What Is the Prayer of Faith?

by Sheri Schofield

“If God wants me to have more faith, why doesn’t He answer my prayers for healing?” an elderly man recently asked me. He reasoned that if God wants us to have faith, then God should give us some miracles to show that faith really works.

During Jesus’ earthly life, he told people about God the Father and salvation. He healed a lot of people, he supernaturally fed multitudes, and he raised the dead. He wanted his disciples to do the same works. To do these things, they would need to pray, asking God for the miracles.

Jesus knew that persistent prayer was necessary for miracles to be granted. So he told them a parable about a widow who kept going to a judge pleading for justice. But the judge kept refusing her request. Day after day, the widow kept going to see the judge. Finally, just to get her out of his hair, he gave her justice.

Jesus said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice and quickly.”

Then, as though he were asking himself a question, Jesus said, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8, NIV).

Yet, the Apostle Paul, a man of prayer and great faith, asked the Lord to remove a “thorn” in his flesh, but God told him no. Paul wrote, Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me, (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NIV).

In one example of prayer, the request is granted. In another, it is not. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? What does God want of us? Can we ever know whether or not God will answer our prayers?

The answer is: Yes, God will always answer our prayers. Most of the time, the answer will be to grant our request. But there will be times that, for reasons of his own, God will say no.

The prayer of faith is one of trusting God’s answer. We pour out our hearts, we persist, then we leave the results to God. We place our request but do not tell God how to do his job. With faith, there is no “why”.  Like a child who runs to his father for comfort, we cling to our heavenly Father. We trust that his answer will be for our eternal good and for his glory. We do not push him away if he does not give us what we want! By faith, we continue clinging to the One who comforts and strengthens us.

Like a loving parent, God will say “yes” much more often than “no”. If you are experiencing unanswered prayer, try listing all the “yes” answers that God has given you. You may run out of both time and paper! Post that list where you can see it as a reminder of God’s faithfulness. Then trust his wisdom concerning the request he has not chosen to grant you . . . yet.

When Jesus returns, let him find faith in our hearts!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart,” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV).

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What Is the Prayer of Faith? – encouragement from Sheri Schofield on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

sheri schofield

About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator. She was named Arise Daily Writer of the Year in 2020, and Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Sheri also writes devotions for children at her website: www.sherischofield.com in “Campfire”, and is in the process of developing a children’s program on her YouTube site. Questions welcomed!

Read Sheri and her husband’s amazing story in One Step Ahead of the Devil: A Powerful Love Story. Thrust into national politics because of her husband’s work, Lissa McCloud struggles to save the life of the man she loves from those who are bent on his destruction. Based on true events, the reader is taken deep into the heart of national politics –all the way to Congress and the President of the United States.

Join the Conversation: What do you do to remind yourself of God’s faithfulness to you?

Deepening Your Prayer Life

by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?                                               Psalm 42:1-2 NLT

There are times when shouting out a prayer is all one can manage. Like when I was raising an infant … on three hours of sleep. Or when, upon hearing my daughter talking about doing oversea missions in India’s slums or communist countries. Or the day I was stuck in Atlanta with no money, credit cards, or ID (which was necessary to fly back home).

Shout out prayers, those, “Oh, Lord help me,” cries, uttered countless times throughout the day, are valid. Necessary. And at times, a woman’s only avenue to sanity. But if our prayer life continually resembles an elevator pitch, before long, our spiritual life will suffer.

Divine intimacy, the kind that fills up all the empty and broken places within and melds our heart to our Father’s, requires regular, unhurried communication. This is what I long for. What I hope for, and at times, what I intentionally move toward. But then life gets busy, I get distracted, and I slip into shout out prayers once again.

If I want to grow as a believer wife, mother, and friend; if I want to experience the deep joy and peace Christ promised His believers, I’ll make prayer a top priority—a habit.

