Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Praying With Faith

Am I praying with faith?

I’ve got some big requests I’m praying about.

But today I was wondering if I was praying for these requests with faith.

That’s crucial, because James says God won’t answer unless I pray with faith (James 1:6-7).

But what exactly does that mean?

Here’s what’s helping me —

It means believing that because of Jesus, God welcomes you

I see that in Hebrews 4:16 —

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Because of Jesus’ death, God’s throne is full of grace.  Which means that sinful people like us are welcomed — by faith alone — because of what Jesus has done.

So when you pray, come to the Father “in Jesus’ name” — confessing your sins, relying on Jesus’ death alone to forgive you, and trusting His righteousness alone to justify you.

Trust that when you pray this way, the Father always smiles and says “welcome.”

It means believing God is pleased with your request.

Take a look at 1 John 5:14 —

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

Asking according to His will doesn’t mean we know His exact will.  It means we know that what we ask is within His general will as revealed in the Bible.

God’s general will includes —

  • saving people (1Ti 2:3-4)
  • freeing us from sin (1Th 4:3)
  • building His church (Mat 16:18)
  • giving us wisdom (James 1:5)
  • satisfying us in Himself (John 6:35)
  • meeting our needs (Phil 4:19)

Trust that when you pray according to His general will — He is glad you are asking.

It means believing God is able to do what you ask.

Notice what Jesus says in Matt 9:28-30 —

When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  They said to him, “Yes, Lord.”  Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.”  And their eyes were opened.

Jesus asks if they believe He is able to heal.  They did — so Jesus healed them.

So — to pray with faith we must believe that God is able to do what we ask.

Do you believe God is able to do what you are asking?  If you have doubts — think about God’s power —

  • He created the heavens and earth (Acts 4:24)
  • He turns hearts in whichever way He chooses (Prov 21:1)
  • He works everything according to His will (Eph 1:11)
  • Nothing is too difficult for Him (Jer 32:27)

God is able to do whatever you ask.  Trust Him.

It means believing God will either give you exactly what you are requesting, or something even better.

That’s found in Matt 7:9-11 —

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Jesus’ point is that because God is good, when you ask for bread, God will never give you something worse (a stone).  He will either give exactly what you request (bread), or something even better.

So as you bring your requests before God — trust that He will either give you what you request, or something even better.

But what if my faith is weak?

There’s good news.  The Christian life is not about strong faith — it’s about a strong Savior.

So turn to Jesus as you are, with your weak faith, and ask Him to strengthen you (Mark 9:24).

Pray over passages that teach the truth you’re struggling to believe (Rom 10:17).

As you do this, God will bring His power upon you and strengthen you.

What’s happened to me

As I have brought my requests to the Father —

  • believing that because of Jesus, He welcomes me
  • believing that because I’m praying His general will, He’s pleased that I’m asking
  • believing that He is able to do what I’m asking
  • and believing that He will either give me exactly what I’m asking — or something even better —

I have not only experienced more earnestness in prayer, but I’ve also found more comfort and joy in prayer.

A future post

What about Mark 11:24, which some think teaches that we should always believe that we will receive exactly what we request?

I don’t think that’s what this verse teaches.  But I’ll give my reasons in a later post — this one is already too long.

Next steps

Have I left anything out?  Or does this raise questions?  Feel free to leave a reply below — thanks.

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(Picture by nighthawk7 on stock xchng.)

Category: Help with Prayer


22 Responses

  1. Pamela Nees says:

    Love this post and all the scriptures you give as reasons that God is desirous that we pray in faith.

    He is, after all, our Father. And Jesus invites us to call Him that.


    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Pamela And I love the word you use to describe God’s heart to hear and answer our prayer — He is truly incredible.

  2. Susanne Schuberth (Germany) says:

    Thank you for this great post, Steve!

    So often we can read in the Bible that we must have faith, because apart from faith we won’t receive anything.
    You firstly mentioned James 1:6-7. Honestly, sometimes I’m initially discouraged by reading those Bible verses esp. when I have no (or precious little) faith relating to the requests I am praying for. Therefore I try to seek refuge in Mark 9:24 as you aptly pointed out and pray, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
    This has helped me many times, thank God.

    But there are still some areas of life where my faith sways like a cockleshell on the waves of the ocean.
    As far as my unbelief is concerned, let me tell you about a very strange experience I made.
    On a spring evening in April 2010, I was sitting in the living room and tried to pray. I tried, but…
    My heart was aching all the time because I thought about a severe trauma I experienced in my younger days. I knew that Jesus wanted to heal my wounded heart, but I refused to feel that pain once again.
    Suddenly He said, “You don’t trust me.”
    I knew immediately that it was absolutely true.
    “What can I do about it?” I asked.
    “Trust me,” Jesus said.
    And out of the blue I felt that the required confidence was pouring into my unbelieving heart.
    It’s been that simple but I can’t do it by myself. After that aha experience my prayers concerning heart healing have become very short. I only pray, “Help me, Jesus!” and I know He’ll do it well and truly. And if my heart aches again, I know that He will hold me in His arms, until the last tear has dried up. For that particular case all fear, defensiveness, and unbelief have vanished.

