James 1:5-6 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 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.”
Having been saved later in life, I have felt like I was playing ‘catch up’ to those who saved at an early age. They grew up with biblical truths that I was uncovering. They heard teaching and preaching that solidified their maturation and kept things from wandering during their early years.
The gap that I felt was made up quickly when I found these verses.
God’s provision over the years, had brought knowledge and understanding when and where I needed it – all because I asked. All I needed was faith.
I had thought that small faith could accomplish so little; was I wrong!
Matthew 17:20 “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.”
Faith that can move mountains; that is the kind of faith I want.
Half-hearted faith or faith that wavers must have been what James meant in our passage today. Being all in with our faith is key. Jesus Christ told us that answered prayer had some prerequisites.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
But Jesus gets more specific.
Matthew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Mark 11:23-24 “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. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
The theme of James’ book is a faith that is alive is visible. Many say they have faith, but their lives speak differently.
Faith is not established because of works; it is evidence that faith indeed exists. James challenged that very thought.
James 2:18-19 “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
Often, our prayers go unanswered because there is something in the way. It may be that why we are asking is at the root of the problem.
James 4:2-3 “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.“
I have found that by asking the right questions, I get more answers to prayer. I pray for God to guide me for what it is I should ask Him.
A simple principle to follow is this:
“Praying for the needs of others will be answered over that which is already promised.”
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
With my needs supplied, I can ask what to pray for others and get results.
Our failure in prayer is not that God doesn’t hear, or He doesn’t choose to answer. Often, it is because we don’t pray. The price paid for us to obtain the access we now have through Jesus Christ ought to cause us to utilize it early and often.
Let us recommit ourselves to not just having a prayer time, but, a prayer life.