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Thread: Lack of faith in prayer...and life

  1. #1
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    Lack of faith in prayer...and life

    Hello, everyone;

    As most of you know, I have been on thse boards, on and off, for a couple of years now. I have been saved a total of 3 years.
    You would think that by now, I would have full and complete faith and confidence in God, but alas, I do not, and I am really beginning to get worried that my faith will never be perfected, and I feel it is seriously hindering my spiritual growth, and God's working in my life.

    I will give you a typical example of what I mean. Prayer journals...I have had several people comment (both on this board and in my church) that they keep prayer journals, and through them, they see how God has worked marvelously in their lives. Now, it's not so much that they are keeping journals, but that they chalk all of the things that have come to pass as being "answers to prayer." You would think that as a Christian, I should know this, deep down to the very core of my soul, and praise the Lord for it. I should hear about something like this, and be encouraged by how good God is. Well, I don't. Sometimes I do, but there are also plenty of times where I say to myself "How do I know that was really God? That could have been just coincidence." I also cannot see how God has worked miraculously in my life without kicking and screaming against my own thoughts...for example, He delivered me from smoking many months ago, but when I tell people how He delivered me, inside, I'm thinking "How do I know that was really Him? Maybe it was just willpower." Everything is coincidence and willpower to me, and in my spirit, I know it isn't so, but even so, these thoughts are nagging, and absolutely crushing to my faith. Deep inside, it's hard for me to believe sometimes.

    In other words, there is a huge part of me that refuses to see the things that happen as coming from God, and this really bothers me. I always end up talking myself out of this frame of mind, but even sometimes, when someone asks me to pray for them, I automatically think to myself "How do I know God will answer this?" I will pray for them, but then when I go to pray, I have so little faith that it will actually happen, it's as if I'm just going through the motions. I honestly don't understand where this is coming from, because I pray quite a lot, but it's as though when I'm praying, I have no faith that it will actually happen....my mind will often chalk it up to coincidence.

    I know that, as a Christian, I should have a lot more faith and this, but even though I try and have faith, I always end up being skeptical. It's as though there is a part of my mind that doesn't want to believe that God hears my prayers, and I don't want to feel this way....I want the first thought to come to my mind when someone gives a praise report to be "WOW!! God really answers prayer." The problem is, I just don't think that way, and it really seems to be hindering my faith, a lot.

    Not only that, but....for example, my pastor is going through the book of Revelations. I have really enjoyed the study, but when I think deeply about this, or any sort of Biblical prophecy, I start thinking "What if this really isn't true? Then I'm just fooling myself"....but the problem is, it is true, and it kills me to think that I would doubt it even for a millisecond!!!!!

    Another problem is that I get so hung up on how I pray, that sometimes, i can't even come to the Lord freely. I don't know why this has become such an issue. I will be praying, and I will be thinking so hard about how I say something, thinking that if I somehow don't ask in the right way, that God will not listen. I know, it sounds stupid, but it is seriously something that impedes my prayer time. I almost feel like I am holding back something from God if I don't pray right, although I always ask the Holy Spirit to lead my prayers. I don't know if it's a subconscious desire for perfection, or if I'm being attacked in my prayer life.

    I just feel that this lack of faith, paired with this restraint that I have during prayer, is really hindering my prayer life somehow. Why is it that I have so much trouble seeing the Lord's work in peoples' lives? Why is my initial instinct skepticism? Has anyone else struggled with this? If so, how on earth did you overcome it?!

    Thanks so much for reading this.

  2. #2
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    I think people often get confused between lack of faith and doubts.
    Doubting is natural, especially when the world is strongly in within the sphere of influence of Satan.
    Welder, Why do you think Jesus said a mustard seed is all you need? Because that is all you need. And you have that. Satan continually tries to turn our attention to us instead of to God.
    Does God answer prayer? Of Course he does. God pursues us constantly and for most of our lives we are within that Grace already. Look back on your life and make a list of where God is the only explanation for you being rescued.
    That is God at work.

    Blessings.

