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The missing ingredient in prayer – Part 1

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Pastor W. F. Kumuyi

Prayer is one of the most discussed subjects in many assemblies today.

In such assemblies, so much time is devoted to the techniques of prayer.

Despite all that, many still remain defeated, disappointed, depressed and despondent as a result of unanswered prayers.

The major reason for failure is unbelief, while the missing ingredient in their prayer is faith.

Prayer without faith is like soup without salt.

No amount of ingredient will make soup palatable without salt as a savouring agent (Matthew 5:13).

In like manner, no amount of shouting and physical exertion in prayer can bring answers without faith.

The Scripture tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

The strength of a Bible Church hinges on the life of holiness and faith manifested by the members.

This was exemplified by the prayer power of the early disciples.

They obtained wonderful answers to prayer (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-4,37-41; 3:1-6,7-12; 4:1-4,23-33).

In Matthew chapter 17:14-20, Jesus rebuked the faithlessness of His disciples for their inability to cast out a devil.

The father of the demon-possessed boy brought him to Jesus and He cast the devil out of the boy.

The disciples asked Jesus later, “Why could not we cast him out?” And Jesus said unto them, “because of your unbelief” (Matthew 17:19,20a).

Jesus did not only express the reason of failure to His disciples, but also disclosed to them the secret of getting their prayers answered.

Faith is the secret of answered prayer. That was the ingredient that was missing in the disciples’ prayer.

“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” (Matthew 17:20b).

Faith believes that what God says He will do, He is able to perform (Romans 4:17-21).

God promised Abraham a child; he believed that God would perform what He promised.

Faith means being fully persuaded beyond doubt that God will fulfil His promise. Faith does not rely on human senses.

It means absolute confidence that what God promised is already in your hand before you set your eyes on it (2 Corinthians 5:7; John 11:39,40; 20:19,20,24-29; Hebrews 11; 1, 6).

Jesus told Martha, “If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God”.

What are the means to mountain-moving faith? (i) The word of God (Romans 10:8,17; Matthew 24:35); (ii) Association with men and women of faith (2 Kings 2:1-15); (iii) Reading books on faith (Proverbs 27:17); (iv) Listening to faith-building messages and testimonies (v) Utilising and exercising the faith you have at present (Luke 17:5,6).

Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 17:14-20; Mark 11:22-24; Hebrew 11:1,6. Matthew 17:14-20; Mark 11:22-24; Hebrews11: 1,6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; John 11:39,40; John 20:19,20,24-29; Acts 27:25; Romans 4:18-22; 10:17.


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