Bible Passage for Meditation: John 20:24-29
Key Verse: “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29
Sometimes the hardest part of prayer is just starting! “But I don’t feel like praying right now! Should I really pray when the feelings aren’t there?” some ask. I know this is something I really struggled with in the past.
However, we need to recognize that as Christians, we all fight a daily battle: a battle between fact versus feeling. The outcome of this very significant battle will determine what type of faith we hold and the way we will pray. Let me explain.
Fact is what we find in God’s Word. Fact, although built upon unseen realities and invisible promises, does not waver, as it reflects the unchanging nature of God; That is, He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). He will not change (James 1:17). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). He is more eager to give us good gifts than we are to give good gifts to our children (Luke 11:13). When we base faith on fact, we have a firm foundation to weather any storms.
Feeling, on the other hand, is constantly wavering as it is based on our personal experiences, changing emotions, anxieties, spiritual lethargy, and unanswered prayers. Rather than counseling the Word of God for its decisions, feeling takes counsel from self, from worldly wisdom, from skeptical friends, and from the past unproductive Christian experience. When we base faith on feelings, which come and go, it’s as if we are building our house upon the sand. And any storms that come along may knock it over.
Consider the following quote from Inspiration:
“Faith takes God at His Word, with or without feeling. It ‘is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ We can believe our fellowmen, and can we not trust the Word of God? When we go to Him for wisdom or grace, we are not to look to ourselves to see if He has given us a special feeling as an assurance that He has fulfilled His Word. Feeling is no criterion. Great evils have resulted when Christians have followed feeling. How do I know that Jesus hears my prayers?—I know it by His promise. He says He will hear the needy when they cry unto Him, and I believe His Word. He has never said to the ‘seed of Jacob, seek ye Me in vain.’ If we walk in the light, we may come to the throne of grace with holy boldness. We may present the promises of God in living faith, and urge our petitions. Although we are weak, and erring, and unworthy, ‘the Spirit helpeth our infirmities.’ When we have offered our petition once, we must not then abandon it, but say, as did Jacob when he wrestled all night with the angel, ‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me,’ and like him we shall prevail” (Bible Echo, Sept. 24, 1894, par. 4).
Faith must be rooted in the unchanging facts of God’s Word—not in our changing emotions.
If you are waiting to feel like you can trust God completely before you trust God completely, you will probably never trust Him. If you are waiting to feel like praying before you pray, you may never pray. God gave us a mind, and He’s given us His Word. We need to use them together!
Dear Heavenly Father, Teach us what it means to pray even when we don’t feel like it, to pray in faith even when all around seems hopeless, to pray even when the odds seem against us and even when our feelings are telling us that it’s not really going to make a difference. Instead of listening to our feelings, help us to learn to stand upon Your Word in faith. For Your promises are true, and Your Word does not fail. Help us to be rooted and so strong in You that no matter the storm, we will stand strong upon Your Word in faith. Amen.
By Melody Mason
(Melody is author of Daring to Ask for More: Divine Keys to Answered Prayer, and coordinator of 100 Days of Prayer. She currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland. To read more of Melody’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)