A Closer Walk
Stumbled across a Southern Gospel classic on You Tube recently. Here is the first verse: "Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door. Words are so easily spoken, but prayer without faith is like a boat without an oar". Prayer is the key to heaven. But faith unlocks the door.
"And the Lord said to Abraham...Is anything too difficult for the Lord?..." Genesis 18:14 NASB. Like Abraham we may need to ponder that question periodically. Is there anything that is too difficult for the Lord? What does He lack that would prevent Him from accomplishing whatever He desires? Does He lack power? Perhaps this week He is short on might because He used up so much last week. Any authority He may be missing? The obvious answer to all these questions is, "No". He has all the power, all the might, and all the authority that exists. That is why we address Him as The Lord God Almighty.
Jesus, as God's Only Begotten Son, has been given all authority. "...All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth," Matthew 28:18 NASB. He has been given the authority to do anything that He wishes. During His earthly ministry he turned water into wine. He fed thousands with five loaves of bread and two fishes. And He healed the sick, the lame, and the blind. One example: "And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, and saying, 'Have mercy on us Son of David'. And after He had come into the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, 'Do you believe that I am able to do this?'...", Matthew 9:27-28 NASB.
Let's examine the question. Jesus asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” Would the blind men's answer have an impact on Jesus? Would He be limited in any way, or power, if they replied, “No”? If they did say no, could He immediately turn and heal two other blind men? Yes, He could have. Would a yes response bring Jesus more power? No, not at all. Their answer, regardless whether it was yes or no, would not have any impact on Jesus. But their answer had a huge impact on them. So here is their response to Jesus question. "...'Do you believe that I am able to do this?' They said to Him, 'Yes, Lord.' Then He touched their eyes, saying, 'Be it done to you according to your faith',” Matthew 9:28-29 NASB.
Be it done to you according to “your” faith. While our faith, or lack of faith, in no way adds to, or subtracts from, the power and authority that Jesus has, our faith seems to have a big impact on the answer to our petition or supplication. Perhaps our faith helps to set the stage, so to speak, and prepare us for Jesus' answer when it does arrive. In the movie “Shadowlands,” based on the life of Christian Apologist C. S. Lewis, Anthony Hopkins, portraying Lewis, proclaims, “I pray, not because it changes God, but because it changes me!”
This is the second verse of the southern Gospel classic: "Have faith when you speak to the Master, that's all He'll ask you for. Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door."
“...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” James 5:16 KJV.