During the years I was praying over the long haul for the healing of someone close to me, Christian friends frequently encouraged me to "just have faith" or to "keep the faith." I knew that faith was important to seeing my prayers answered. Many Scriptures attest to this fact, for example, Hebrews 11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
But what does praying "in faith" really mean? Does it mean believing that God will give me the exact thing I ask for in the precise manner in which I expect it? Some people said, "Yes, that's what it means." I'm still not sure. Granted, I have a lot to learn in this department. Who can honestly say they understand the mysteries of answered prayer? But I came across a quote the other day that describes what I think might be more accurate about the link between prayer and faith. It's by Andrew Murray: "The power of prayer depends almost entirely upon our apprehension of who it is with whom we speak."
I can agree with that idea for sure. When my faith is in the character of God—His goodness, love, wisdom, perfection, understanding, attentiveness—I cannot lose. His answer to what concerns me will always reveal His goodness, love, wisdom, and so forth—all of who He is. So for me, I choose to put my faith in who He is more than in the answer I think I need.
Popular NavPress author Cynthia Heald has lots more to say about the connection between prayer and faith. Check out the free download "Praying in Faith" available on the homepage of www.praymag.com. (Note: Although the button says "buy now," you will not be asked for any payment information. Simply click on the button and follow the directions an din seconds you'll have your free chapter on prayer and faith.)