“The utmost possibilities of prayer have rarely been realized. The promises of God are so great to those who truly pray, when He puts Himself so fully into the hands of the praying ones, that it almost staggers our faith and causes us to hesitate in astonishment. He promises to answer, to do and to give ‘all things’, ‘any thing’, ‘whatsoever’, and ‘all things whatsoever’ are so large, so great, so exceedingly broad, that we stand back in amazement.” E. M. Bounds
As we grow in prayer, we need to ask God to increase our faith. We are going to need an increase in our faith for prayer for the future. The days are going to get tougher. It is very Biblical to ask God for increased faith. Intercessors need to take action in radical faith for the many things that are happening in the world globally, nationally, and citywide. Faith is able to break through tremendous obstacles. This was the prayer of the apostles. The Bible says in Luke 17:5, “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’”
Why is faith so important for us at this time?
Faith gives us the ability to obey God even in impossible situations. It’s a way to receive supernatural help from God. In these coming days we will be called by God to obey in a way we have never seen before. We will need his supernatural help more than ever. We need to see His power demonstrated in the needy world around us. We need great faith in order to stand firm in God’s peace with all the rapid changes we are experiencing all over the world.
In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul encourages the church to “stand firm in your faith.” Faith in God and His supernatural provision will keep us steadfast and stable when all around us is shaking. Increased faith in prayer will bring forth mighty results, and God will move in a supernatural way.
An extraordinary example of the prayer of faith was in a young man who believed that God answers prayer in a powerful way. Duncan Campbell, a well-known preacher, had been speaking in Scotland and stopped preaching because of spiritual resistance in the meeting. He took notice of a young man who had extraordinary faith in prayer that brought extraordinary results. Kathy Walters record the following in “Notes from the Welsh Revival”:
“Just then he noticed Donald, visibly moved under a deep burden for souls. He thought, ‘This boy is in touch with God, and living nearer to the Savior than I am.’ He said, ‘Donald, will you lead us in prayer?’ The young lad rose to his feet… He began to sob, then lifting his eyes toward heaven, cried, ‘Oh God, there is power, let it loose!’ The Spirit of God swept into the building and the heavens were opened. The church resembled a battlefield. On one side many were prostrated over the seats weeping and sighing; on the other side some were affected by throwing their arms up in the air in a rigid posture for an hour. God had come!
As the preacher came out of the church, the Holy Spirit swept in among the people in the road like a wind. They gripped each other in fear. In agony of soul they trembled; many wept and some fell to the ground under great conviction of sin. Several men were found lying by the side of the road in such distress that they could not even speak – yet they had not been anywhere near the church!
So great was the supernatural moving of God that most of the homes did not escape the conviction of the Spirit, and the routine of business was stopped, that the island might seek the face of God like Nineveh of Bible days. The town was changed, lives and homes transformed…”
See how God can touch a town when there is fervent faith in prayer together with a holy life. This young man knew how to touch heaven and change earth with his prayers. Donald is a good example of fervency in prayer. You and I must pray for increased faith for prayer. But how can we increase our faith level personally?
Ways to Increase Our Faith
Take time to study these points along with the Scriptures. Pray them into your life. Learn to live life expectantly, linking your faith to God’s ability.
- Ask God to increase your faith – This is what the apostles did. They linked their faith to God’s promises. Nothing is impossible with faith. We read in Matthew 17:20-21, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
- Study diligently the Word of God – Ask God to speak as you meditate on Scripture. The enemy will throw fiery darts, so be sure to stand against his lies with the truth of God’s Word. Paul says in Ephesians 6:16 to “take up the shield of faith.”
- Read the Bible out loud for spiritual breakthrough – There is something powerful that happens when you speak out the Word of God. Reading the word out loud makes it more tangible and breaks through demonic powers.
- Recognize God’s greatness, and don’t magnify your problems – Concentrate on God’s attributes rather than your weakness. Problems seem to grow when you dwell on them and that will minimize your faith. God is far greater than any problem, and we must believe Him for miracles.
- Push past your limitations – Stretch past your boundaries, and live outside your comfort zone. Learn to step out by faith in what God tells you to do.
- Practice positive confession – If you say what you believe and confess it with your mouth, you are lifted into that domain. Once you know the heart of God, you can pray it boldly and then walk in faith even before you see the answer.
- Learn to pray with expectancy – Believe that God will do something when you ask. Believe that He wants to answer your prayers. Don’t just act like he can do something, but believe that He will do something.
Your faith will be tested and stretched, but this is how it grows strong. James 1:3 talks about the “testing of your faith.” I had to learn to walk in a deeper level of faith over the last few months. After spending 3 months at the IHOP (International House of Prayer), we felt that we should sell our house and move there. It was a big step of faith.
We came back to Virginia Beach and were just beginning to get our house ready when we saw a realtor in his car further down the street. Suddenly without giving it a second thought I ran down the street and asked him if he was looking for houses. I explained that we were going to put ours on the market. Without hesitation he asked me if he could show it to a young couple. I told him my husband was painting our upstairs bathroom and it was messy. There was paint and torn wallpaper everywhere!
He didn’t care. It was a God moment. I ran home, raced upstairs, and told my husband someone was coming to look at our house immediately! Five minutes later the doorbell rang and there they were. We gave them a tour of the house and they loved it. They left and ten minutes later they were back and wanted to buy our house!
We packed up our home in a big truck and a few weeks later we were gone on our way to Kansas City. The home we had wanted to buy in Kansas City was sold so we had to leave Virginia Beach homeless and by faith. It was a real test of our faith. We had prayed with expectancy for that house but had lost it.
Could we ever find a house like that one? We questioned our hearts very seriously. We had prayed with expectancy, we were outside our comfort zone, we had practiced positive confession, but everything had fallen through. And here we were riding in a truck with most of our belongings to Kansas City without a home.
Due to some unexpected difficulties we actually closed on our house in the middle of our journey, signing papers at a truck stop and faxing them back to the lawyer. It was amazing. The week after arriving, we looked and looked at houses. We felt exhausted from the looking and were getting quite discouraged as our faith was being tested.
Finally we looked for the third time at one house. It was the perfect one for our ministry. It was better than the first one. God has broken through in a marvelous way and 2 days ago we bought the house! We are so excited. God answers prayer. When he closes one door, he opens a bigger one!
I was not always successful in my faith. At times in this journey I doubted and my faith seemed small. But God was stretching us.
I desperately want to grow in faith and believe God for the impossible. I realize that if I am not asking God for something that is beyond my capabilities and in the realm of the supernatural, than I am not asking “big enough” in my prayers. I want to see God move in miraculous power as in Donald’s testimony. I want to ascend the heights in prayer. My desire for all of us is Paul’s statement in 2 Thessalonians 1:3, “their faith was greatly enlarged.” I encourage you to step out in faith in your life and watch what God can do. Ask God to increase your faith.
“Prayer is not an indifferent or a small thing. It is not a sweet, little privilege. It is a great prerogative, far-reaching in its effects. Failure to pray entails losses far beyond the person who neglect it. Prayer is not a mere episode of the Christian life. Rather, the whole life is a preparation for and the result of prayer. In its condition, prayer is the sum of religion. Faith is but a channel of prayer. Faith gives it wings and swiftness. Prayer is the lungs through which holiness breathes.”
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International