Prayer and Faith

Monday, November 20                 

  1. M. Bounds on Prayer (p. p. 13). “Faith is kept alive by prayer.” This really struck a chord for me.  If we even think about it, we would think that we need faith in order to pray.  It is easy to move from that premise to the idea that we need to muster up faith.  And that is entirely wrong.  The Bible says that faith comes by the Word of God, which means that I need to spend time in the Word, to let it permeate my heart.  But I have also found out that when I’m discouraged or doubtful (lacking faith) and I spend time in prayer just because I’m instructed to do so in the Word, my confidence in God is strengthened and my discouragement is gone.  I’ve found that it’s impossible to meditate on God without being encouraged.  So prayer can be a matter of discipline, but it ends up being a means of spiritual stability.  It still remains that one can’t pray without meeting a few conditions.  “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”  Psalm 66:18.  “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  And it’s still possible to “ask amiss,” to ask for things that will not promote God’s agenda.  So I agree with E. M. Bounds that “faith is kept alive by prayer.”
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