Luke tells us about the events leading up to the birth of John the Baptist. He began by describing John’s parents, Elizabeth and Zechariah, stating they were known for their faithful obedience (Luke 1:6).

In other words, that was their main defining factor.

As a priest, Zechariah was chosen by lot to “enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense” (Luke 1:9 NLT). This would have been a sacred, intimate time between him and God.

But he wasn’t the only one who met with God that day. According to Scripture, while he was burning incense inside the temple, a great crowd stood outside, praying.

Prayer had become a way of life for these people, a habit that had been established over a thousand years previously. Before the exile, since the time of Aaron, the first Jewish priest, incense was burned twice each day, and whenever the people smelled its holy aroma and saw it rising heavenward, they prayed. Now, over fourteen hundred years later, the people continued that custom.

That kind of dedication and consistency often eludes me, because I get “too busy,” distracted, or sometimes discouraged, especially if it feels like God isn’t answering. Yet by the time Elizabeth and Zechariah came on the scene, God had been silent for 400 years! And I often find a few years of unanswered prayers difficult. This happens especially when I’m approaching prayer in a self-centered way, focusing on what I might get, rather than Who I can get to know.

Yes, God is faithful, generous, and attentive. And yes, He answers prayer and gives good gifts to His children. But the best gift He’s ever provided is that of Immanuel: Jesus Christ, God with us. Let’s not get so caught up in what we don’t have that we miss out on the beautiful gift of divine presence God makes available to us today.

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Deepening Your #Prayer Life – insight from @JenSlattery on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Jennifer Slattery

About the author: Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Restoring Her Faith and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team love to help women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to find out more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event, and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter to learn of her future appearances, projects, and releases.

Drawing Near is a 90-day compilation by Wholly Loved Ministries. Each day, God beckons us to Himself, calling us to rest in His love and grace. As we do, He heals our hurts, overpowers our fears with love, and restores us to the women He created us to be. This devotional, written by women who are learning themselves to live anchored in God’s grace, will help you deepen your faith and grow your relationship with Christ.

Join the conversation: What are some ways you refocus yourself on Christ? How have you made prayer time a priority? Share your thoughts and examples with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from each other!

When God Doesn’t Intervene

 by Linda Evans Shepherd @lindaShepherd

A mother of a disabled child invited me to coffee one day.  She confided, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you, to find out how you’ve handled all the emotions and heartache of being a mother of a disabled child.”

Later, as we sipped our lattes, she confided, “I’ve prayed for healing for my child and my child is still paralyzed.” Her eyes filled with tears, “How do I process my disappointments?”

How I related to this mother’s angst.

In a Christian culture where we expect God to answer our every prayer, immediately, it’s hard to know what to do when our prayers seemed to go ignored.

We even wonder: doesn’t God love me?

I too have faced this question, as I tried to understand God’s silence to my own angst regarding my daughter’s disabilities. “First,” I told my friend, “God does love you, and I know he has answered many of your prayers.”

“Yes,” she confided.  “But not all of them.”

“I get it,” I said.  “I prayed that one day my daughter would walk again, but God didn’t answer that prayers until the day she walked into eternity.   How glad I am she’s completely restored now and can walk with Jesus.  But I had hoped that one day Laura would walk, here on earth, with me.”

My friend nodded.  “I totally understand.  So how did you process this disappointment?”

I said, “I had to remind myself to count my everyday blessings.  And to not discount the answered prayers we did have.  For example, I’d prayed daily that God would restore Laura’s brain, after half of it was destroyed in a violent car crash.  Then came the day, the doctor put a new picture of Laura’s brain on the light board for me to see.  I stared at a picture of an intact brain before jumping out of my chair to say, ‘This film does not belong to my daughter.’”

“That’s when the doctor said, ‘Your daughter’s brain restored itself.  We didn’t know a brain could do that.’”

