Have you ever gotten to a point in your life where you felt like your pastor has been lying to you?
You just sat back, recalled all he preached and can’t help but wonder why nothing seems to work?
This was the case of Miriam, a young lady in her early thirties who was having a terrible day.
To further explain this relationship between faith and answered prayers, let’s consider these two Christian stories
Wednesdays came like every other day, I woke up by 5 am to get ready for work.
It felt like this would be a great day.
I said my morning prayers, prepared coffee, took care of my business in the bathroom and was ready for work.
After a breakfast of coffee and toasted bread, I got into my car to head to work.
This was where my problems began that morning.
My car refused to turn on, no amount of prayer I made seemed to be working.
I called my mechanic but his number wasn’t going through, I was bitter.
After 30 minutes of trying, I ordered a ride and it took a while for any cab driver to accept the ride.
Over the night a truck fell on the road that leads to work so there was a bit of traffic.
Can this day get any worse, I wondered aloud.
Oh! How I knew I shouldn’t have made that statement.
After 20 minutes I finally found a cab heading in my direction but the traffic was hectic.
I got to the office by 9 am, which was the exact time for my presentation.
Thanks to God, I delivered the presentation with ease but it still wasn’t enough to get the promotion.
Looking at the smile on Lola’s face and she was handed the position that I prayed, sowed and worked for I felt angry.
I was angry with my pastor for lying to me, angry with God for not answering my prayer despite all my efforts.
Let’s also consider the second story…
My name is Lola, I’m a Christian there is an opening in my company that I don’t deserve but I believe I can get it.
I’m not doing anything extra, I just make sure my job is up to standard.
I try my best to exceed my boss and colleagues expectations and I constantly declare that the promotion is mine.
Am I scared? No, I’m not
I know there are people more deserving of the position but I also believe the bible says “I will be the head and not the tail”
I believed in God for the promotion, I didn’t slack at work and I got it.
These are stories from two different Christians who wanted the same answered prayer.
One believed more in her works while the second had faith and still put in efforts.
She didn’t see her efforts as the determinant rather, her faith in God’s ability to do much more than she can imagine.
Can you answer these questions before we continue;
i.Why do you think Miriam’s prayer wasn’t answered?
ii.Can you spot the relationship between faith and answered prayers from the stories?
iii.What was the missing piece in Miriam’s prayer that was present in Lola’s
A wise man once said that faith is a universal currency that answers in any part of the world.
What is faith?
Heb 11:1 says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is the belief that what you want is already within your reach, you just need to stretch and get it.
The relationship between faith and answered prayers is built and destroyed by your works/words.
You can say “I’m rich in faith but sleep all day”. How do you expect to get rich?
Alternatively, you can work hard for years with a mentality of “never enough and lack” and be poor forever.
Lola’s faith for a promotion cannot yield the desired result if she wasn’t a staff of the company.
The Bible clearly states that “faith without work is dead” you can’t believe for money without taking the necessary steps;
Start a business, apply for a job and learn a skill.
Faith is not magical but with the right works, it can guarantee miracles.
What is prayer?
A prayer is a form of communication between humanity and divinity.
Everyone believes in a form of divinity and refers to it as; God, the universe, nature, buddha and a lot of other names.
A process when you make your needs known to your chosen divinity is called prayer
Christians pray to God in Jesus name but their prayers cannot yield results without faith.
How faith works?
Faith works like money!
No matter how dirty and unkempt you might look, if you walk into a designer store and offer them money for their products. They will attend to you.
Mark 11:23 says “if you say to the mountain be moved and you don’t doubt in your heart, it will be done.
That’s exactly how faith is.
Say it, believe it and you will receive it!
Faith is an action word; the keyword here is action, you don’t just speak mere words, you have to back it up with deeds.
How to build your faith for answered prayers?
1.Hearing God’s word
The Bible says: Faith comes by hearing the word of God.
In times of challenges and trials, all you have is the word you have heard and received.
Nothing works without spoken words, you have to say it to see it.
To build your faith with God’s word; you have to listen to messages on faith from pastors, read books on faith, watch faith-based movies and listen to songs that strengthen your faith.
Never forget the Bible is God’s love letter to you, if you want to build your faith read the bible to find out what God says about faith.
2.Build a wall of fame
How do you feel when you walk into your school to see a medal you won for the school displayed?
I’m sure it feels amazing, it inspires you to work hard to win more medals.
It’s time to use this method to build your faith.
Here is what you would need;
b.A soft board
d.4 different colours of pen
f.Pictures of answered prayers (car, house)
g.Stickers- to add a pop of colour
What you should do;
(i) Place your cardboard paper on the soft board
(ii) Write down the name of whatever you want to name your wall of fame “MY FAITH JOURNEY”
(iii) Write down important dates, events and miracles you have received.
(iv) Put down pictures of your car, house and any other pictorial reminder of something you prayed for and received your answer.
3. Listening to testimonies
Testimonies work just like motivational speeches, it builds your faith.
Listening to people’s testimonies make the power of faith more real and evident.
It gives you strong hope that if your friend can receive her testimony, you too can.
Why is faith important;
a.Without faith, it is impossible to please God
b.You receive your blessings and answered prayers by faith
When faith goes wrong
“If you believe and have no doubt in your mind, you would have all you desire”
Doubt and worries are the major reason there are a lot of unanswered prayers.
a.Am I sure it would happen?
b.Don’t I need human connection?
c.Let me just pay the money to help myself?
d.I know God answers prayer but I don’t think he would answer mine.
e.The deadline is tomorrow. Is God really in control?
Doubt ruins our chances to overcome by faith!
4. Praying amidst(prayer motive)
The Bible says we make prayers and receive no answers because our motive is wrong.
How can you be praying for a promotion only to overthrow your boss? And you expect your prayers to be answered?
Our motives should please God and be helpful to humanity.
Faith without work is dead but work without faith is a cycle of struggle, self-sabotage and stress.
You can receive all you want if only you understand the relationship between faith and answered prayers.
Are you struggling with faith? Does it hurt to pray because you’re scared your prayers might not be answered?
Then, you need to build your faith.
There will be periods of weaknesses and times you feel like giving up.
However, hold on to what’s written in the bible and not what your present circumstances says.