Think with me briefly of two well known stories in the gospels. One involves a woman who touches Jesus in a crowd. There were many pressing and touching Jesus as was plain by Peter’s answer (Luke 8:45)…yet only one was healed by an infusion of Divine power.
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” Luke 8:46
The difference between her “touch” and the others? Only one reached out with faith (Luke 8:48). Faith was the connecting point.
“The faith which creates powerful praying is the faith which centers itself on a powerful person. Faith in Christ’s ability to do and to do greatly, is the faith which prays greatly” E.M. Bounds
Scene two. Jesus is in his hometown but seems hindered in the display of his power among them. The cause is not presented in terms of God’s sovereignty (though God was certainly sovereign over the situation) but in terms of human unbelief. No switch to connect the power to the lights.
And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. Mark 6:5-6
So then…how does one get faith…especially faith for praying? I believe there are 3 great sources of faith – all which come to us through the Word of God.
The person of Christ generates faith. Study his life in the gospels and perceive the exposition of God in him. He is God in human skin and in him we see God’s heart to work on behalf of the needy (for example… Luke 7:12-15; Mark 2:4-11; Matt 8:2-3; Matt 15:22-28 etc).
The promises generate faith. They assure us that God is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Heb 11:6; Rom 4:19-21; Heb 11:26 etc). It was the key of promise that ignited the faith that released Christian from the dungeon of despair in Pilgrims Progress. Read & meditate on the promises of God…and watch your faith grow in the faithfulness of God!
The cross of Christ generates faith. Surely this is the “Christ-focused word” spoken of in Romans:
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
The cross in a particular way reveals God’s heart for unworthy sinners. It reveals the incomprehensible measures He will pursue to rescue his enemies. It reveals God to us as nothing else in all scripture. God does nothing that He isn’t. Everything that He does reveals his intrinsic nature. The plan and execution of redemption reveals something very powerful about who God is and what his eternal priorities are.
Many of us never move beyond the faith of “God can” (ability). But the cross surely shows us more of God than that! It shows us that God is not only able, but willing (attitude). And even more than that! It displays in bold strokes that God does!! (action)
Does not the following well worn verse declare this very truth to our often unbelieving hearts!?
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32
“Faith in Christ’s ability to do and to do greatly, is the faith which prays greatly” E.M. Bounds