Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Prayer Of Faith

Throughout Kenya and in some circles in the West, faith is often thought to look something like this. I'm trusting God for ... (fill in the blank). I'm trusting God for the 3000 shillings I need for school fees. We're trusting God for 10 visitors to our service next week. We're trusting God for 5 converts from our mission. We're trusting God for a new job by next Tuesday. Etcetera. My old university just sent a prayer letter; one college is praying to God for 10 new students in the next year group.

That's not faith, that's presumption. Faith trusts God for what God has promised in his Word. The Bible doesn't say that he'll bring you any of the things above, so you can't trust him for it. You can ask him for it, subject to his will, and in submission that he might have a totally different plan. Why ten students? Why not nine? Or eleven? Or two hundred and fifty six? But in most cases, it would be better simply to ask him for as much or as many as he sees is wise, and for grace and wisdom from him to know what to do if not. Faith means trusting God's actual promises in all circumstances, whether he sends us what we think is best or not.

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