Faith in prayer / answers to prayer – has never been an easy topic for me. Mainly because of the “Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain” passage in scripture.
This morning I had a lightbulb moment! Bear with me as this will be hard to explain.
How often have you heard the notion that: if God doesn’t change your circumstances, be it personal problems, work related issues, or health, that it is because you haven’t got enough faith when you are praying about it? I hear it all the time, from some very well meaning and mature christians too.
I must say, from personal experience, it’s been a while since I agreed with that notion, but I’ve still fallen into the trap of thinking that my faith simply isn’t large enough, and I’ve always read that passage in Matthew 17 to mean that “Jo your faith is so insignificant it is SMALLER than a mustard seed which is why your prayers about X, Y, and Z are having no effect”.
And so – here it comes – my revelation (and the blindingly obvious to everyone else I am sure), it was never the FAITH that moved the mountain. It was GOD. – OK – I admit, it was one of those “DUH!” slap head Homer Simpson style revelations, but that’s me. It takes me a while sometimes.
Anyway – so the crux of the matter is: I’ve been supposing all this time that MY faith is responsible for things, notice the emphasis, that I need to do something about it, that I must do better. When in reality, GOD has been the same for quite a while now (i.e. the all of eternity). So whatever my faith feels, GOD is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-capable of dealing with my problems, which means: a tiny insignificant level of faith can move a mountain, because it isn’t (and never was) MY faith that did it – it was GOD!
So it really isn’t about the faith issue at all, it’s about my understanding the truth: “GOD can do it.”
And the reason my prayers aren’t answered is because: (OK this is a toughy, but true) God doesn’t want to right now. Which means, I just have to trust him to get me through X, Y, or Z.
Of course that doesn’t mean I stop praying, far from it, but it does give me some peace now, as it isn’t about MY lack of faith, but the fact of GOD’s amazing power and ability, and the fact that he DOES actually know what is best for me!