Ask In Faith – The Biblical Way to Receive from God: Part 1 The Power of the Prayer of Faith

Ask In Faith – The Biblical Way to Receive from God: Part 1 The Power of the Prayer of Faith


James 1:5-8 ESV  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  (6)  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  (7)  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  (8)  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

  • This morning I want to focus on the first part of verse 6.

James 1:6a  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…

  • Last week we went over verse 5 in detail, it was a simple sermon that all of us need to be reminded of… ASK FOR WISDOM! Ask for it now, ask for it often, and ask for it in times of need.
    • But this week I want to talk about asking in faith with no doubting.
      • In fact we will just get straight to the sermon title this morning, it is simply “Ask in Faith (The Biblical Way to Receive From God).
  • Ask in faith, with no doubting… this is how we receive from God.
    • Now I read verses 5-8 because I wanted you to know the context of this verse.
      • The context of this verse is about asking for wisdom.
      • And very clearly James is telling us that if we ask for wisdom in faith that God will give us wisdom.
        • But there is a larger Biblical principal here.
        • You see, throughout the Bible there are passages, doctrines, and theological principles that all agree and fall in line with James 1:6.

Mark 11:24 ESV Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

1 John 5:14 ESV And this is the confidence [faith] that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

Philippians 4:6 ESV Do not be anxious [being anxious comes from and proves a lack of faith] about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

James 5:15 ESV  And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Mark 9:23  And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 

Matthew 15:28 ESV  Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Matthew 17:19-20 ESV  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”  (20)  He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Hebrews 11:6 ESV  And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

  • Guys I could go on and on and on with scriptures like these…
    • The Bible makes this principle, this doctrine, very clear.
      • How do you receive from God? You receive from God by asking in faith.

James 1:6a  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…

      • And listen guys, I know… trust me, I know… that there are preachers, and churches, and even whole denominations… that take this principal too far…
        • They twist it and manipulate others with it, and use it for their own gain.
        • I know that there are very popular TV preachers who talk about the prayer of faith and they do so wrongly, and selfishly, and they add to the scriptures and take away from the scriptures.
        • And I know that because of this some of you have probably been turned off to the idea that praying in faith is a way to get prayers answered.
      • Maybe phrases like “Prayer of Faith” and “Word of Faith” and “You must have faith when you pray” makes your skin crawl…
        • And they used to make my skin crawl too… But I can not and will not deny scripture just because some dude in a $10,000 suit used that scripture to try to buy a jet.
          • Yeah there are charlatans out there who misuse and abuse these verses, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore these verses, it means that we should ignore the charlatans.
  • The Scripture is clear… God answers prayers of faith.
    • So that is what we are going to talk about this morning.
      • Next week we will talk about the consequences in life for not living in faith.
      • But today we are going to talk about the power and limits of the prayer of faith.

Point One – The Power of the Prayer of Faith

James 1:6-7 ESV  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  (7)  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

  • Let him ask in faith without doubting for the one who doubts should not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.
    • If the one who doubts should not suppose to receive anything from the Lord…
      • And we are encouraged to ask in faith.
        • Then it stands to reason that the one who does not doubt but asks in faith SHOULD suppose that he will receive from the Lord.
  • Remember, the sermon title is “Ask in Faith, the Biblical way to receive from the Lord”.
    • If you ask in faith, according to James and many other books in the Bible, then you will receive from the Lord.
      • Now there are some exceptions to this rule which we will talk about in a few minutes. But for now, let’s stick with the positive.
    • If you ask in faith, you will receive from the Lord.
  • Now, as y’all know, my job is to make it plane… to help us understand what the Scripture is saying to us… and it starts by understanding what faith is.
    • In short, faith is “believing” but it is more specific than that.
      • It is not believing for no reason.
      • It is not believing because we are lunatics and we just believe crazy stuff.
      • It is not blindly believing without reason or logic.
      • It’s not believing because we feel all warm and fuzzy when we believe.
      • You can believe all sorts of stuff for all sorts of reasons but that may not be the same kind of believing that faith is.
    • Faith is believing in unseen things on the basis of substance and evidence.
    • We don’t have to make up a definition for faith because the Bible defines it for us.

Hebrews 11:1 KJV  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

  • Therefore faith is substantial and faith is evidential.
    • What does this mean?
      • It means that we have faith in God, we believe in God because of real physical substantial things…
      • We believe in the invisible works of God because of the visible evidence.
        • Each and every one of us have faith that this building we are in was built by a group of builders.
          • Even though we did not see those builders, to us those builders are unseen… We still have faith that builders built it.
          • Why?
          • Because there is evidence that builders were here…
            • These walls, these pillars, this carpet, these windows… they did not just fall into place, we can clearly see there is design and reason and workmanship here.
          • So because of the evidence we have faith… and the evidence is real… it is substantial…
            • I can feel with my hand the beams, and the walls… I can open the doors, which are PHYSICALLY there.
            • This is not a place that you have only ever heard about, you can fell the substance of this building yourself, just touch the walls, walk on the floors, open the doors… and you know there is a real, physical building here.
          • Thus we have faith that even though we did not see builders building this church building, we have faith that there was at one point builders working here.
  • Faith is also reasonable, it is logical, you can reason in faith, as Abraham did.

