Prayer formed by Faith
Many years ago, I was turning a corner in my van when I heard a loud ‘CLUNK.’ Knowing something had broke I returned home and made a phone call to my mechanic. Upon inspection, my mechanic informed me that a strut mount had broke and the cost to fix both struts and mounts was more than I had in my bank account. I began to form a prayer out of worry and fear. It sounded a lot like, “God, I have nothing. YOU need to do something.” I took my van to the mechanic and he began to fix it.
The next morning I woke up and was praying. I started to complain to the Lord about my lack of money. The Holy Spirit said to me, “read psalm. 27.” Psalm 27 is one of my favourite psalms as it’s depicts courage in the midst of battle, worship in the midst of trial and intimacy with God in the middle of loss. I started to read and then the Lord rebuked me,
“Adam, you know my provision. As you know that I am your provider, it is illegal for you to worry about financial provision.”
Here’s the truth. Melissa and I have lived in the provision of the Lord for 12 years now working with Youth for Christ. By the provision of God through His promise and His people our freezer is always being filled with meat and our boys have received financial investments for their educational futures. Twice, when we had no money for Christmas gifts a stranger showed up with gifts for the kids and us. The provision of furniture, clothes, food, and cash in our mailbox has become a way of life for us! Even the van that broke was purchased for us. God is a provider!
God desires to reveal His nature and ways to us. When He kindly rebuked me, He was teaching me to always see His promise and His nature above my problem. With my van, I elevated my problem above His nature, my prayer was formed out of worry and fear, not faith. When God reveals who He is, He expects us to live and think according to what He reveals. He trusts us to live according to the reality He shows us by His Spirit and by His Word. If God reveals His passion for people to you, He invites you to live with that passion. When he reveals His desire to heal, provide, comfort, lead, whatever, He invites us to hold His Word, His nature above our problem. He invites us to form our prayers in faith.
My van was fixed and through a series of amazing God ‘sightings’ the bill was paid for.
That day, I realized how valuable my worship and prayer life were when I saw how hard ‘worry’ and ‘fear’ fought for their affections. My practice has become to never allow fear or worry to form a prayer. My prayers and worship are prized possessions and I will not sell them cheaply to the fruit of an inferior kingdom (worry & fear) but give them freely by faith to the only one who is worthy, Jesus. Prayer formed by anything but faith falls short of its intended impact. Faith is catalyzed by truth. Truth is Jesus, revealed by the intimacy of the Holy Spirit and Word of God.
Although my van may be a humorous and trivial example, I use this guiding principle in prayer when praying for an individual going through a difficult time, in leadership decisions, un-expected and expected loss, sickness, disease and when I visit a country experiencing war, terrorism, poverty or famine. I pray in view of whats possible with God and His promises, not the problem. I am not suggesting that my faith is naive to conflict but I refuse to allow it to have influence over my worship and prayer. I pray from victory, not for it.
“You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.” ~ Proverbs 3:25-26