“ Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” And Jesus answered, “ 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.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “ Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “ 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. Matthew 17:15-20
I am not sure if you are like me or not, but there are times when I pray for something and NOTHING seems to happen. It is frustrating and discouraging many times. Our family has seen amazing answers to prayer. So many, in fact, that when we sit and think about it - being tempted to disbelieve that God is going to come through for us is a bit irrational.
And yet, sometimes we pray and nothing seems to happen.
The Lord has taken me (David) on quite the journey in the past few years. I used to think that praying for anyone or anything and seeing something happen right away was not the norm. The Lord has graciously changed that level of thinking. So much in fact, that when I do pray for someone or about something and nothing happens, it drives me to the Lord for instruction, encouragement, or whatever else I need. I am fully convinced that expecting answers to our prayers should be the norm.
As believers we love to share the great things that God does. This is part of giving God glory. When He does something awesome, then the world needs to hear about it! To not tell others of His amazing deeds is to steal His glory from Him. In like wise manner, we feel that constantly beating the drum of the darkness and wickedness all around us, constantly proclaiming what the enemy is doing, is giving glory to the Evil One, of which he deserves no glory at all. He is a thief and a liar. A thief of glory and forever lying about it.
However, the honest truth is that some things we pray for appear to see no answer.
About a month ago, dear friends from Canada had come to visit and we were discussing the topic of believers praying and seemingly nothing happening. It was then that they began to explain to me the statement that Jesus made in Matthew 17. Let me try to lay it out:
Jesus had sent his disciples out to preach, heal, and deliver those who were oppressed. Yet in their exploits they came across a young man on whom their prayers had little effect. Jesus said it was because of their "little faith" and then told them that if they had the faith of a mustard seed they would be able to say to this mountain be moved from here to there and nothing will be impossible to them.
I had always heard this as a rebuke from Jesus about the amount of their faith. Yet our friends explained to us that in this region of the world it was known that Mustard seeds could be planted virtually anywhere. These seeds were tiny and yet given enough time they would always grow -- even through a mountain. Given enough time this little, tiny seed would persevere even through the face of solid rock. This life would "find a way."
Suddenly the light came on! You know, as in when the Lord speaks a truth or revelation to your heart and you feel the literal life come into your body?
What if the Lord was telling me....you haven't failed in prayer, you merely gave up too soon?
Today, Lord, I will not despise the day of small things (Zech 4:10) and I ask you to release in me an overcoming spirit that I might, in all things, endure through to victory.