“Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29, NIV).
This verse is a part of a passage from the Gospel according to John in which Jesus teaches a lesson on faith to one of his 12 chosen disciples. Although the described event took place newarly 2000 years ago, Jesus’ answer is just as relevant to us today as it was back then to Thomas. Let us question ourselves sincerely – do we walk by faith or by sight? Do we pray by faith or by sight?
The truth is, for many Christians the saying “Gotta see to believe” has become a way of life. Don’t also skip the fact that the society around us encourages us to not trust anything or anyone, before we can touch and see first… And that goes on daily basis. Thus, slowly but steadily many forget about the true meaning of the word faith. This becomes an even greater problem when it comes to prayer. There is a real danger that each of us can lose faith if it is not being nurtured by a continual fellowship with God through His Word. One day you or I can wake up with an unsolvable problem in our lives and offended or even angry turn to God with the words: “Show me and I’ll believe that you have not abandoned me!”
A significant part of the non-believers today use precisely this argument for their unbelief – God has not shown himself in this and that way and that’s why I don’t believe He exists. Sometimes God choses to show Himself in a supernatural way and the faith of those who believe then is counted – just as Jesus reaffirmed Thomas’ faith. But as He said in that same passage – blessed are those who first believe.
A brief look at God’s Word reveals that all who were healed by Jesus had faith before that healing took place. Nowhere is it to be found in the Bible something like: “You have been healed because you first waited to see me and only after that you believed in me.” We should, instead take a lesson from what we can read in Luke 7:1-10 as a part of the dialogue between a Roman centurion and Jesus: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. … When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” So, do you have the faith to say in your prayer “Lord, I know you hear me. If it is your will, do heal… do provide… do save…”?
Sometimes God does not answer our prayers. Other times His answers have nothing to do with how we thought He will answer… One thing is for sure though – if you and I approach prayer with faith and not with requirements or demands, then whether God answers or not we will be drawn closer to Him. And our faith will grow as well.
If, on the other hand, we pray wanting to see a miracle, so that we may believe, then there is a chance we will lose even the little bit of faith that drives us to pray.
Pay attention to how you pray! Move forward fearlessly and in confidence with faith in God through prayer. Only then nothing and no one will be able to stand on the way between you and God.