and asks in prayer. Romans 12:3 tells us that God has given to every man The Measure of Faith. I believe that what this means is that everyone is given the same amount of faith to start with, we just all have that faith given out to different areas of our life.
For example, I have decided in my life to place a large portion of my faith in God. I have enlarged that faith in God because I have diligently sought Him and have spent a lot of time in His word. I still place some of my faith in other things, like my bank, my insurance company, my car, my house (that it won’t cave in), etc. My brother on the other hand, places his faith in science. He trusts science to give him that answers to the things I have faith about, like the origins of the universe and this earth. He has some faith in God because I have heard him say he will pray about certain things. If he would diligently seek God, a larger portion of the faith he has been given would start to trust God.
Even the unbeliever who reaches up to God and asks for healing for a loved one or for knowledge and wisdom when looking at a new job will catch God’s ear because they are extending just that small amount of faith that’s needed for God to hear them.
Hebrews 11:6 also tells us that that our faith must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If that doesn’t tell you that He answers prayers, I don’t know what does. Those rewards are the answers to our prayers. When we call out to God in faith we are automatically implying that He is and we are automatically implying that He will reward us in our prayer. What’s the use for calling out to Him if we don’t think that’s true? As we seek after God, most often we learn about Him through His Word.
Romans 10:17 King James Version (KJV)
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Diligently seeking Him means that we give all we have to search for God, His will, His Word and His mission for our lives. We do this through reading the word, and through meditating on that word. As we do, that measure of faith He has given us points more and more to faith in God. as we believe in God and believe that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him out. That seeking also produces more faith in us and we will be understood even better as we grow in our Christian faith.
On the other side of the spectrum are those that don’t have full trust in their prayers. In James, they are called double-minded.
James 1:6-8 King James Version (KJV)
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
The double-minded man is someone who doesn’t ask in faith, he just asked because it’s a popular thing to do. He doesn’t really think that God will accomplish what he is asking for. James compares this to a ship and is tossed to and fro in the wind. I think of the movie The Perfect Storm when they are being tossed about. Or the disciples on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus was sleeping during the storm. They woke them and He calmed the storm and said “Oh ye of little faith”. (Matt 8:23-27). Did Jesus really expect them to calm the storm, or did He say this because He had told them they were going to the other side, and they doubted that they would make it? The disciples at this time, in the middle of the storm, were double-minded. They just did not know what to do in such a storm. James says a double-minded man should not expect to receive anything from God!
Here are just a few verses that tell us why we should have having faith when we pray:
Jeremiah 32:17 King James Version (KJV)
17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Philippians 4:13 King James Version (KJV)
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Mark 11:23-24 King James Version (KJV)
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Matthew 17:20 King James Version (KJV)
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
All of these verses, and many more, tell us that faith makes things possible that we might deem impossible. I could go through whole a whole litany of impossible situations that were turned around because people believed God but I’m not going to do that. Instead I can just use my own testimony the short version.
In March of 2016 I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma stage 2. Stage 2 typically is not very favorable. But from the very outset I believed God and I believed He had a plan. I stood on my life-verse – Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” I was calm, and just trusted Him. I never doubted His mercy. I went through two stem cell transplants in the period of 6 months. My right shoulder gave out on me for no apparent reason and I’m right handed. I became extremely weak after the second transplant, barely able to walk around with a walker in my home. But I’ve never stop trusting God and knowing that He had a purpose and a reason. In fact, even at my lowest point, I would say “God has been very merciful to me”. I always approached everything with the faith that He was going to completely heal me.
I never had any side effects from chemo, like mouth sores, upset stomach, diarrhea or anything else. None of these things affected me. They told me my shoulder would probably not start working again or if it did it would take at least 2 years. It started working in 8 months and it is almost back to normal. The neuropathy seems to be getting better and I’m still believing God for full healing there.
Many prayed that the diagnosis was wrong, and that I would be instantly healed. I was not. Many, around the world, are praying now that God will continue to move – He is. He had a plan for the 2 years that have gone by so far! God has given me a ministry I never even dreamed of – online!
The Holy Spirit has spoken to me songs and poetry almost daily. Since the beginning of this cancer I have written over 700 poems and songs of praise and comfort, and shared them on my Psalmist page and a Facebook page, which has over 3,000 followers. On my other blog on this platform I have done studies through the books of Philippians, Ephesians, Psalms and James. I have been in the word more than ever in my life. Through all of this I have had thousands of encouraging comments and messages on how people have been touched by the words, a few people have been saved by the words, and some were healed. God gets all the glory!
This is a ministry that most likely would not have happened if I had not been sick for so long. I most likely would not know any of you who are reading this post right now, and I would not have been blessed by your blogs. God had a purpose for this in my life, and the result is only just beginning. As a rewarder of my faith, I know He has more in store. I’m looking forward to the day that I can go out and minister the gift of healing in other churches around the Midwest. God has given me a platform to shout His praises and I intend to do that very thing. All because, when this all began, I prayed the prayer of faith and asked God to use this situation for His glory. I was just clay in His hands.
What are you going through that is hard? Glorify God because of it! Ask Him to use you in the middle of the storm. Ask Him to make you a blessing to others as you weather the storm that has you reeling in life. Don’t allow the situations you face to block out the mercy of God.
God understands faith. To effectively communicate with God first we must be heard and then we must be understood by praying the prayer of faith. In the next lesson we will talk about the Third pillar of communication and that is expecting a response. Stay tuned