Last time we talked about overcoming worry in the process of coming into our breakthroughs. I mentioned that one way we defeat worry is by speaking and praying the promises in the Word aloud to build up faith inside ourselves. Faith is necessary in obtaining answers to prayer.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”
James 1: 6-8 warns us, “But let him ask in faith, without wavering. For he who wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. Do not let that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
Having faith means we understand Who God is, and that by His very nature He cannot and would not renege on promises He has given us in the Bible. There are varied reasons why at times we do not fully obtain our promises, but God’s lack of faithfulness to His Word is never one of them.
Jude 20 gives us a second way to build our faith, besides reading and hearing Bible promises. I’ve quoted it here in two versions:
But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit. — The Message
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying by the Holy Spirit. — Webster (emphasis mine)
Spirit-led, Spirit-filled praying builds our faith. The idea is that we are to nurture our faith by praying in the Spirit. The Good News Bible says we are to “pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I personally believe Jude is specifically referring to praying in our prayer language. God brought this verse to my mind many years ago, when I was battling a life-threatening illness, and my faith was at an all-time low. It was not a verse that I was overly familiar with in those days. He then instructed me to pray in tongues, and to do it a lot, to build my faith. I have found that it works. For an in-depth discussion on the benefits of praying in tongues, please see my series on The Power of Your Prayer Language.
In addition to building faith in ourselves through reading and hearing the Word and praying in the Spirit, faith is something we grow in by experience. As we pray through circumstances and see God answer us, the accumulated experiences of prayer victories strengthen our faith for even larger challenges.
When we first begin to learn about receiving prayer breakthroughs, God does not always require as much faith from us as He does later on when we are more seasoned. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48). In order to obtain victories in intercession, we must lay hold of God with the utmost faith that we have — not beat up on ourselves concerning faith we have not yet attained to. Use the faith you already have. All believers have some measure of faith. But God does expect us to do everything in our power to build our faith to greater levels and exercise it to its fullest. He expects us to choose faith over doubt and worry.
Faith can come as a supernatural gift of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9) in the midst of a given moment, for a given need (and this is a powerful aid toward receiving breakthrough answers), but faith is generally a growing process. Smith Wigglesworth commented, “Great faith is the product of great fights. Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests. Great triumphs can only come out of great trials.”
Next time: Perseverance = Breakthrough
Excerpted from Lee Ann’s book, The Intercessor Manual