Lesson 14 - WHY WE DON’T PRAY FOR FAITH
A PRAYER FOR FAITH would be a prayer of unbelief, and a prayer of unbelief has no ground for an answer.
The people who pray for faith always live in the realm of unbelief.
If I asked you to give me faith in yourself and I had known you for years, you would think it an insult. So, the believer’s prayer for faith is an insult to Christ and the Father.
But you say, “The disciples said, ‘Lord, increase our faith’; and the man who brought his son to the Master said, ‘Lord, help thou mine unbelief.’”
I don’t think that our unbelief needs any special help. The devil is our only helper in that regard.
A Believing One
Jesus said, “All things are possible to him that believeth. The Greek word for believeth means a “believing one." Then all things are possible to the believer.
The Jews were not believers. There were no real believers, as we understand the term, until after the Day of Pentecost. The disciples were called believers.
Jesus urged the Jews to believe Him because they were God’s Covenant People. They had lived in doubt for generations.
You understand John 6:47 where Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me hath Eternal Life.”
The believer has; the doubter has not. The believer is a possessor, an owner. We are believers.
Matthew 17:19, 20, “Then came the Disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, ‘Because of your little faith; for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
Mark 11:23, 24, gives the same message. Jesus says, “For verily I say unto you that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye pray and ask for, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.”
This scripture is not to a believer, a child of God. It was a Message to God’s Covenant People.
But, you say, “Why? Isn’t it a Message to us?”
Because of Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.”
Notice that He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing — that we are blessed. He doesn’t say_ that we are blessed if we believe. We are blessed because we are believers.
2nd Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to give you an overflowing measure of all good gifts, that all your wants of every kind may be supplied at all times, and you may give of your abundance to every good work. As it is written, ‘The good man hath scattered abroad, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness remaineth forever.’ And He who furnisheth ‘seed to the sower, and bread for the food of man,’ will furnish you with plenteous store of seed, and bless your righteousness with fruits of increase; being enriched with all good things.”
Fruits of Righteousness
Jesus bore fruits of righteousness.
If you knew you were what the Word says you are, what fruits you would bear for Him!
Here the Spirit is unveiling the riches of the sons of God. This is Conybeare’s translation.
The Believer is enriched with every blessing. The difficulty is that we haven’t known it. The major part of our praying is for things that we already possess.
It may startle you if I tell you that you need not pray for your healing, but sick folks spend most of their time praying for their healing. Why should we not pray for it?
Because Isaiah 53:4, 5 tells us that we already have the healing, “Surely he hath borne my sicknesses and carried my diseases: yet I did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.”
And in the tenth verse we read, “Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath made him sick with our sickness and with our diseases.”
If He bore our diseases and put them away, God declares that “by his stripes we are healed.” Then, what should we do? We should not pray for our healing because He would answer us, “I have already healed you. I have laid your sickness on My Son. Don’t you appreciate what I have done for you?”
You can understand that He actually laid that disease on His own Son, and that that Son put that disease away. Now He bids us to look up and thank Him for it.
It is not a problem of faith at all. The only problem that confronts you is that of the integrity of that Word.
The Revelation of the Word
Jeremiah 1:12, “I watch over my Word to perform it.”
Isaiah 55:10, 11, “As the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
There is also Luke 1:37. The angel is speaking to Mary about the Incarnation, about the child Jesus, and he says, “For no word from God shall be void of power.”
And what does Mary say? “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.” And the angel departed from her.
You see, under the old covenant God could not talk to the Jews as He talks to us through our spirits, so was sent. But to us today, we have His living Word.
John 6:63, "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”
You understand that we are recreated through this Word, that the Word is the food on which our recreated spirits feed.
So you see, a believer is a possessor, and this New Covenant man, this recreated man (2nd Corinthians 5:17), has been invited to come into the very presence of the Father.
Hebrews 4:16, “Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
You see, you have a perfect right to stand in the Father’s presence. You are invited into the Throne Room. There you can stand face to face with your Father, make your requests known, and receive an answer for your prayer.
You understand that the believer has been given a legal right to the use of Jesus’ Name. He has the power of attorney. The difficulty is that we haven’t recognized our rights. The average believer has no higher conceptions of the finished work of Christ that he has of the blood of bulls and of goats under that First Covenant.