  3. #3
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    Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    You are simply going through the battle we all go through my friend. You have two natures inside you, and they battle against each other.
    Read through Abraham. He had a continual struggle same as you. Great faith one day, listening to his flesh the next.
    Little by little though, he grew, as do we all, and every time he failed, down in Egypt, his thing with Hager, etc. God never left him or forsook him, but continued to be with him.
    Our battle can surely get wearisome, and sometimes we just want to give up. But then, the Spirit revives us, and we get back up, and keep walking.
    Those times we fail is when we are learning and growing most, actually.
    So continue on brother, and ignore the voice of your 'old man' and reckon him dead, and follow after the spirit.

  4. #4
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    I'm not sure if this will help you or not. I hope so.

    Moses stood before the burning bush and still had trouble wrapping his head around what God was asking Him to do, even though God told him He would take care of things.

    Peter had faith to step from the boat and walked on water until he took his focus off of Jesus and looked at his circumstances.

    These were both men whom God used mightily - and they doubted. They doubted big time. We all have doubts - we all struggle. But God cares about every minute detail of your life. The very hairs of your head are numbered. You are loved as a child is loved and cared for.

    Keep your focus on Jesus and all else will become secondary.
    V

  5. #5
    Welder4Christ,

    Relax, God doesn't measure your faith by spontaneously doubt attacks. They bother you, more then they bother Him. Is not that your faith who is holding you steady to God, but rather by gods grace, He is.

    Do you want to get ride of your Doubts. Fine. Do this. Pick one or two doubt thoughts which bother you most. And challenge them! lets take the smoking example, were you doubt if it was God or your "willpower" delivered you of it. Ask yourself, if this was merely your "willpower", were did you get this willpower from now suddenly? what hindering you to start from smoking back again? Maybe this is the way God handle issues like this, buy making YOU stronger, so YOUR willpower got stronger. Most people who fall back in smoking, are that they got in depression, problems, and other troubles, which make them going back again. Did God protected you from those troubles which could have made you going back again to smoking?

    Do you see my point?. Now ask yourself! If you find that God indeed was there all the time to help you. Then kill all other future doubts by simply ignoring them, they vanish with time.

    You cannot prevent the birds of doubts from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.

    God loves you anyway!

  6. #6
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    Do you know how big a mustard seed is??



    Just one of those is all the faith you need! You have faith my friend!
    I will sing of your works & your mighty ways
    My Rock & My Salvation
    Who will hide me in the time of trouble?
    Who is like the lord, so full of gace and truth!

  7. #7
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    Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish in the mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.

    Madeleine L'Engle.


    I read your post and knew I'd read the answer recently in - The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel. Write or print this out and stick it where you will see it most often. Love SofTy.
    1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos: and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.

    Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptised in the name of Paul?

    KJV

    May the power of the Spirit of our God unite us. SofTy.

  8. #8
    I have been a Christian for almost ten years. I still get doubts occasionally. Every Christian does, its normal. Even some of the guys in the Bible doubted stuff.

  9. #9
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    Hey welder, great to see you struggling. If you were not in the battle, that would be of more concern.
    Prayer is the means by which we relate to God. It is our conversation with Him. It has as many nuances and different purposes and levels as does any conversation with any other acquaintance or friend.
    And we make it what we want. What we need to remember always is that God wants the real you. Not some version you that you think might impress Him. Not some version of you that you believe might best get the answers you want. Not some version of you that you believe might best cover up your real self.
    If you have doubts, tell Him. If you have fears, tell Him. If you have any problems, let Him know so He can deal with them. Then Let Him. And when they are dealt with, give Him the glory.