Hebrews 11:17-19 NIV  By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,  (18)  even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”  (19)  Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

  • Faith is not some hairbrained idea that some yahoo came up with, it is reasonable to say “If there is creation there must be a creator.”
  • Now, let me do something I almost NEVER do in a sermon… an object example…

*Mike Put Up Ladder*

*Christian begin changing shoes*

  • Something some of you may not know about me… I am terrified of heights… they petrify me…
    • I shake, and sweat, and get anxious… I sometimes feel like passing out when I am up high…
      • I tried skydiving, people said that would fix it… they were wrong… made it much worse.
    • But even though I am afraid of heights, I am going to climb this ladder.
    • My Fear is unreasonable, my faith is reasonable.
      • It is unreasonable to think this ladder is going to fail me.
      • It is a strong ladder. I have been up it before. I weighed more than I do now last time I was up there. I was working on the lights pulling and twisting last time I was up there.
      • I was fine then… I am going to be fine now.
        • My fear is unreasonable… my faith is reasonable.
        • My faith is based on evidence and substance.

*Check ladder, make sure it is stable… verbalize this… ask Mike to Anchor the ladder for me*

  • Now, this is either going to be a great sermon example or it is going to make the local news… But I have faith that it is going to go great. Why? Because I have been up this ladder before. Because I can feel how sturdy it is… evidence and susbatance.

*Start Climbing Ladder*

  • Now you can say you have faith in the ladder all day long.
    • You can say you believe it will hold you up all day long.
    • But you don’t really believe unless you actually get on the ladder and start climbing.
      • You can say you have faith in God all day long.
      • You can say you believe all day long…
      • But you don’t really believe until you start obeying Him without question or rebellion.
        • After all it was Jesus who said “Why do you call me Lord, Lord… and don’t do what I say”
        • When it comes to prayer Jesus might say “Why do you pray to me as provider when you don’t even trust me enough for you to obey me?”
    • If we are going to have a prayer of faith it starts with a life of obedience.
      • That shows we trust God with our life, with our family, with our life choices, even with our finances…
        • Don’t say you have faith then refuse to climb the ladder.
  • *Back on the Ground*
    • But you know what is great about this ladder? Is that it helps me reach those lights up there that sometimes need to be changed out.
      • It helps me reach those speakers that sometimes need adjustments.
        • With me by myself this is impossible…
          • But with a LADDER… this is possible.
            • But I have to have faith in the ladder.

Matthew 19:26 ESV  But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • But you have to have faith in God Y’all.
    • What you are praying for, what you are asking for, may be impossible, but with God all things are possible… but you have to have faith.
  • Listen this point is the power of the Prayer of Faith.
    • What is the power of a ladder? If you have faith in it, it helps you reach really high places.
    • What is the power of God? IF YOU HAVE FAITH IN HIM, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

Mark 11:22-24 ESV And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

  • “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
      • You can hate on the Word of Faith Movement all you want, and there are a lot of reasons to not like it…
        • But you can’t hate on the Words of Jesus…
        • Jesus said “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”.
  • Financial health, spiritual health, emotional health… WHATEVER YOU ASK IN PRAYER.
    • What is the power of the prayer of faith? I have seen it with my own eyes.
      • New Jobs for people who pray in faith.
      • Unexpected pay raises for people who pray in faith…
      • Demons cast out by the prayer of faith…
      • Lost loved ones coming to Christ by the prayer of faith…
      • Broken family relationships restored and redeemed because a family member had the audacity to pray in faith.
      • Backs healed.
      • Kidneys healed.
      • Knees healed.
      • Arthritis healed.
      • Anxiety and depression healed.
      • All because people prayed in faith…
        • And that is just stuff that I have seen in our church in the past year.
  • But you have to pray believing that God will do it…
    • You have to climb the ladder believing that it will hold you.
      • Now next week I am going to talk about the Limits of the Prayer of Faith… because there are Biblical limits.
        • You can absolutely do this wrong… you can try to use the prayer of faith for selfish reasons… you can try to use it against the Word of God…
        • We are going to talk about those pitfalls…
          • And I do mean falls…
          • Because listen, I can say I have faith in that ladder all I want… but if I use the ladder wrong, it is on me if I fall!
          • That’s my fault
            • So don’t miss next week when we talk about the limits of the prayer of faith…
      • But for now, lets talk about how to grow into a powerful prayer-of-faith warrior.