Romans 3:21, “But now apart from the law a righteousness of God has been brought to light (or manifested) and it is witnessed by the law and the prophets.”
What does he mean? He means that by this righteousness you have the right to stand in the Father’s presence without a sense of guilt or inferiority or a sense of sin consciousness. The believing one is a New Creation. He is no longer under the dominion of Satan or condemnation. He has received God’s very Nature and Life (1st John 5:12,13 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.).
That Nature makes him a branch of the Vine. He and Jesus are one. They are so much one that when Jesus met Saul on the way to Damascus in Acts 9:1-9, it says, “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven; and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”
Saul was persecuting the Christians, but the Christian and Jesus are one.
“I am the Vine; ye are the branches” (John 15:5).
When they persecute the branch, they persecute the Vine; so the believer and Jesus are one.
That means that you can go into the Father’s presence with the same freedom that Jesus did when He walked the earth. You do not need faith. All you need to know is your rights in Christ.
How do you get it? Study the Word.
Take 1st John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God,” with 1st John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the children of God.”
Read Romans 8:14-17. “The Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”
You see, the Spirit bears witness with our spirits through the Word. This Word you are now reading is the Spirit’s message to your spirit, and He is telling you that you are a son; and if a son, then you have a son’s place and a son’s rights as well as a son’s responsibility.
Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.”
As a sinner you would have to have faith in Christ; but now, having come into the family, all things are yours.
All Things Are Yours
1st Corinthians 3:21, “Wherefore, let no man glory in men for all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours.”
He has unveiled to you your rights and privileges in Christ.
Psalm 23:1-3, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
That word, Lord, is Jehovah; and Jehovah is a word of three tenses — past, present and future.
It is Jesus, as Son. in Hebrews 13:8. It is the Jesus of today, the Jesus of yesterday, and the Jesus of tomorrow; and that Jesus is my Shepherd, my Caretaker, my Protector, my Burden Bearer, and my Lover.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me; and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
He loved me and gave Himself up for me so now it is no longer I that live, but this New Life of Christ is making me a branch of the Vine.
Praying for faith is an absurdity when you have all things, when you are a very son of God. What would you have thought of Jesus’ asking the Father to increase His faith? No, beloved, now are we the very sons of God.
Established in the Faith
Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith.”
You see, Christianity is called “the faith.” Now you are to be built up in the faith. How? By being built up in Christ through the Word.
Notice the third verse of Colossians 2, “In whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.”
So you are to study the Word, pore over the Word, feed on the Word, act on the Word until the Word is built into you and becomes a part of your prayer life. Then it is no longer an exercise of praying for faith but a fellowship with the Father.
Colossians 1:9-12. You ought to read it carefully. Take this translation: “That ye may be filled with the exact (or perfect) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
What is the object? “To enable you to walk worthy of the Lord in all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work.” That is because you are a branch of the Vine, and it is the branch who bears the fruit.
Enjoying Our Share of the Inheritance
“And increasing in this exact (or perfect) knowledge of God, and strengthened with all the ability of God according to the might of His glory unto all steadfastness and longsuffering with joy.”
Now read this, “Giving thanks unto the Father, who has given us the ability to enjoy our share of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).
I like this translation. It throws much light on it.
Notice the next two verses. “Who delivered me out of the authority of darkness and translated me into the kingdom of the son of his love; in whom I have my redemption, the remission of my sins.”
From today you are taking your place in Christ. You recognize that you have been delivered out of Satan’s dominance. You recognize that you have been translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love. You are in the Father’s family. You have a perfect right to the Throne Room now, and you have seen that every sin that you have ever committed has been wiped out as though it had never been. You stand complete in Him.
- Why do we not have to pray for faith?
2. Explain why Mark 11:23, 24 is not written to the believer.
3. Explain 2nd Corinthians 9:8.
4. By knowing what the Word says we are, what are the fruits we can bear?
5. Tell what the relation of Jeremiah 1:12 is to Isaiah 55:10,11, and what it means to us.
6. What standing in your prayer life does Hebrews 4:16 give you?
7. What is the Spirit telling us through the Word?
8. Tell how Jesus is the same today as He was when He walked the earth.
9. Tell how we can enjoy our share of the inheritance.
10. Tell how Jesus becomes manifested in you.