    You know, He doesn't answer your prayers because you pray. He answers your prayers because He sees you have a need and He loves you. God is head over heels in love with you brother, He's crazy 'bout you, and considering He sent His Son to die for you, is He going to hold back anything else for your good? Including the power to quit smoking.
    My friend, we can do nothing outside of Him. Breathe, make our hearts beat and our blood flow, life itself is all dependent upon His grace. Taking away from you the desire for tobacco is a big thing for you but such a small thing for Him. It is nothing compared to what else He has in store for you if you but trust in Him. I've mentioned this before on other threads, but I will repeat it here.
    A favourite song of mine goes "If we can't see His hand and we don't know His plan, trust His heart."
    You may not understand all there is to know about God, His ways and His purposes, none of us do. But look at the cross. Read about what great thing Jesus did for you on calvary and trust yourself and surrender to that God Who loves you that much. You can trust Him. You can depend upon His love to see through everything this world, your old man, or the devil can throw at you.
    "All things work together for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28.
    Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and
    rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

  10. #10
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    Hi Welder4Christ,your not alone.We all struggle with spiritual battles.God has given each of us a measure of faith.As we grow in our Lord our faith grows.If your trying to figure out why your faith is not strong.....search your spirit and not your flesh.As for seeing God's work on others and transforming their life...look through your spiritual eyes.It would be like the transformations He has done in you.Ask God to increase your faith.Rebuke all the negative "stuff" that is trying to take over in your mind.Your a victor not a victim!!! Keep your eye on the Lord........
    ~~Darlene~~
    " May The Peace of God Be With Us"
    Jer:29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you....
    <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><
    Knowledge Will Be Increased
    In Christ Jesus, Darlene

  11. #11
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    I pray that this spirit of strife and doubt in you, be broken in Jesus' name. Amen. God gives us peace and joy. The joy is our strength. If you don't feel joy, you can't be strong. So, look up scriptures on peace and joy and HIS strength in our lives and you will overcome by HIS revelation.

    Just one of many: The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
    Psalm 27:1

    God bless you and quit letting the devil steal your joy!!!
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that HE gave HIS only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have eternal life.


    My testimony: http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthread.php?t=137007

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kahtar View Post
    Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

    You are simply going through the battle we all go through my friend. You have two natures inside you, and they battle against each other.
    Read through Abraham. He had a continual struggle same as you. Great faith one day, listening to his flesh the next.
    Little by little though, he grew, as do we all, and every time he failed, down in Egypt, his thing with Hager, etc. God never left him or forsook him, but continued to be with him.
    Our battle can surely get wearisome, and sometimes we just want to give up. But then, the Spirit revives us, and we get back up, and keep walking.
    Those times we fail is when we are learning and growing most, actually.
    So continue on brother, and ignore the voice of your 'old man' and reckon him dead, and follow after the spirit.
    Thank you, Khatar!!!

    I completely agree with you, that we must crucify the old man, but my only concern is....how much of this "old man" --- this doubter--- is reflective of my true heart? I want to be completely sold-out for God, and do not want to be double-minded, as James says.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by popcorn View Post
    Welder4Christ,

    Relax, God doesn't measure your faith by spontaneously doubt attacks. They bother you, more then they bother Him. Is not that your faith who is holding you steady to God, but rather by gods grace, He is.

    Do you want to get ride of your Doubts. Fine. Do this. Pick one or two doubt thoughts which bother you most. And challenge them! lets take the smoking example, were you doubt if it was God or your "willpower" delivered you of it. Ask yourself, if this was merely your "willpower", were did you get this willpower from now suddenly? what hindering you to start from smoking back again? Maybe this is the way God handle issues like this, buy making YOU stronger, so YOUR willpower got stronger. Most people who fall back in smoking, are that they got in depression, problems, and other troubles, which make them going back again. Did God protected you from those troubles which could have made you going back again to smoking?
    Thanks, popcorn;

    That's actually really good advice. When I look at it rationally, there really is no other explanation. I had no desire to quit until I started walking with the Lord. I know He took that desire away...What other explanation could there be?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ServantofTruth View Post
    Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish in the mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.

    Madeleine L'Engle.


    I read your post and knew I'd read the answer recently in - The Case For Faith by Lee Strobel. Write or print this out and stick it where you will see it most often. Love SofTy.
    That is wonderful!!!! Thank you so much!!!!!!

  15. #15
    When I think of the christian faith and my walk with God, I think long term, not short term. When I was a young christian I always thought short term, like day by day, week by week, year by year.