Point Two –  How To Grow into a Prayer-of-Faith Warrior

James 1:6a  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…

  • You know… Jesus asked this question at the end of Luke 18:8

Luke 18:8 ESV  I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

  • And my hope is, that, at least in this small part of Cedar Rapids… Jesus will find faith.
    • So let’s grow as a church in our faith, amen?! How do we do that?
      • How to we grow as individuals… how do we become Prayer-of-Faith Warriors?
  • I am going to give you a few practical ways…
    • Pastor Jared… You’re a man of faith… we talked about the fact that we have faith that this building was built by builders right… let me ask you this: Do you have faith that builders built a building at 3675 Barham Street, in Detroit Michigan?
      • NO! You can’t have faith for that, because there is no building there! 3675 Barham Street is a vacant lot!
        • You can say you have faith all you want but your faith is in vain because you have no substance and no evidence to back up that faith…
          • It’s not really faith at all, it’s just blind lunacy…
    • No, for you to have faith in something you actually need to see some substance or some evidence.
  • So many people want to pray prayers of faith, but they have never been there… they have never read their Bibles… or at the most leave their Bibles criminally neglected.
    • You want to grow in faith for the things the Bible says…
  • Next, do some talking to some people who have seen the power of the prayer of faith… talk to them about how God has done the miraculous in their lives.

Revelation 12:11 ESV  And they have conquered him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

  • Satan loves casting doubts… you need to conquer him with some TESTIMONIES… that means the stories that people ACTUALLY have gone through.
    • You need to grow in faith?
      • Ask Carla about how when she first came here she could barely walk and needed a walker…
        • And now she dances at the altar before her Healer!
      • Ask Mark Farrier about how God healed his kidneys.
      • Or ask Liz Hinzie about her knees…
      • Talk to Deacon Shana about how she had bills she didn’t know how to pay and how God miraculously raised all the money she needed!
      • Talk to Eric Hartmann about how God miraculously healed his back… goodness, Eric could tell you 100 testimonies of miracles because Eric is a prayer-of-faith warrior.
  • As you talk to these people and you see the miracles in their lives, and you see how they line up with the Bible, your faith begins to grow because it gives you evidence.
    • Before I ever climbed that ladder… I watched both Pastor Mike and Brother David Godber climb that ladder, I watched as they climbed, and worked, and leaned, and dangled… and they never even broke a sweat…
      • Me watching them gave me evidence that I could climb this ladder and be OK.
        • Even though my fear of heights, my flesh, cries out “YOU ARE GOING TO DIE IF YOU CLIMB THAT THING”
          • Me watching them up there gave me evidence contrary to what my flesh was saying… contrary to the doubts being cast.
          • It helped me grow my faith.
  • So you need to get there… you need to see with your own eyes what the Word says, and you need to see that played out… talk to people about their testimonies.
  • Next you need to take those doubts captive.

