“PRAYING THROUGH THE EYES OF FAITH”
March 29, 2019
What kind of prayers excite God? Luke told us a story about a Roman centurion, a non-Jew, whose servant was sick and close to death (Luke 7:1-10). Jesus’ ministry had been to Jewish people. This Roman sent people to ask Jesus to heal his friend and highly valued aid. He sent word to Jesus that a visit was not necessary. He believed if Jesus would only speak a word, his servant would be healed.
This moment was significant. This Roman did not have the religious context of the Jews. They were anticipating a Deliverer, a Messiah; the Romans were not. Romans looked down on the Jewish faith as backward, obscure, and offensive. Because of this, believing in Jesus’ divinity was a larger faith stretch for Romans than Jews. In this simple request, this ruling Gentile put his faith in the divine authority of Jesus, the subjugated Jew. The man with the authority put himself under the authority of his own subject.
Jesus’ response to this situation was deep surprise. “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel’” (Luke 10:9, NIV). The servant was healed that day.
What kind of prayers provoke Jesus’ amazement? Bold, crazy, prayers of faith—Jesus, do what only you can, and bring your deliverance and healing to my family and friends! Ask God to burden you for the things that burden him. When we pray in faith in alignment with his heart like the Roman centurion did for the healing of his friend, then we see God move.
What kinds of things block our prayers? The disciples asked Jesus this question when they couldn’t cast out a demon.
“Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.” (Matthew 17:20 MSG).
How do we know if we are taking God seriously enough? This Roman came under the authority of Jesus. As we come to Jesus today, we often have different rooms in our lives. We live differently in different spaces, school, work, home, alone, online. The Holy Spirit begins to prompt us to let him lead us in each of these places of our hearts and lives. As we do, faith begins to work and well up in every part of our heart. Our prayers become faith-filled, aligned with the heart of God. Those kinds of prayers get Jesus excited to answer!
Pray that God would show you where you need to surrender parts of yourself to him.
Pray that God would give you faith.
Pray words of faith and expectation out loud, even when your heart feels unsure.