The Prayer Of Faith (Mark20-24)
The Prayer Of Faith
Text: Mark 11:20-24
Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)
Date Preached - (05/24/98)
Introduction: Where's Your Faith?
A small boy, new to Sunday school, was greatly pleased with his picture card and its text, "Have faith in God." On the homeward way, however, the precious possession slipped from his fingers and fluttered from the open streetcar window. immediately a cry of distress arose: "I've lost my 'faith in God'! Stop the car?" The good-natured conductor signaled and the card was recovered amid the smiles of the passengers. One of them said something about this "blessed innocence of childhood," but a more thoughtful voice answered: "There would be many happier and truer lives if only we older ones were wise enough to call a halt when we find ourselves rushing ahead on some road where we are in danger of leaving our faith in God behind us." --From The Montview Monitor, August 1971
Faith is absolutely essential to Christian living. Faith and prayer go hand in hand together.
Faith in the absolutes of God and His Word is the starting point of a life of submission and obedience to Christ.
The Bible recognizes no faith that does not lead to obedience, nor does it recognize any obedience that does not spring from faith.
The two are opposite sides of the same coin.
· Serving Christ
· Victory Over Sin
Let's consider some aspects of Biblical faith, praying faith.
I. The Source of Faith. vs.22
"Have faith in God."
Some today say “have faith in your feelings”, or “have faith in your self”. The Bible says, “He that trusteth in himself is a fool.”
The New-Agers and Charismatics cry "have faith in your faith". Jesus said have faith in God.
Your faith cannot be any stronger than the object or source in which it is placed.
Heb. 11:6 But 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.
Yet, the way some charismatics have it faith is the key to unlocking your own private world of health, wealth and prosperity. One Word-faith preacher said, "I follow Jesus' footsteps, that's why I drive a Cadillac." Faith has been cheapened by them and has become like the "force" of the New Agers. God no longer commands us, we command Him. In fact these Word-faithers teach that we are "gods". There are definite links between New Age, Mind Science cults, eastern mysticism and the Word-faith movement.
Mark 11:20-24 is a favorite passage of theirs, which they take out of context to support their heresy.
Jesus made this promise on the recognized premise that prayer must be in harmony with God's will.
I John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Jesus prayed in submission to the Father's will.
Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
John 14:13-14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
John 16:23-24 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
To ask in Christ's name is to ask in his authority.
IN THE FATHER'S NAME
There is a story of a poor boy who was dying on the battlefield after one of the great conflicts in the American Civil War. Another soldier nearby crawled to him and found this poor boy in grave condition and did everything he could to help him. They talked together, and then the other said, "Now, if I get out alive, is there anything I could do for you?" "Well," he said, "maybe I can do something for you. My father is wealthy, and if you get through this conflict alive, and are ever in need, take this little card (and he wrote a few words upon it) and go to see my father, and I know he will be ready to help you out." The soldier did not think he would ever use the card, but the time came when he was in dire need, and he remembered the conversation. He went and found this wealthy man. Through the underlings and secretaries, he sent in his own card and got no response. And then he thought of the other card and got it out, and on it was written these words, "Father, if you can ever do anything for my friend who helped me when I was dying, please do so." And it was signed "Charlie." In a moment, out came the big business man and he said, "Oh, why didn't you send that in before? I will do anything that I can for you for Charlie's sake!"
II. The Simplicity of Faith. vs.23
Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
III. The Strength of Faith. vs.23
"Whosoever shall say unto this mountain"
It was Peter's comments about the withered fig tree that preceded Jesus discourse on faith. Now, Jesus did not teach on faith with the intent that His disciples might travel the countryside cursing fig trees, nor did he desire that as their faith grew they would cast the Mount of Olives into the Dead Sea. It was not necessary to the fulfillment of God's will.
The Mountain is but a picture of an insurmountable obstacle.
We face many obstacles in the way of circumstances and spiritual battles. Not one of these obstacles, which hinders us from doing God's will for our lives is too big for God to remove.
ILLUS: California Church that needed the top of a mountain moved. God prepared an earth-mover just for them.
John 14:14 If ye shall ask "any thing in my name," I will do it.
Our prayer should be that if God's will can be served through removal of the obstacle that He would remove it.
ANYTHING YOU NEED
A man was hired to put up a fence and was given the necessary materials. He was also given a portable phone. The owner said, "If you need anything give me a call." Soon the man in the field called. "I need a new car and a new house." The owner answered, "What I meant by anything was anything you needed for the fence project." When God says anything, He is referring to His will and His work!
IV. The Singleness of Faith. vs.23
"And shall not doubt in his heart"
The word doubt here speaks of divided judgement.
James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
ILLUS: (Waves of the sea) - Fishing Trip to Salt Spring Island
*The Faith of Abraham was an undoubting faith.
Oh, you say, but Abraham did take matters into his own hands, didn't he? Yes, he did. The point being he never questioned God's ability to do, but he did question how God would do it.
V. The Scope of Faith. vs.23
"He shall have whatsoever he saith"
It is impossible for faith to overdraw its account in God's bank.
ILLUS: Serving Christ
VI. The Sureness of Faith. vs.24
A. Faith sees a thing accomplished before it comes to pass.
"When ye pray, believe that ye receive them"
When the prayer of faith goes to market it always takes a basket!
Faith sees the invisible, but not the non-existent. - A.W. Tozer
We can pray this way, because we have a heavenly Father who sees things this way.
Rom. 4:17 ....God....calleth those things which be not as though they were.
ILLUS: Victory Over Sin
In Bristol, England, George Muller operated an orphanage for two thousand children. One evening he became aware that there would be no breakfast for them the next morning. Muller called his workers together and explained the situation. Two or three prayed. "Now that is sufficient," he said. "Let us rise and praise God for prayer answered!" The next morning they could not push open the great front door. So they went out the back door and around the building to see what was keeping it shut. Stacked up against the front door were boxes filled with food. One of the workers later remarked, "We know who sent the baskets, but we do not know who brought them!"
B. Faith is never dissapointed.
"Ye shall have them"
"Reckon not only on your own faith but also on God's faithfulness to you. All my life I've been fickle: sometimes I could trust and sometimes I couldn't. But when unable to have faith, it was a great encouragement to realize that God would still be faithful to me." - Hudson Taylor
Review areas of application
· Serving Christ
· Victory Over Sin
TO CHRISTIAN - You trust God for Salvation, what about the everyday needs?
TO UNSAVED - Trusting God for everyday needs does you no good until you have trusted Him for Salvation!