(Today's post by Marc Cannon)
I've been a Christian for almost 30 years. The amount of change that I've gone through personally over that period of time is unmeasurable. There have been times in my walk with Jesus where a mustard seed of faith seemed like Everest and I've had times where my faith has been deeper than any ocean on this planet. I've been to hundreds and hundreds of church services. I've sung a thousand hymns. And I can't even begin to place a number on the prayers I've prayed…tens of thousands.
While reading the last eight verses of Matthew 13 my soul became conflicted. We have men here who saw Jesus grow up. These people knew him; they knew his family. They'd probably spent time with Him. Yet, they didn't believe that he was the son of God. The miracles He performed and the wisdom that he shared were unbelievable to them. They couldn't believe that a lowly handyman from Nazereth could be the Christ. The more I've meditated on this section of scripture the more I identify with these men. Jesus chose not to use His divine power in their presence because if their unbelief.
As I read this, I begin to think about the last 30 years. All of the change, services, the hymns and especially the prayers. I've prayed thousands and thousands of prayers and to be honest, a lot of the time I've not prayed with faith but out of obligation. I've always seemed to pray with good intentions, but I don't know that I've placed a lot of faith in my prayers at times. Maybe I'm alone in this phenomenon? But like these men that saw Jesus grow up, I know Him. I've heard His word all my life, I've worshiped Him in song all of my life, and I've seen Him do great works in my life and in those around me. But, when I take my prayers for granted and pray without much faith, God allows that lack of faith to limit His activity.
Jesus demands faith. It's the basis for His allowance of grace. When we operate in a state of unbelief, mere obligation or just going through the motions, we run the risk of limiting God's activity in our lives. When we don't place our faith in Jesus we will be hard pressed to see Him answer our prayers. When we don't pray with faith that Jesus will move and will act then there is no reason for Him to.
My faithful prayer today is that each of you pray out of faith and not obligation. That our prayers aren't just words with no real expectation of divine intervention. I pray that even the slightest mustard seed of faith you may have is cultivated into God's unimaginable Glory.