How much faith is required in order to receive?

Mt 17:20 “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can say to the mountain move here to there and it will be moved. Nothing will be impossible for you.” To put this in context, the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to drive out a demon. This was Jesus’ reply. If it only takes the faith of a mustard seed to drive out a demon, it seems unlikely the Lord would require any greater faith to answer a prayer for something he wants to give you, like wisdom.

In the dialogue between Jesus and the woman at the well in Jn 4, Jesus speaks of worshipping in spirit and truth (v. 23-24). Ro 8:26 speaks of how the Spirit intercedes with groanings too deep for words. I bring these up because the overall context of this paragraph from James has to do with the central concept of making a request to the Lord for wisdom. Prayer can take many forms. To come with a right attitude, humbly, to acknowledge the sovereignty of God (Lk 11:1) is the essence of right prayer and worship. Requests made “in spirit and truth” are by definition within the will of God. Even though the Lord may not answer as quickly as we like or exactly in the manner we would like, He will provide for us what is best for the Kingdom.

This post is an excerpt (Question 6.6) from my book Ask James one.


About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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