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Prayer Availeth Much
T. M. Anderson
Praying Without Doubting
"...And shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things
which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." Mark 11:23
These interesting words are a part of the Saviour's discourse on the power of
faith. The disciples were greatly astonished by the power manifested in the
Master's words which dried up the fruitless tree from the roots. When Jesus
arrested the attention of His disciples by this unusual miracle, He obviously
intended to reveal the power of God made available to His people through the
prayer of faith. When Peter called the Lord's attention to the withered tree He
said, "... Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall
say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and
shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith
shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."
In order to understand truth about praying without doubt in our hearts it is
necessary to consider the Saviour's opening statement, "... Have faith in God."
The remarkable discourse following His opening words reveals the fundamental
fact relating to the prayer of faith. Our Lord would have us see that we can
possess the faith of God. He revealed this fact when He said, "Have faith in
God." It would be utterly impossible to believe that those things which we say
in prayer shall come to pass unless we had an implicit faith in God. When Jesus
said, "... Have faith in God," He revealed the Source of the priceless
possession of the faith which enables us to pray without a doubt in our hearts.
His admonition to have faith in God implies that all men have an inherent faith
derived from God when He created the first man in His own image. The quality of
inherited faith was not destroyed in the fall although it was greatly impaired
as a result of disobedience. Jesus disclosed the amazing fact that we can
possess a measure of the faith which Almighty God possesses in His own Divine
Nature. This fact should not seem incredible since it is true that God did
impart a measure of His own faith to man at the beginning of creation.
We do not hesitate to accept the fact that God imparts a measure of His life
and love to His redeemed people. Surely it is not impossible for Him to impart a
sufficient measure of His faith to His people to sustain them in life in this
world of doubt and disbelief. If His people are not able to accomplish His works
in the world because of the littleness of their faith, there is no valid reason
to doubt that He can and will increase their measure of achieving faith. When
the disciples said, "... Lord, Increase our faith," we have reasons to believe
that He granted their request. (See Luke 17:5.)
The Saviour did not imply that we could possess the same measureless degree
of faith which the infinite God possesses in His Divine Person. But He did
encourage us to believe that we can receive a measure of God's faith to enable
us to accomplish His purpose in redemption. The Saviour would have us see that
we can enter into the faith of God and become workers together with Him in
achieving His eternal purpose in His beloved Son. It is obviously true that God
works in His people and through them according to the degree of their faith. He
cannot do great things unless His people can believe Him for great things.
Christ is made invincible in this world through the unwavering faith of His
The Scriptures reveal that Christ works according to His own faith, and His
people enter into His faith and work with Him in accomplishing His purpose in
redemption. The fact that He works according to His own faith is as
understandable as the fact that a man works according to his own faith. A man
can plan to build his house long before he lays the first stone in the
foundation. He can plan for the happiness of a family before a child is born to
gladden his heart. It is also true that a man's family can enter into his faith
and assist him to achieve his purpose in life. Surely it is possible for the
redeemed family of Christ to enter into His faith and participate in His eternal
purpose to achieve the final victory over sin and death. The Son of God is not
limited by circumstances, neither is He lacking in adequate resources to supply
the need of His family on earth. Nothing shall prevent Him from bringing many
sons unto glory according to the will of the heavenly Father.
We can pray without a doubt regarding the power of God.
We can perceive the truth about Christ's eternal verities when we consider
His statement about removing the mountain at the word of command. We are aware
that the mountain has no power within itself to obey the word of command, "...
Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea ..." It is also obvious that the
mountain is not removed by the efforts of man. Therefore we must conclude that
the person speaking the words that remove the mountain has access to a power
sufficient to remove the mountain and have it cast into the sea. The words of
Jesus warrant us in saying that this power is made available to His praying
people through faith. If this is not the truth then we must conclude that the
words of Christ have no meaningful application to the perplexing problems of
daily life. We are aware that the Master's words are figurative yet they are
factual. The mountain evidently represents something that God will remove in
answer to the prayer of faith.
Let us assume that the mountain represents the mass of human misery caused by
sin in this troubled earth. It is certainly true that no man has power within
himself to remove the mass of physical and mental sufferings caused by sin in
this world. It is likewise true that no man has the strength of will to remove
the mountain of iniquity which stands between himself and a holy God. Sin rests
on his guilty soul like the weight of the hills. A man's load of depravity gives
him a heavy heart and a burdened spirit. When we look at the mass of human
suffering resulting from sin, we can visualize the insurmountable difficulties
confronting humanity in this distressed earth. The bewildering sufferings caused
by the sins of men constitute a mountain of misery and woe more formidable and
forbidding than all the precipitous heights and impregnable rocks of earth's
Christ is our only hope for deliverance in this disconsolate world. If faith
in Him cannot bring the power necessary to surmount these difficulties, then
faith has failed utterly to achieve the victory we have a right to expect in the
light of God's unfailing promises. The imperishable Word declares, "... The just
shall live by faith." How can we obey this fundamental law of life unless we can
avail ourselves of a power sufficient to overcome every opposing force? We
cannot doubt God's willingness to impart to His praying saints a sufficiency of
spiritual strength to cope with the trials incident to life. The Scriptures
record the victories achieved by the saints of God who were made immortal in
sacred history by their dauntless courage and unwavering faith.
