Prayer mixed with faith is a potent mix. I encourage people to pray in an audible voice, especially when we are faced with depression or discouragement. Jesus never seemed to have drawn out prayers, but he was the audible master of small sentence prayers; “come out”, “be quiet”, “receive your sight”, “get behind me Satan”. They seem more like commands than prayers; nevertheless theses prayers are packed with faith.
I would never suggest that my faith is in the league of Jesus, but He did model a faith that his disciples took hold of after Pentecost, and there is a correlation with the presence of the Holy Spirit and the faith-prayers of the believers. As Jesus was doing miracles, the Holy Spirit was present (Lk 5:17). In contrast, if things didn’t happen, it was the lack of faith amongst the people (Mk 6;6).
At times my prayers for people have been no more than; “please help the doctors and nurses” to bring healing. Although it is sincere; it lacks faith. It is not the kind of prayers we find from Jesus or the disciples. This begs the question; are we lacking faith or is it the absence of the Holy Spirit? Or is it both?
The Bible tells us; we cannot please God without faith (Heb 11:6), so faith is the minimal requirement to operate in God. Faith is not like an unending tap, but rather a vat that needs filling. This principle is repeated in the Scriptures; faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17); do not get drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18); I will show my faith by my deeds (James 2:18). Faith is birthed by the Holy Spirit, but we are responsible to keep this alive. I find it easier to blame someone or something else for my lack of faith, but sobering are the words of Jesus; “will he find faith when he returns?” (Lk 18:8). It is clear from this scripture that Jesus puts his trust in us to remain and grow in faith (and there is much more to faith than what I am writing).
The encouraging part in our faith journey is that we can, at any time, kick into a new level, enlarging the pool of faith. Some 16 years ago I baptized a 73 year old man who had been reluctantly going to church with his faithful wife. One day he came to me and said; “I want to follow the Lord fully”. He made a decision; he no longer wanted a tepid faith. His family discovered a new man with a fresh vision of Jesus. Interesting to notice; as he enlarged the pool of faith, he evoked the Holy Spirit to move in his life.