The Essence of Prayer XVI – The Courage of Faith in Prayer

Psalm 18, 22, 27 express the courage of faith in the life of the believer.  Many of the early Psalms are by David and often begin with David in deep distress.  They then go on to statements of victory by faith. From an evangelical background, this can sound like having a trump card up the sleeve.  Faith is seen as the magic that moves God’s hand.  But the nature of true faith is our stance before God in prayer.  The fact that we come to God in prayer does not force His hand.  Faith is not a magic trump card that we use to get what we want from Him.  Many have been taught to believe that they ought to get what they want when they ask “in faith”.  But what does it mean when that doesn’t happen and the believer is still in deep trouble?  When we see David in trouble we need to consider how he deals with his trouble before God.

Four aspects of faith:

  • Faith faces the difficulty and brings it to God, Psalm 27:2

David’s faith doesn’t whitewash the circumstances at all.  He shows how high the physical and spiritual stakes are.  Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm that begins in the depths of difficulty, with the Psalmist in a sense of darkness from the desertion of God and asks “Why?”

  • Faith cries out

Not only is there a laying out of the worst of the problem, there is a declaration that God is good and does good.  Psalm 22:4 confirms who God is to the believer.  There is a confession of who God is, a recognition of the circumstances as being from God’s hand.  That’s why the blackness is so black because of the contrast of the circumstances with God’s goodness.  It’s this recognition of God’s goodness to the believer personally that causes him to cry out.

  • Faith waits

Faith understands properly that just because the believer is trusting God does not mean he has what he is waiting for, Psalm 27:14.  The cry of faith gives an ability to continue to cry out and to know that God does not give an instantaneous answer.  Psalm 27:8  There is a leaning on God, a continued seeking.  There are times when we come to the Lord with urgency but He does not answer in the same urgency.  He has His own timetable and we wait for Him.  Faith is a real, trustful looking to God, not a magic trump card to make Him answer when and how we want.

  • Faith is helped

Psalm 27:14  The promise is not that everything will get all better immediately but of heart strengthening.  Faith is helped inwardly.  Faith is also helped outwardly by the obedience of faith.  Psalm 18:32-34  David is expressing the reality of supernatural help in obedience.

Faith lays it all on the line before God, and faith is answered by God who is all to the believer.