Let us pray the prayer of faith, not doubting in our hearts, but believing
that strength shall be given day by day to surmount our difficulties in life.
Let us not falter in the way as we journey toward fadeless dawn of the eternal
We can pray without a doubt regarding the purpose of God.
The Scriptures reveal that it is God's eternal purpose in Christ to save all
men from all sin on the condition of repentance and faith.
Christ has faith in His own ability to accomplish the Father's purpose by
restoring a fallen man to the moral image of God. Nothing shall prevent Him from
fulfilling His eternal purpose as revealed in the divine plan of salvation.
There is not the remotest possibility that His perfect plan of redemption shall
fail. We are assured that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Christ's
invincible church, purchased by His blood, endowed, and endued by His
We do well to ponder Paul's immortal challenge, "What shall we then say to
these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" Rom. 8:31.
When once we have a proper concept of God's immutable purpose as revealed in
His Word, it will not be difficult to pray without a doubt. Let us look again at
the Saviour's words, "... And shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe
that those things which he saith shall come to pass ..." For the sake of
clarity, let us underscore the words, "... Shall come to pass ... When shall
those things which we say in prayer come to pass? When may we reasonably expect
every prayer to be answered? The things we have said in prayer shall come to
pass when everything spoken by the Lord shall come to pass. When God's plan of
salvation has been consummated, then all things spoken by the Son of God, and
all things spoken by the mouth of His holy prophets, and all the things spoken
in the prayers of His faithful people shall come to pass.
The Scriptures affirm that it is God's purpose to save them to the uttermost
that come unto Him through Christ. God's utmost ability was required to save us
from the utmost extent of our sin. To be saved to the uttermost according to the
purpose of Christ, means to be delivered from all sin in this present life, and
delivered from the effects of sin in the body and mind in the life to come.
We can pray without a doubt in our hearts regarding a complete deliverance
from sin in this present life, and it shall come to pass. But we must patiently
wait until Christ's final triumph over sin and death before we can be delivered
from the results of sin in our bodies and minds. We can pray without a doubt in
our hearts regarding our final deliverance, and it shall come to pass according
to the purpose of God. When Christ has fulfilled His eternal purpose in
redemption, then the mountain of human misery and woe shall be removed from the
earth. When we perceive this truth as revealed in the Scriptures, we can
understand that every prayer offered without a doubt in our hearts shall surely
be answered in full.
The things we say in prayer are powerless and meaningless unless we have
Christ's authority to say them. But if the things we say in our prayers are the
things which He has said, then we can pray without a doubt in our hearts.
We find this truth revealed in the Master's words concerning the mountain
being removed at the word of command. Take note of the fact that Jesus first
spoke the words, "... Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea ..."
Assuming that the mountain symbolizes the mass of human woe and suffering caused
by sin, we perceive that it is possible to have this mass of human misery
removed by speaking the living words of Jesus in our prayer. It is apparent that
we can enter in to His faith and engage His omnipotent power to achieve victory
over sin and death. When we pray without a doubt in our hearts, we share
Christ's faith to achieve the purpose of the Father. When we speak His words, we
have a valid reason to except the things we say to come to pass.
Our prayers can embrace every word of promise and every word of purpose
spoken by our Lord. Our faith and prayers can join His faith and prayers and
assist Him in the final fulfillment of His Father's will and work. When applying
this gracious truth to the things which Christ has spoken in explicit terms of
eternal truth, it is not difficult to see that our prayer of faith becomes an
integral part of the whole plan of redemption. We are assured that every word
spoken in prayer shall be answered in the final restitution of all things. It is
written, "And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which
God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."
Acts 3:20, 21.
Paul vividly revealed the final triumph of Christ when he said, "Then cometh
the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;
when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must
reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be
destroyed is death." 1 Cor. 15:24-26. Our hope and expectation for final
deliverance from all effects of evil in our bodies and minds shall be realized
when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them
that believe in that day. When He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we
shall see Him as He is. We shall share in His final victory over disease and
death. We shall hear Him say to the mountain of sufferings, "... Be thou
removed, and be thou cast into the sea ...," and it shall come to pass.
In view of this consoling hope let us continue to pray without a doubt in our
hearts. Let us rest our faith on the enduring love of Christ, asking nothing
more than to be counted worthy of His pleasure throughout all ages, world