Before we talk about prayer, we must first address faith. In fact, the prayers we pray say a lot about the faith we possess. It takes faith to pray. Faith is the foundation on which we build our knowledge of the reality of God. Faith is the foundation for our relationship with God. Faith is the currency of heaven, and prayer is the means by which we exchange sorrow for joy, ashes for beauty, and spiritual deadness for supernatural power.
When we attempt to fulfill ourselves by placing our faith in anything other than God, we always come up empty. Instead of praying and receiving the joy of the Lord as an outflow of our relationship with Jesus, we try to purchase joy and peace by other means. Life becomes one social escapade after another—buying as much stuff as our credit card limit will allow, hanging out with friend after friend after friend, filling our lives with shallow relationships and meaningless things—and all the while, true joy and real peace and genuine companionship and lasting satisfaction are waiting to be found in an intimate relationship with Jesus, a relationship which is initiated and sustained by faith.
Jesus speaks of faith as a “grain of mustard seed.” In this parable about the mustard seed, Jesus is sharing an important idea with us: faith begins in seed form. Faith in God is planted in the soil of our hearts and cultivated by the Spirit of God, and over time, it produces joy, peace, humility, fulfillment, power, and every other rich quality of the character of God. Faith is the source of these blessings, and prayer is the way that the source gets into the soil.
Some people do not feel inclined to pray because often times, prayer just looks like a seed. Nothing too thrilling about a seed, right? But through the eyes of faith, we don’t just see our prayers for what they are when we’re praying them; we see the potential of what they can become when God answers them! Great prayer reveals great faith, and great faith releases great prayers. Great faith isn’t measured in magnitude but in our resoluteness to believe God against all odds.
Jesus tells the disciples to have faith in God and to speak to mountains without any doubt in their hearts. Perhaps instead of seeds of faith, you’ve had seeds of doubt and fear planted in your heart. Pray for the Spirit of God to uproot those things today and activate your faith through prayer.
Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
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.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.