We want to focus on how we can build faith today. One thing I do to build up my trust in God is to remember and reflect on stories of what he has done.
For most of us, praying to God can be hard if we don’t have that trust part of faith. If we haven’t fully trusted that God will do what he says he will do. If we haven’t fully trusted that God will answer when we come to him.
It’s like we are on this journey of finding power in prayer. And on this journey, we continue to build up our faith, our belief that God can do anything. As we are walking along, we might at some point begin to believe that he loves people… all people. Then we might eventually believe that he loves and listens to us… that all people includes me. Some of us can come to believe that God can do miracles today – whether that means healing hearts or healing bodies.
I’ve come to understand, and correct me if I’m wrong, that every journey happens uniquely. Our faith is built in a different order and timing. I don’t want to sound too individualistic in this. But I believe that sometimes God loves this. Because our individual walks with God are indeed unique. And I know that I know that I know that he loves his individual relationship with each person on this earth.
He walks beside us, journeying alongside us as he did with the disciples in the gospels. He is continually developing and growing and nurturing our faith in Him and in His faithfulness to always be with us.
But we can go for years sometimes without allowing God to nurture and develop our faith. This could be because of past hurts or challenges. You might have felt really hurt and abandoned by someone. You might have felt really hurt and abandoned by God. This would have damaged your trust in God.
You may have gotten caught up in the busy-ness of life. Or in the relationships that have taken the place of God in your life – other people that you talk to about your hurts and your wants.
Whatever part of your journey that you are on, let’s be intentional today. Let’s allow our faith journey to move forward.
So how can we, with God alongside us, build our faith… so that we can begin to see “mountains” move in and around us?
Remember the Stories
Start with this question: How can I know that prayer is powerful?
By answering this, you are developing your trust… because you know that God can do x and y.
There are many ways of answering this question, but let me suggest today that you 1) Remember other people’s stories, 2) Remember stories from the Bible, and 3) Remember stories from your own life. We’ll talk about the third one next time.
Remember other people’s stories
Write a list of stories in your journal. Stories you remember from other people. Stories where prayer was answered.
If that skeptic voice pops up in your head – evaluate it. Ask God that if it’s true, to give you faith to believe. Make a choice. Will you choose to believe that God can do such things.
Concerning anxiety and/or depression, I can think of several stories through the years where God has met with an individual crying out to him on a bad night. Sometimes through the Psalms. Sometimes through people. Sometimes through hope given in other parts of the Bible. For them, this was a miracle… because it’s hard to get through a bad night. There are a couple of stories I know where God has answered prayers for deliverance from mental illness, and though these are few, they give us hope.
There are so many stories that I can think of from missionaries. Where God has warned them in dreams or in prayer of danger that was coming. Or when he has given them vision of his will in prayer. You’ll often hear stories from short term missionaries who received the money that they needed to go on their trip…after they prayed and surrendered to God.
I found this website via googling “answered prayer stories”, and was encouraged by some of these stories. Have a quick google if no stories come to mind.
I would also recommend asking your friends for their stories. Build up your faith through the testimony of others. And help them build their faith by reminding them where God has been present.
Remember stories from the Bible
Another way to build your faith is in scripture. Because if we are a Christian, it is so important to build up trust in God’s word. This reinforces and makes faith solid and unshakable. When you believe the Bible is truth, you have an immeasurable amount of tools for your journey. And you can allow the Holy Spirit to speak in you through scripture.
So in the Bible, how can you know that prayer is powerful?
Write a list in your journal. 🙂 There’s hundreds of stories you could write down.
Like when God was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3. They trusted God completely, claimed him as powerful, and he was with them.
There are many times in the book of Daniel that Daniel comes to God in prayer, and God reveals to him other people’s dreams. Check out Daniel 2, as his friends pray for him:
16 At this, Daniel went in to the king and asked for time, so that he might interpret the dream for him.17 Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 18 He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that he and his friends might not be executed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven…
God answers our prayer with power… and listens to those who pray on our behalf. It’s a beautiful thing to pray for another person, and expect God to come through.
There’s the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18:
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
And God answered by sending fire down from heaven. And I love that this was for his glory – that people would know that he is God. This is important to remember in our prayers. That God is the one with the power.
What other stories can you think of from the Bible?
A Prayer for Us
Dear Author, thank you for the power of stories. Thank you for the testimony of others. In the power of your Holy Spirit, bring to our minds stories of when you have listened and answered the prayers of your people. Reveal to us these stories through the people around us. Reveal stories in your word of truth. Give us faith to believe when our minds say no. Where we think it’s not possible, speak to us that it is not only possible, but that it has been done before and can be done again. Strengthen us with faith. Develop us on this journey. May we be able to look back today and see what you have already done. May we look back in the years to come to see how you have surrounded us with stories of your power the whole way. Thank you for this. We claim this in your name, Jesus. Amen.