Apples of Gold

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Lord I believe, help Thou mine unbelief

‘Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief.’ Mark 9: 24

This must be one of the most honest and sincere petitions I have ever heard. The father of the boy sought nothing for himself, rather with an aching heart of love, he pleaded earnestly with the Lord to heal his child. ‘Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.’

I am persuaded that I also must have such sincerity in my heart before I ask the Lord for anything. It is the easiest thing in the world to spout off our ‘wish lists’ as we pray each morning. Asking for things that we definitely want but do not necessarily need. ‘My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’

All too often we confuse our needs with our wants and there is a huge difference. Are we disappointed when our requests are not met? Do we then think that our Lord has turned His back on us? Do we feel forsaken, alone and frightened? Do we murmur and complain because things are not going our way? Do we act like spoilt children?

As parents we love our children and we want the best for them. We have prayed for them since they were in the womb. We long for their salvation and we dread illness or pain. In such cases we would rather suffer in their place instead of watching them.

We know how to clothe them and we know what food is best for them. We also know how to instruct them, how to advise against evil and how to share the Good News. All we want is the best for our children. Does God not want the same for His children? Remember, His love is perfect; ours is not!

It is good to meditate at the end of each day. Think on what requests we have made before God. Rejoice in those that have been granted and question those that have not. It will not be long before we realise that much of what has not been granted has been because it was a ‘want’ and not a ‘need.’ This in turn will encourage us to be more specific in our petitions.

There are however special times of prayer. Times of urgency and of fervour. Often I have found myself on my knees beside my bed at three or four in the morning praying for someone. They may never find out but it is something that must be done. I have learned not to refuse such promptings.

There have been times, when having met with the friend I had been praying for on such a date, and having asked if anything was wrong, and being told, ‘no not that I can remember!’ It is never a mistake to go on our knees before God!

I am thankful when I can simply leave such cases in the Hands of God. I do not know what a person may need, but my God does and He can meet their need better than I can. I have often been burdened for Pastors both locally and nationally. They will never know the time that others spend on their knees for them, yet hopefully their listeners will reap what we have sown in tears.

There are also times my friends when after much pleading with God and endless waiting that without warning the door we so desperately wanted open, slams in our face. These times are hard to bear and difficult to understand. We must however learn to put our Amen to everything that our God does for us.

God loves to meet His children’s needs. His storehouse is full, all we have to do is ask and if we believe then it shall be given us. If however we are fearful due to weak or little faith, then plead the same prayer as this man, ‘Lord I believe, help thou mine unbelief.’

Our faith will be tested from time to time, of that we can be sure. It may seem as though it is tested to the limit and even beyond, but fret not my friend it will never be extinguished or destroyed.

Faith is a gift from God. The Lord did not rebuke the man for his request. He answered it!