Have a look at Matthew 21:21 and the surrounding verses. Here Jesus talks about the importance of faith in prayer. The Lord’s Prayer mentions the need for trust in prayer, Luke 11 in the last blog post mentioned the importance of persistence, and here in Matthew 21, it’s faith.
In this verse Jesus gives us an almighty challenge: if we were to pray in faith, and not doubt, then we could even ask a mountain to throw itself into the sea. And that’s the level of confidence and shamelessness that God asks of us when we pray. Does this make you feel a tad uncomfortable? Good. Me too. This strikes at the heart of our weakness as humans and how much we need God. “Oh you of little faith” I hear Jesus tell me all the time. “Oh you of little faith. If only you really knew. REALLY know how big I am. How capable I am. If only you trusted me. REALLY trusted me, completely.”
I’ve always imagined Jesus saying that with a knowing little smile of compassion. Because He knows we’re weak and we need Him. That’s why He sent us a helper – called the Holy Spirit (aka the Spirit of God) to help us grow in trust and faith. Through the Holy Spirit we’re certain to have the power to be confident and shameless in prayer. The Holy Spirit can even give us a toolbox of gifts to use when the need arises – the power of God at work through us; to heal people, to prophesy, to ask for miracles, even physically impossible ones. True – a miracle may not always happen when we pray for it, because we’re meant to pray in tandem with God’s will, who knows better than us. But that shouldn’t stop us from persistently praying, and in doing so follow the intuitive guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Through the history of the Church here within Wales, we read of miracles happening as God’s family (aka the Church) prays shamelessly with confident faith. And throughout the world miracles happen! I myself have seen miracles with my own eyes while praying – at least two healings, rain falling in drought-ridden Mozambique – after the ship’s company of Logos Hope prayed fervently and shamelessly for 4 days straight, a change of heart for the immigration officials of South Africa to allow our ship’s company of Logos Hope (400 crew from 67 countries) stay in the country for 3 months on a temporary residency visa against all odds and logic.
Friends, miracles happen as we let go of our fears, our doubts, and our hesitations, and pray shamelessly to our Heavenly Father who has the power to do wondrous miracles!
And no, I am not a faith-filled prayer warrior in my own strength. I am not one of those Christians with no fear who pray healings on total strangers on the street. I assure you I am very normal, with the same doubts, fears and hesitations as you likely have too. Yet, if I can see miracles as a result of my praying, so can you.
Dear Wales, we so often focus on and mourn what we have lost! Chapels closing, a nation turning its back on its Christian heritage. And our prayers might reflect that. But that’s NOT what Jesus intended our prayers to be like. Come on! Keep at it! You can do it! There is a powerful God who loves us!
All of us who follow Jesus; may we pray shamelessly with a confident faith!
Confident in our God who is able.