There have been many things written on prayer. This is as is should be. For prayer is one of the most important activities of the believer. It is central to all that we are, and all that we are called to do. Yet after over 2000 years of study, we still know so very little about it. Why is this so?
If we wrote about baking a cake the same way we wrote about prayer, we would be in the same situation in baking. We would have many books about cake, but few books on how to step-by-step bake one. We would have books on how wonderful cakes are, how pleased God is with cakes, how cakes have blessed us in troubling times, and we would even have testimonials from all kinds of important and eloquent individuals attesting to the beauty and good taste of a well-baked cake. But we would still not have many cakes, at least not many well baked ones, because we would know everything about cake, everything that is, except how to bake one. Baking a cake would be a mystery – “sometimes it comes out as it should and sometimes it does not,” or “only God knows for sure.” The principals of baking would reside in a clouded black box mentality. The issues within being too deep for us common folk to fathom and utilize.
Why is baking easy? It is easy because we are given simple ingredient lists, and clear and readable instructions. There is no mystery, no spiritual black box, and no vague and flowery language that sounds beautiful but means absolutely nothing – just plain and simple instructions written in plain and simple language.
Prayer is very simple. Yes, prayer has many facets. Yes, it always deals with things beyond our sight, and many times, things beyond our understanding. However, even with all this apparent mystery, prayer is still fundamentally very simple. For prayer has but one ingredient – Faith.
It is that simple! Faith is the foundation of prayer. It is the purpose of the communication. It is the release of faith that empowers prayer, and it is only the release of faith that empowers prayer – no faith, no power. There may be the drive, the will, and the need, but without faith, there is no power to create.
Prayer has but one action – Speaking. Only faith can create, and only by speaking, is faith released to create. Speaking is the vital process, the action that turns faith into prayer. Prayer is the process, which turns faith, which is the substance of ‘things hoped for,’ into reality. Faith without being spoken is like righteousness without salvation, or cake dough without the baking.
Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, (9) that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; (10) for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (NASB)
It may be simple, but it is not be easy. Prayer is simple – releasing faith with the words of your mouth. Finding the faith is the effort and the hard part. Either you have faith or you do not have it. There is no half way on faith. God knows and you know when you have it and when you do not. When you have it, you have your answer. Now go get it.