    Since that time Romans 10:17 has got an additional and thus deeper meaning for me. Faith now comes through hearing a preacher, reading the Bible and, last but not least, when the living Word of God (John 1:14, Rev 19:13) is speaking to my heart. This is the most beautiful thing of all, yet it is very rare. But just because it rarely happens, I am more grateful for it.

    For years I wondered, “How could I get more faith?” I never would have thought that faith must be received. But I assume that 2 Peter 1:1 contains a (short) reference to that issue. The Apostle Peter addresses his letter “to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours”.
    Am I right or does Peter mean a horse of another color? What do you think about it as a theologian, Steve? I would be very glad if you had any advice for me.

    God bless

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Susanne.

      And I agree that 2Pet 1:1 teaches that faith must be received — and isn’t that good news!

      Since everything is by faith, and God will give us the faith (through prayer and His word) — He truly will give us everything we need.

      Thanks also for sharing your 2010 story — which is a beautiful illustration of how God gives faith.

  3. Faith says:

    I greet you all in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Im currently homeless, im staying with a friend. Please pray for me to find a job, and buy my own house. I have been praying for a husband for18 yrs. The last job i had was in may 2010. Im scared that my son dont have a home to come to during varsity holiday. I have prayed and fasted for the forgiveness of my previous sins, i still dont get answers for my prayers. My relatives are very happy about my current sitituations. Pls pray for my son not to loose hope, as he starving while try to get his degree.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I am praying for you right now, Faith. Thank you for stopping by.

      Have you been able to find a strong, Bible-believing church near where you live? Having other believers to encourage us is crucial during hard times.

      May the Father provide everything you need, especially pouring His love and mercy upon you through Jesus Christ.


  4. Episkopos says:

    Faith is so vital to prayer. Mark 11:24. Jesus taught great lessons on faith throughout His ministry. He often emphasized that people were getting blessed because they were using faith. (Hebrew 10:38, Hebrew 11:6). When we ask in faith God is provoked to act. Lets have great faith, even as little as a mustard seed to move and dissemble the mountains in our lives.

    Thank you so much for this post. 🙂

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts on faith. And isn’t it encouraging that all we need is a mustard seed. Obviously, what’s important isn’t the strength of our faith but the strength of our Savior. May Jesus Christ bless you and your ministry, brother.

  5. ufa says:

    Oh how beautiful your site is. Oh how freeing. So many times I have read: “well if you didn’t pray with
    perfect faith, you didn’t receive (you stupid idiot implied) One thing that has saved my life in reading various posts in desperate times, is how much does it uplift my spirit? If it leaves me feeling hopeless and desolate, then it is most likely not of God. If it leaves me feeling blessed, hopeful and full of praise, then God has given me his will and word, your site is one of hope and praise. Thank you, thank you!

  6. Orion Kubow says:

    Great post, Steve!

  7. Simon says:

    Hello to you all. This article is a must-keep. very encouraging. It might look so simple but it surely touches a searching heart. It has done me well and I shall share it with all others I know. Great piece of work that builds Gods Kingdom in this difficult day and age.

  8. sovereignOne says:

    Thank you so much for your blog! I was encouraged to hope and trust God more by what I read on your site. Praise Jesus!

  9. mmatshepo says:

    I read this today and im in tears as i type this. I’ve been searching high and low for something of this nature to encourage me and help me understand what faith is. I now know what i need to do moving forward. You are a blessing, keep doing what you doing.

  10. Emilia says:

    Beautiful Post Steven.
    I have asked God something if I don’t get the exact thing then I will get something better. I’m happy it motivates me.

  11. Rico says:

    BlessingsI have a social phobia (and many psychological issue like addiction to sex, aggressivity/hatred, low self esteem: I have very negative idea about myself, incapacity to say ”no” even when the request is abusive/dangerous/distructive to me …)from former persistent bullying, daily domestic violence.I ve recently read teachings on faith: zero doubt, no fear, 100% convinction God has worked, just a small amount of fear can ”deactivate and block” manifestation of faith, i.e. miracle, that s what most of them preach.My first question is: Does miracle still happen?Second: ”Is it always God s will to heal?”(question from a Positive Confession preacher’ s book)Third: Can I be healed through other’ s faith?Thank you

  12. Onesmus says:

    Hi Steve. Thanks for such great post. it has encouraged me a lot and also it has helped me in preparing my teaching on effective prayer. May Our Lord Jesus bless you.

  13. Esther says:

    Hi, I really loved your post.It is very encouraging.It helped me understand a lot of things !!

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