Where is my confidence?
Do you struggle with the dynamics of how to pray effectively for someone? Do you feel that if you could just find the right words and muster up just enough faith, that God will somehow miraculously and instantly heal the person that you are praying for? Do you have confidence in your prayer?
I have prayed for the healing of many people over the course of my life, in all areas of need: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and mostly a combination of these. I have prayed with understanding, revelation, and with sincerity. But, not always with a lot of faith. Wait. What? I am willing to admit this because as I look around me and listen to the prayers of others, I can see that this faith eludes others as well.
Or – have you ever been the recipient of prayer and struggled to “receive” the prayer, and thus prove the quality of your own faith?
Recently, God showed me a subtle but important issue that was clouding my heart and my prayers. It is the issue of the focus of my confidence.
Does the confidence of my faith rest on a specific event happening?
Does the confidence of my faith rest on a Person?
There is a big difference.
One is concerned with an outcome – and when our attention is focused on an end result we get distracted. We forget that we are in the presence of God. We are with Him in His throne room as much as He is with us in our humble surroundings. We forget to hold on to this precious faith in Jesus that we have been entrusted with, and we have lowered our vision to only what we can see. And now it is no longer faith.
The other approach focuses on the One whom I am approaching. We have walked some roads together already – He and I. We have already had some conversations and I have come to know him better. When you know someone, you know what they are capable of. He welcomes me because we have a relationship. I don’t need to form just the right words, or convince him to do my will.
Looking Beyond Me and Today
Faith is a quiet confidence in Someone who is greater than me. I trust Him to do what is best and in the best timing. I trust Him to remain true to His character and to His word. I trust in his sovereignty – and in his love.
“Your strength will lie in quiet confidence.” (Isaiah 30:15)
Faith looks beyond today with a confident hope of tomorrow’s glory in the Kingdom of Heaven. A glory that I can borrow from today if I chose. I share this hope with countless others throughout history who lived out their time in this world, through joy and sorrow, in pursuit of their eternal place in God’s kingdom. Those who have gone before bear witness to my own journey of faith. (Hebrews 12:1)
This gives me perspective when I pray. God has not promised us that we will not suffer in this world.
However, he has promised to be with us in our struggles. He understand our suffering, having already taken suffering upon himself. So he enters into our suffering – with us – present to us. If we open up our eyes to that truth, we may see the results of our prayers.
Finally, he has promised that one day he will wipe away every tear, and we will receive an eternal body of glory that far outweighs anything that I have here.
This one perspective has completely changed the way that I pray – whether I am praying for healing, salvation, direction, understanding, or even a small matter. I focus less on the problem, more on the One who I am approaching.
My confidence in prayer rides on a relationship of faith and trust that has already been fostered in the presence of God – and less on mechanics of how to pray. Before I speak, I know that he hears.
“Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.” Psalm 139:4
In this truth, I find freedom.
The quiet hours of prayer are not wasted in the life of a believer. They change the way that we relate to God and they give us the confidence to approach him in any and every situation.
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