First – PRAYER EMPTIES THE HEART OF CARES. When we pray, we get rid of weights, worry, stress, frustrations, and aggravations that cause us to sin and pull away from God. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (O Peter 5:7). Many immediately call on family or friends instead of God to help get them in the right frame of mind. Until your heart is empty of care or worry you will not hear from God. We must have a pure heart. (See Matthew 5:8.) When you go to God in prayer, He promises to guard or “garrison” your heart with His peace that “passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Psalm 41:

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
and restores them to health.

David, facing one of his regular times of hardship, starts this prayer by reminding himself that he’d found that serving God brought practical benefits in this present life. When we read this today, we sometimes think, “He’s trying to butter God up, so he can get what he wants.” However, I really think David was encouraging himself to have enough confidence so that he would continue to ask for God’s intervention in the situation.

Spiritual honesty is a lost art in the Christian world today, but God requires absolute honesty and faithfulness to Him in all things. “Faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26). If we just speak about faith in God, but not do what His Word says, we deceive ourselves. A righteous standing before God is critical and that only comes by combining spoken and acting faith. (James 2:22) Abraham’s “faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

Remember when Peter was walking on water? He was doing fine, until he took his eyes off Jesus and allowed fear to overtake him. When Peter became fearful, he began to sink. This still holds true today. Fear, will cause us to sink. Faith, in God, will enable us to swim. What we must understand is that God does not give us the spirit of fear. He gives us the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

The only verse in Scripture that contains the phrase, “Prayer of Faith”, is James 5:15. Though spoken of only once, the prayer title conveys an assurance of success in prayer. The conviction that life, if lived with Faith in God, rewards with an Eternity spent in God’s presence, encourages us to believe that Faith accomplishes whatever it sets out to do. “For whatsoever is born of God overcome the world: and this is the victory that overcome the world, even our Faith” (1John 5:4). With the Promise of victory beforehand, prayer linked by Faith that is founded in God assures itself to be both rewarding and exciting in “exploits” for God. “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).

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