I told Joan, “God had restored my daughter’s brain! So though I didn’t get every answer I ever prayed on her behalf, including some pretty major petitions, I could see that God was moving in my daughter’s life.”

I asked Joan, “Do you have blessings you can count?   Do you have miracles regarding prayers you prayed over your son?”

Joan nodded, “Lots of them.”

I told her, “Then keeping counting them.  As for me, I had to realize that real ‘faith’ is actually ‘trusting God no matter what. Like it says in Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (3:5-6 NKJV).

Joan wanted to know:  “But when do we stop asking for our children?

I replied, “Never.  We are the moms, and we will ask for our kids as long as we live.”

Joan agreed, “I’ll never stop asking either.”

I confided, “Neither did I, not until the end of Laura’s last day on earth.”

As I look back at the 28 years my daughter lived as a disabled person, I have to say how glad I am that I got to be her mom. It was a privilege. I counted a lot of blessings and even saw healing miracles, including the healing of my own heart. In that regard, I learned how to love in deeper ways, and I learned how to keep pushing into prayer even in the impossible.  And finally, I learned how to trust God.  For ‘faith’ equals ‘trust’ and ‘trusting God’ results in ‘peace that passes understanding.’

What a miracle.

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.                                                                                                                                      Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

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When God Doesn’t Intervene and Faith meets Trust – @LindaShepher on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Linda ShepherdAbout the author: Linda Evans Shepherd is the author of 34 books including Praying God’s Promises and The God You Need to Know.  She is the CEO of Right to the Heart Ministries and the founder of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.  She’s the publisher of Leading Hearts Magazine and Arise Daily.

Linda has been married over thirty years and has two grown kids.  She loves to travel and bring the word to groups and events across North America.  You can read more about Linda at Arise Speakers.

Join the conversation: How do you process God’s silence when your prayers go unanswered?

His Whispers of Protection

by Cindi McMenamin

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11, NASB).

In my Bible, Psalm 84:11 is highlighted. I claimed this promise nearly 30 years ago as I prayed to the Lord, asking Him for Hugh to become my husband. Hugh was the godly man who had stolen my heart.

“Lord, Hugh is a ‘good thing’ for me,” I prayed. “And I have been walking uprightly. Certainly, You will not withhold him from me.” And God didn’t. A year after praying that promise, Hugh and I were married, and I can confirm, with joy, that over the past 30 years, Hugh has been a “good thing” in my life.

When it came to wanting a second child, I prayed that promise again. “Lord, a baby is a ‘good thing’ and we are walking uprightly, so, according to Your Word, You certainly will not withhold.” And yet He did. Hugh and I were never able to have a second child. And in the years since, God has graciously shown us that having only one child was, and still is, His idea of “good” for our lives.

There are other “good things” I have prayed for through the years that God has chosen to withhold – opportunities to relocate, a certain measure of success in our ministries, desired “golden opportunities.” And although it’s difficult to understand why God would say “no” to some of those requests, I have learned to trust that, in His wisdom and love, God knows what He is protecting us from when He withholds something that may look truly good to us.

At times, we realized that God had withheld because He was waiting to give us something far better than we had thought to ask for. Other times He was protecting us from something we couldn’t yet see. So, I’ve learned through the years not to question God’s withholding in my life. And I can even say that some of God’s greatest gifts to me have been the very things He has decided to withhold.

Can you trust God with the things He has decided to withhold from your life? He knows what He’s doing. And, as Psalm 84:11 testifies, He truly is our sun (who illumines our way) and our shield (who protects us from harm).

Lord, thank You for the times You have blessed me with what I want. And I trust You with the times that You have said “no” and withheld things for my good. Thank You for Your whispers of protection through what You withhold. I trust Your best for me.

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including When Women Walk Alone (more than 120,000 copies sold), God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You. For more on her books and ministry, and free resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number 51c1emyNztL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Cindi’s new book, God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: Has God withheld something that seemed “good” to you? Did He eventually show you why?