2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

  • Destroy every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive.
    • First you have to have the knowledge of God to know what arguments are against the knowledge of God… so, you know, open your Bible, Read It, and Do What It Says!
      • But when you have the knowledge of God, and a thought comes in that is contrary to the word of God, you have to take that thought captive.
    • Because when you have the evidence, and the substance, and the reasoning… when you have the faith to know that God provides… that He heals… that He Delivers… that He protects…
      • When you have the faith to believe in these things, doubts can still come… what are we to do?
      • Are we to pretend those doubts are not there…
        • Are we to act like we don’t doubt and hope God doesn’t notice?
      • No, of course not… instead we are to take those thoughts captive.
    • Listen, I am still afraid of heights… I am still terrified… I was terrified when I went up the ladder just now… I was even scared just thinking about it when I wrote this sermon.
      • But I know that that fear is contrary to the evidence and the substance…
      • I know that my fear of heights is contrary to my faith in this ladder.
      • Just this past weekend I was out at Will Gainey’s house, and he has some silo’s because apparently he is a farmer now… and we needed to open the Silo’s from the top so they could fill it with corn.
        • Will goes up there and I say “can I come?”
          • Hey says “I thought you were afraid of heights”
          • I said “I am, but I don’t let fear run my life”.
          • And I climbed the silo.
    • When you are praying a prayer of faith and doubts pop into your head… take that thought captive…
      • Hey doubt… you don’t run my life… this is a prayer of faith… there is no place for you in this prayer… you don’t get to be involved… BE GONE IN JESUS NAME, BECAUSE I AM PRAYING IN FAITH.
    • So many people pray and they try to coddle their doubts… they pray and they are like “Let me just give my doubt a cozy little place in my prayer”
      • No, you don’t get to have any place in my prayer, doubt, BECAUSE THIS IS A PRAYER OF FAITH.
    • “Dear God, we know that you are Jehovah Jireh, God our provider… and God I am in need… and I know that you can provide… so I am asking in faith for miraculous provision. And I know Lord that it is not my will but your will that should be done… but it would be really nice if you would provide this time Lord. I trust you either way, but I ask for that provision God”.
      • Now wait a minute… that prayer sounds fine and dandy, but it is not a prayer of faith…
      • Am I going to look at this ladder and say “It would be really nice if this time you held me up”… NO! If that was my thought I would never climb the ladder.
      • Am I going to look at the ladder and say “You know if your will is to fall over I guess that is ok” no, I would never climb that ladder.
    • No, when we pray prayers like this what we are really praying is “God I don’t really know if you are going to do this or not, but I still want to believe that you are good.”
      • God doesn’t need your help protecting His reputation…
      • Take the doubt Captive, refuse to let it be a part of your prayer… get it gone… focus on the evidence and the substance.
    • “Jehova Jireh… God my Provider… that’s your name because that’s who you are. I need provision to make it through this month, God, so I am asking that you do what your name says you will do, provide. Provide for me God, miraculously provide for me. And Lord I just want you to know that I am so grateful for the provision, even though I don’t see it yet, I am grateful for it… I know you will do it, so thank you.”
      • “God I just want you to know I am grateful that you will change my husbands heart… even though I don’t see it yet I know you will do it.”
      • “I am so grateful that you will heal this problem I am having… even if I don’t see it yet, I am grateful because I know you will do it”.
        • Those are prayers of faith…
          • And they are not magic, say the right words and get whatever you want… they have limits, we will talk about next week.
          • But the prayer of faith, when done according to God’s word and His will… the prayer of faith will and does accomplish the impossible.
    • Finally, we need to step out in faith… Nothing will grow your faith in a ladder, like climbing a ladder.
      • Even know when I am up there, I am still terrified… but that fear pushes me to hold on to the ladder tighter… to hold on for dear life…
        • What I learn while I am up there is not that I don’t trust the ladder, it is that I don’t trust myself…
        • Because it is the ladder that I am gripping tightly.
      • Now if you don’t ever get up on the ladder, well then it is the ladder you don’t trust.
        • You need to give that ladder the opportunity to hold you up…
        • And when you do, when you are up there… you learn to trust the ladder more, because you don’t have any other choice.
          • If you need to grow in faith… maybe you need to start praying for other… praying for miracles… praying that God will do great things.
        • Give God the opportunity to do the miraculouse and watch as you cling to him.
        • When Amanda, a translator, a pastor, and I were praying for a blind man to receive his sight I was crying out to the Lord, in faith… because I had no other option.
          • “I believe Lord, Help me in my unbelief… I believe Lord… don’t let there be doubt in my that causes this man to not see… I believe, heal this man Lord!”
            • I was praying those prayers because there was no room for me to have doubt… there was no cozy place for doubt.
            • This blind man just gave his life to Jesus and is expecting to get healed…
            • There was no room for him not to be healed, it was UNTHINKABLE TO ME…
            • If it were up to me I probably would have never prayed for him…
            • But the translator rushed us in to pray for him… I did not have time to coddle my doubts…
            • I cast them out… I prayed them out… and I prayed a prayer of faith.
            • And I watch the eyes of a totally blind man open.
              • With man this is impossible, but with God All things are possible!
  • So How do we grow in faith? Three ways:
  • See With Your Own Eyes: What does the Word Say. Who do I know that this kind of miracle has happened to? Who can I talk to to testify about this so I can have evidence of it?
    • Take Doubts Captive: Don’t allow doubt to dictate your thoughts and prayers… they have no place, take them captive and shut them down with evidence, substance, and reason.
    • Step Out in Faith: Allow God to do the miraculous in front of you and through you, ask for opportunities to pray in faith, to pray for miracles… then pray without doubting!


  • So to conclude, the prayer of faith is powerful.
    • If you pray in faith without doubting, you will receive from God.
    • What is the power of the prayer of faith? It is the power of God which is limitless.
      • Yes there are limits to what and how to pray in faith, we will talk about those next week.
      • But there is no limit to the power of God, who is the one who answers prayers of faith.
    • And if you are struggling to grow in faith… then you need to build your faith by seeing miracles with your own eyes, reading about them in scripture and hearing testimonies…
    • You need to take your doubts captive… tell them to shut up, remind them that they are unreasonable and your faith is reasonable…
    • And you need to step out in faith.
  • The first act of faith you can do, the first way to step out in faith is to give your life to Jesus… it all starts with Jesus…
  • Quick Gospel Call.
  • Reminder… don’t miss next week, were we talk about the limits to the prayer of faith.

Aaronic Blessing


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