Thursday, October 8, 2020

Praying To Receive Faith?

Some of the “doubt theologians” who promote a “faith lottery” teaching tell us that one of the ways to appropriate faith is for a person to pray and ask God to give it to him.  But this is not a Biblical teaching because faith is a prerequisite for answered prayer. Paul writes:
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom. 10:13-14)

Take note of the questions Paul asks here. There are obvious answers to them. One cannot call on God if they have not believed and one cannot believe if they have not heard. Faith is a prerequisite to answered prayer.

Paul goes on to tell us in verse 17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith is not obtained by asking God for it but by “hearing.” Divine healing and other miracles are not for the preselected few who won the “faith lottery.” The means for appropriating faith is available to anyone who has access to God’s Word.  The great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody wrote:
And so, instead of praying for faith and mourning because we haven't got faith, let us study the Word of God and get acquainted with the God of Israel, and then we will have faith in Him. You can't find a man or woman that is acquainted with God, but that has strong faith in God.1
Moody is also recorded as having said, “If I had spent as much time in reading my Bible and in learning about Christ as I have in praying for faith, I should have a great deal more of it.”2 Like Moody, we believe that praying for faith is a waste of time. God has already provided the means by which we are to appropriate faith for any specific situation that we encounter.

Therefore, we do not pray to receive faith. If we prayed and ask God to receive faith then that means that we are not in possession of faith at the time that we are praying. Since the only way to receive answers to prayer is by faith, we cannot expect an answer to prayer to receive faith since it would take faith to receive the answer.

Hebrews 11:6 says “for he that cometh to God must believe.” Therefore, coming to God to ask for faith already disqualifies us.
1. Moody, Dwight L.  Glad Tidings (New York: E. B. Treat, 1876), p. 175
2. Quoted by Drummond, Henry “Our Religious Life” an article in The Magazine of Christian Literature, Volumes 1-2 (New York: The Christian Literature Co., 1889, 1890), p. 233 


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