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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.
·         Employment
·         Finances
·         Family
·         Relationships
·         Trials
·         Serving Christ
·         Victory Over Sin
Let's consider some aspects of Biblical faith, praying faith.
! I.
The Source of Faith.
"/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.
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.
ILLUS: Employment
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.
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!"
The Simplicity of Faith.
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./
ILLUS: Family
The Strength of Faith.
"/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: Financial
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.
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!
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