Vol.VIII No.II Pg.7
April 1971

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Dear Editor,

We know faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17). We also know prayer must be in faith (Jas. 1:6) May we ask for things of this life — as safety on a trip? The Bible doesnt tell us to ask for this? How could such be a prayer of faith?


In a diligent search for a mechanical formula for prayer, we have not discovered the personality of our God. Jehovah is interested in his people and expects them to share with him their joys and sorrows. Peter urges. Cast all your care upon h m; for he careth for you (1 Pet. 5: 7 ). God who knows even trivial facts — the number of my hair (Mt. 10: 20) — also cares about my trivial problems. They concern him because they trouble me.

We have no list of specifics for which to pray. Such would be impossible. We do have generic authority for prayer to include thanksgiving, requests, and the cares of this life. Our requests to God may he as broad as our thanksgiving to him — in everything (Phil. 4:6).

We might also investigate the reference to asking in faith. Does this mean faith in the answer to our prayer? If so, how could we continue to pray in faith after a petition had once been denied? (Lk. 18:1-f). The testimony of a denied petition would be contrary to the request and hence against asking again — in faith. Also, we may know only the problem — not the answer.

Paul prayed three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed. God refused his petition but gave him the strength to endure (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Was Pauls prayer without faith? Was his faith groundless? Absolutely not! His faith was not in a removed thorn. He believed in God who had both power to remove the thorn and wisdom to know the best answer to Pauls problem. Paul had the same faith after the request was denied as before.

Jesus prayed for his cup of suffering to pass (Mt. 26:39). Yet he knew his death was necessary to redeem all men (Jno. 12:32-33). He knew God commanded him to lay down his life (Jno. 10:18). He also knew it was the time for his death (Jno. 13:1). The testimony was opposite to his request, yet he prayed for the cup to pass. Was his prayer in faith? Surely he was not told to ask for this. He could not believe the cup would pass. He told his Father of his dread of the cross and his desire (Jesus will) to avoid its pain and shame. Then trustingly, he left all in the Father s hands — nevertheless not my will but thine be done. This is the highest manifestation of faith.

With faith in God, we ask for wisdom (Jas. 1:6). No doubters are heard: man must believe in God who can reward those seeking him (Heb. 11:6).

We trust God with our hearts secret feelings — our weaknesses and fears. We confide to him our many needs and confess dependence on him. We are confident he listens, cares, and acts in our best interest. Such is prayer in faith. Our faith is in God. -- Joe Fitch