    But now I think of it as Paul describes it in 1 Corinthians 9.

    (1 Cor 9:24 NIV) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

    (1 Cor 9:27 NIV) No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.


    It is ok to have doubts and uncertainties. I think of it as working out my faith.

    (Phil 2:12 NIV) Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

    (Phil 2:13 NIV) for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

    When the doubts are answered, faith grows and you become a stronger more mature Christian. sort of like a mustard seed growing.

    (Mat 13:31 NIV) He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

    (Mat 13:32 NIV) Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."



    Quote Originally Posted by Welder4Christ View Post
    Hello, everyone;

    As most of you know, I have been on thse boards, on and off, for a couple of years now. I have been saved a total of 3 years.
    You would think that by now, I would have full and complete faith and confidence in God, but alas, I do not, and I am really beginning to get worried that my faith will never be perfected, and I feel it is seriously hindering my spiritual growth, and God's working in my life.

    I will give you a typical example of what I mean. Prayer journals...I have had several people comment (both on this board and in my church) that they keep prayer journals, and through them, they see how God has worked marvelously in their lives. Now, it's not so much that they are keeping journals, but that they chalk all of the things that have come to pass as being "answers to prayer." You would think that as a Christian, I should know this, deep down to the very core of my soul, and praise the Lord for it. I should hear about something like this, and be encouraged by how good God is. Well, I don't. Sometimes I do, but there are also plenty of times where I say to myself "How do I know that was really God? That could have been just coincidence." I also cannot see how God has worked miraculously in my life without kicking and screaming against my own thoughts...for example, He delivered me from smoking many months ago, but when I tell people how He delivered me, inside, I'm thinking "How do I know that was really Him? Maybe it was just willpower." Everything is coincidence and willpower to me, and in my spirit, I know it isn't so, but even so, these thoughts are nagging, and absolutely crushing to my faith. Deep inside, it's hard for me to believe sometimes.

    In other words, there is a huge part of me that refuses to see the things that happen as coming from God, and this really bothers me. I always end up talking myself out of this frame of mind, but even sometimes, when someone asks me to pray for them, I automatically think to myself "How do I know God will answer this?" I will pray for them, but then when I go to pray, I have so little faith that it will actually happen, it's as if I'm just going through the motions. I honestly don't understand where this is coming from, because I pray quite a lot, but it's as though when I'm praying, I have no faith that it will actually happen....my mind will often chalk it up to coincidence.

    I know that, as a Christian, I should have a lot more faith and this, but even though I try and have faith, I always end up being skeptical. It's as though there is a part of my mind that doesn't want to believe that God hears my prayers, and I don't want to feel this way....I want the first thought to come to my mind when someone gives a praise report to be "WOW!! God really answers prayer." The problem is, I just don't think that way, and it really seems to be hindering my faith, a lot.

    Not only that, but....for example, my pastor is going through the book of Revelations. I have really enjoyed the study, but when I think deeply about this, or any sort of Biblical prophecy, I start thinking "What if this really isn't true? Then I'm just fooling myself"....but the problem is, it is true, and it kills me to think that I would doubt it even for a millisecond!!!!!

    Another problem is that I get so hung up on how I pray, that sometimes, i can't even come to the Lord freely. I don't know why this has become such an issue. I will be praying, and I will be thinking so hard about how I say something, thinking that if I somehow don't ask in the right way, that God will not listen. I know, it sounds stupid, but it is seriously something that impedes my prayer time. I almost feel like I am holding back something from God if I don't pray right, although I always ask the Holy Spirit to lead my prayers. I don't know if it's a subconscious desire for perfection, or if I'm being attacked in my prayer life.

    I just feel that this lack of faith, paired with this restraint that I have during prayer, is really hindering my prayer life somehow. Why is it that I have so much trouble seeing the Lord's work in peoples' lives? Why is my initial instinct skepticism? Has anyone else struggled with this? If so, how on earth did you overcome it?!

    Thanks so much for reading this.

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