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The Prayer of Faith.

The Prayer of Faith.

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 11, 2013
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THE PRAYER OF FAITH.By Richard WhatelyALL who are at all acquainted with theew Testament must have observedthat in many places we are taught to offerup prayers with faith. Our Lord's wordsare * Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall beopened unto you: for, every one thatasketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh,findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shallbe opened.' (Matt. vii. 9, 10.) And inanother place [Matt. xvii. 20], we findHim telling his Disciples that if they havebut the smallest particle of faith, — * faith asa grain of mustard-seed,' — they shall havepower to remove mountains, and nothingshall be impossible to them. And again.He tells them [Mark xi. 24] that whenthey pray they are to believe that their pe-titions will be granted, and then they shallreceive what they ask. He tells them also[John XV. 16] that whatsoever they shallDigitized byGoogleL. II.] THE PRAYER OF FAITH. 13
* ask the Father in his ame, He will giveit them ;' and that if two of them shall * agreetogether touching something they shall ask,it shall be granted.' (Matt, xviii. 19.)ow these passages are liable to be dan-gerously misunderstood by the inconsi-derate, who read the Bible, with reverence,indeed, but without any exercise of theircommon sense in understanding its mean-ing, and without p.ny care to compare onepassage with another, so as to make Scrip-ture its own interpreter. But the HolyScriptures were designed not for thethoughtless and inattentive reader, but forrational Beings who are willing to studycarefully, and seek for the true meaning.Some however there have been who haveinferred from some of our Lord's words,that all Christians, if not wanting in faith,would be gifted with miraculous powers;and that it is only from our deficiency infaith that we are unable to perform thesame wonders as the Apostles.* And some* In some of the notes from Jortin and Hammond, (onMark xi.) that are printed in the Bible published by theChristian Knowledge Society, these commentators seem tosee no difficulty in the passage, and interpret it in a mannertliat would lead to such a conclusion.Digitized byGoogle
14 TBE PKAYER OF FAITH. [L. II.indeed have gone so far as to fancy, or topretend, that they did possess the mira-culous gift of Tongues, or that they hadsome other superhuman powers. Andothers, again, it is to be feared, from findingthat no miraculous power is now granted tothose who pray for it, are thus led to atotal distrust of God's promises generally,and even to a rejection of all religion.But you may see plainly from the Scrip-ture-narrative, that the Apostles themselveshad not — like the Lord Jesus — an unlimitedmiraculous power. It appears that theycould only exert such power when theyreceived an express commission to do so; — when it was intimated to them, — whe-ther by the spoken words of their Lordopenly uttered, or by some unmistakeableinward sign — that they were authorized andcommanded to perform a miracle. Andthey were required to have full faith in suchan intimation when it did take place. If they doubted, the power forsook them. Andthey seem to have fully understood this.They interpreted what their Master saidconcerning the faith that would enable themto work a miracle, as having reference toDigitized byGoogle

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