“And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!”
We often talk about the importance of faith in prayer because a faithless prayer is a wasted prayer. Though Abraham is often known as a man of faith, there were times in his life when his faith waned. In the verse above, his faith was weak which led him to pray for Ishmael to become the child of promise. God had already told Abraham that he was going to have a child who would be the child of promise, but his faithlessness led him to rely on human logic instead of Divine power. His lapse of faith led to a faithless prayer, which resulted in much of the chaos we see today. When looking at this faithless prayer, I find five things that a faithless prayer will do.
First, a faithless prayer hurts the future. Abraham never thought that his prayer would hurt the future until Jesus comes back, but it did. The believer must always be careful about the faithless prayer because God just may answer it. The problem with a faithless prayer is that it doesn’t take into account what it will do to the future; rather, it looks at the present to determine its value. If you don’t want to hurt your future and the future of those you love, you had better restrain yourself from having a faithless prayer.
Second, a faithless prayer prays by sight. Abraham’s prayer was one of trying to help God because Ishmael was already born. Stop trying to help God with your prayers. God doesn’t need your help to answer prayers. A faithless prayer often prays with what seems very possible to happen. You must never fall into the trap of using your current circumstances as the content for your prayer. The faithless prayer can’t see beyond the present.
Third, the faithless prayer prays in doubt. Abraham couldn’t see how he could still have a child; therefore, he prayed that God would make Ishmael the child of promise. You will never experience the blessings of the prayer of faith if you continue to pray in doubt. My friend, Stop doubting that God could answer your prayer of faith. Doubt is like poison to the prayer of faith. Doubt kills any possibility that the prayer of faith can make happen. You must pray believing that God can answer your prayer of faith.
Fourth, the faithless prayer prays by human desire. Though Ishmael was a child of sin, Abraham still loved him and wanted the best for him. It was that love for Ishmael that caused the faithless prayer of Abraham to pray according to his desires. When you pray, you need to remove your desires from the prayer. When Jesus prayed, He said, “…not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) You will never pray the prayer of faith as long as you are praying with your will in mind. It is not that you can’t pray for your will, but you must be willing to accept God’s will for the prayer of faith to succeed. My question to you concerning this thought is this, are you willing to accept God’s will if His will is different from yours? The faithless prayer only wants its will to be done, and not God’s.
Fifth, the faithless prayer never prays for the miraculous. My friend, you will never see God perform the miraculous while praying a faithless prayer. Let me encourage you to throw out the limits you have placed on God with your faithlessness and start praying by faith. God is the limit when the Christian starts praying the prayer of faith.