Prayer Feeds Faith
Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
One of the challenges to Christian faith formation is learning how to feed your faith so that it grows. Many Christians rely on others to give them what they need to grow. There is a lot of truth to others as a contributing factor to our faith development, but each of us must take responsibility for our own growth as well. You can’t always expect you are going to get everything you need from your pastor, church service, or Bible study. They are helpful, but they can’t possibly meet all of your needs. Only God can do that.
With that in mind, you can take charge of your own spiritual growth. One of the ways that you can do that is through prayer. Soren Kierkegaard said, “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” If this is true, and I believe that it is, then the more you pray, the Holy Spirit is given the opportunity to reshape your nature so that you are more like Jesus.
The question that each of us must resolve in our minds is whether or not we believe that prayer changes us. If we acknowledge that it does, then Paul’s command to “pray without ceasing” is just as much about seeing God change us as it is about seeing God change the world around us. If you know that prayer has the capacity to help change you, then there is no good reason to avoid it.
So then, if prayer is a catalyst for your spiritual growth, you must commit to the regular habit and discipline of prayer as Paul highly recommends. Paul understood the value of prayer. Not only did he command it, but he also practiced it and asked for it all the time. If you spend any amount of time reading his letters, you know how highly he valued it and saw its capacity to change things.
Prayer feeds and nourishes your faith by putting you in the position to trust God, to praise him for answered prayers, and to help you rest and find peace in his presence. When you trust God, you are more apt to take faith-filled risks. When you take faith-filled risks, God does amazing things. When God does amazing things you are more likely to trust him more deeply. When you trust him more deeply you are becoming more like Jesus. Let Prayer help feed your faith, and as Kierkegaard reminds us, let prayer change you.