walk in the word
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:5–6, esv).
Have you ever prayed a prayer but then thought to yourself, “That’s never going to happen”? You couldn’t see any way in the world that what you were praying for could really be done. Yet you prayed anyway.
And that matters—because faith matters.
Even a little bit of faith.Whatever amount of faith you have, pray anyway. Click To Tweet
I cannot emphasize enough what the Bible says about faith: “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Or as Jesus said to the apostles, after causing a fruit tree to instantly wither, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Matthew 21:21–22). Amen?
But listen up, it’s not true that if the answer to your prayer doesn’t come, the problem must be that you needed more faith. This is distorted, unbiblical teaching, as though God would somehow withhold a good gift depending on something you could muster. That is not the heart of our God, and it is not the precedent we see in His Word.
Do you remember how much faith of yours Jesus said He could use to pull up a tree by the roots? “Faith like a grain of mustard seed.” In another place He said, “If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
If that’s all the faith you have today, then bring that little bit of faith into prayer, and, like the father who asked Jesus to help his demon-possessed son, say “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)! Don’t let a small amount of faith prevent you from kneeling down and praying. God will honor that prayer, emerging from your “mustard seed” of faith.
Acts 12 tells the story of Rhoda, the servant girl who went to the door and found Peter there, miraculously delivered from prison. Without even opening the gate to let him in, she ran back inside where several members of the church were praying for—what?—Peter’s release from prison. Yet when Rhoda told them who was at the door, “they said to her, ‘You are out of your mind.’ But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, ‘It is his angel!’” (Acts 12:15). They had prayed with such little faith that when the living answer to their prayers actually showed up—Peter standing there right in front of them—they first doubted it, then “they saw him and were amazed” (Acts 12:16).
Apparently they never really imagined that God would literally spare Peter from prison and death, but they prayed anyway with whatever amount of faith they had. And God heard and answered. So with whatever amount of faith you have, pray anyway.
And watch what God does with your mustard seed.
Lord, “I believe; help my unbelief!” I confess times I’ve chosen not to come to You, thinking my faith was too small. Help me throw off that feeling of spiritual insecurity and “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). I “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22), asking in belief that You will help my unbelief. Thank You for Your grace and mercy to work with me just as I am—and that is how I come to You, trusting simply in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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