by Godson Onyekwere, Pilgrim Mission International

"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall
receive." (Matt 21:22)

Faith is the most important quality of a prayer that God answers. Faith is
that quality that trusts in and clings to God. Faith attracts God. Without
faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is the raw material upon which
the answers to our prayers are produced. Need and circumstances do not move
God as much as faith. God is moved by faith.

Jesus has promised that whatsoever we shall ask, if we believe, it shall be
granted us. God always responds according to our faith- "be it done unto you
according to your faith" There are many passages and stories in the bible
showing God's reaction to faith and to unbelief. Let us examine a few of

Man sick of Palsy: Matt 9:2

"And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of
good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee."

Jesus was ministering to crowds. There came some men carrying a man who was
sick of palsy. Mark 2:1-5 gives us a detailed account of what happened.
These men wanted Jesus to heal their sick friend. There was no way to get to
Jesus. Guess what they did. They made a giant hole at the roof so that their
friend can get healed by Jesus. The house was
not theirs. They were visitors. Now that is called faith, and Jesus noticed
it. And he acted according to it. He saw their faith. He acted on their
faith. Faith acts.

The woman with the issue of blood: Mark 5:24-34

"And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had
suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and
was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus,
came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may
touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her
blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that
plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out
of him,
turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his
disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest
thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done
this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in
her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said
unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be
whole of thy plague."

This woman had had protracted and profuse menstruation for 12 years. She had
suffered so much. She was treated as an outcast according to the laws of
Moses. She was unclean. She had spent all her money on doctors who couldn't
help her. One day she heard of Jesus. She thought in her heart- "if only I
could touch his garments" She pressed her way crawling on the ground. She
reached Jesus and touched his garment. Everything stood still. Jesus
stopped. He turned around and all of a sudden declared "someone has touched
me" Everyone was baffled at the statement of Jesus. He repeated again-
"someone has touched me". His disciples thought him to be out of his mind.
They said to him- "there are crowds pressing on you on every side". But
Jesus held his ground and repeated "Some one touched me"

This is one of the most remarkable stories I have come across in the
ministry of Jesus. How was it that thousands were pressing on Jesus and
touching him and nothing happened? Yet one poor woman who believed, touched
Jesus and got his attention. The reason is faith. Jesus said to her- thy
faith hath made thee whole. Faith attracts the attention of heaven. The
prayer of faith attracts God. It makes Him stop everything He is doing and
like Jesus, God says "someone is praying" There may be millions praying but
the prayer that attracts God's attention is the prayer of faith.

The prostitute: Luke 7:48-50

"And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with
him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace".

What made this woman act the way she did though it was obvious that she will
be rejected by the religious circle of her day? What made her to take the
risk of rejection and to show up at this party Jesus was attending? It was
faith. Her faith made her to be forgiven. Thy faith hath saved thee.

Why is faith important in prayer? It is important because God does not
answer according to our prayer. He answers according to our faith. "Be it
done according to your faith", "Your faith has made you whole", "Your faith
has saved you".
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. 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." (Heb 11:1-2,6)

Faith involves laying hold of things that are invisible and they become
visible in our hands. Without faith we can not please or serve God. The
summary of ministry or work for God is believing and trusting in Him. "Jesus
answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him
whom he hath sent." (John 6:29)

If we are to serve God acceptably, if our prayers are to reach the throne of
God, we need to believe. We need to have faith. We need to trust in God. How
can we build our faith?

1. It is an act of the will it is not just a feeling. I can decide to trust
or not to trust in someone.

2. It can be nurtured by meditating and obeying God's word. "So then faith
cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

3. It can be encouraged by the testimonies of others.

4. The knowledge of God increases faith. The more we know God, the more we
trust and believe in Him. We can say with Job "Though he slay me I will
trust in Him" (Job 13:15)

Unbelief on the other hand limits God. Where there is unbelief there is a
limitation to what God does.

Jesus visits Nazareth

"And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their
synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this
man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is
not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon,
and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this
man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto
them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his
own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their
unbelief." (Matt 13:54-58)

The Bible shows us clearly how mighty God is. It shows us that there is
nothing too difficult for Him. Jesus did so many miracles in various places
but when he came to his own home town, he couldn't do many miracles. Why?
"And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief"

My prayer for you my brother, my sister is that you shall believe. If you
believe, nothing shall be impossible for you- absolutely nothing. "Jesus
said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that
believeth." Mark 9:23

Faith, too, is humble and persevering. It can wait and pray; it can stay on
its knees, or lie in the dust. It is one great condition of prayer; the lack
of it lies at the root of all poor praying, feeble praying, little praying,
unanswered praying" E. M. Bounds

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