Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus answered him, Because you have seen you believe? Blessed are they who do not see and yet believe. John 20:28&29
Believing is a difficult thing to explain isn’t it? Come to think about it, it’s a bit difficult to personally understand as well. It’s kind of like being “all grown up”. Kids can hardly wait for the day when they are grown up until one day they are there and can’t understand where all the time has gone.
Likewise, belief is something we can often see in others but, at times, feel woefully inadequate in our own lives.
This makes prayer challenging. Effective prayer requires faith!
So how do we go about increasing our faith?
We have all read the books or seen the movies wherein hope is slipping away and despair is growing by the moment. The horizon has been repeatedly scanned for possible escape; any help! Suddenly, miraculously over the distant hill we see the cavalry, the townspeople, the lone stranger, the long lost love… Hope turns to unfettered joy as desperate hopelessness turns to victory!
The Psalmist might have had an initial similar expectation as he begins his thoughts (Psalm 121)
I lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord who made the heaven and the earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps [you] will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever!
So how do we increase our faith?
Worship is the key!
Let me hasten to point out that we too often have the view that worship is music or singing. While music and singing are often present at worship and sometimes vehicles of worship, it can as easily be an escape from true worship!
In a discussion with a woman who attempted to deflect confrontation about her private life Jesus said, “…true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth and truth” John 4:23&24
“Worship in truth”…what, if you were sincerely honest would you really say to God?
Until we are willing to deal with truth we will never enter into the truth of worship. The Psalms are great examples of honesty. (For example, read Psalm 10 looking for the truth and for the turn around.) It is only due to the courage of the psalmist in laying his heart bare before the God who knows him better than he know himself that his perspective begins to change.
Once we experience the deep release of truth with God we will be set free to worship!
true worshipers shall worship the Father (John 5:23) in spirit and truth!
It is within this type of worship that we find the boldness to pray!