I once heard a story from one of the teachers at kids church. A Christian dies and goes to heaven. He meets the apostle Peter, and Peter shows him around. While on tour, the Christian notices a very massive warehouse, and asks Peter what it is. Peter invites him to take a look inside.
The Christian opens the warehouse doors, and is surprised at what he sees: toy airplanes are flying up in the air, school certificates and trophies displayed on shelves, brand new cars and scattered through the pathways, the shiniest of toys scattered throughout the floor. The inside of the warehouse was just bursting with life. Never had the Christian seen any place like it. So he asks Peter, “What is this place?”
Peter sighs, and with a hint of sadness in his voice, replies, “This warehouse stores all the answered prayers of people. They would have received it, if only they had prayed.”
As Small As
Prayer is the access we have to our Heavenly Father through Jesus. We pray because it is how we constantly communicate with God. But more often than not, most of us pray because there is a need that we are asking God to fulfill.
A couple of questions entered my mind the other day. “Why is it that some prayers are answered quickly, while others take time?”
Then the answer came to me: faith. Faith spells the difference.
One illustration Jesus used to drive this point was the image of a mustard seed. In Matthew 17, a man went up to Jesus and confessed that his son was possessed by a demon that even Jesus’ disciples couldn’t drive out. You could tell that this irritated Jesus, as he replied, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” (verse 17) And immediately, Jesus was able to drive out the demon himself.
What was the difference between what Jesus and his disciples’ did? Jesus explains this in the next few lines: “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (verse 20)
You only need faith, even one as small as a grain of mustard seed, to be able to do the impossible. Because, as mentioned in a previous article, God doesn’t look at how much faith we have, but at who the object of our faith is.
Faith is the one thing that is necessary to experiencing the fulfillment of our prayers. How hard, how long, or how often we pray won’t matter to God if He looks into our hearts, and finds that we don’t have the faith to believe in God’s ability to fulfill them. And why can we believe it? Because, as Bishop Juray Mora once said, “Faith simply receives what grace has given.”
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5: 14-15
What is one thing you are standing in faith for? Share yours in the comments section below.