Praying with Faith

Read Together: Mark 11:12–14, 20–26

On Sunday, Pastor Jerry mentioned that one hindrance to prayer is the belief that “prayer doesn’t work for me.” This statement not only reveals a lack of faith, it also reveals a dangerous emphasis: prayer doesn’t work for me. Prayer and faith, as we saw on Sunday, are not ultimately about you. They are about the all-powerful, Sovereign God you’re trusting in and praying to.

This is part of what Jesus is driving at in Mark 11:20–26. Jesus launches off from Peter’s remark about the withered fig tree into a lesson on faith and prayer. He calls his disciples to “have faith in God” and pray with bold faith in the God who can move mountains.

So, while we can say that faith is powerful, the real power lies in the One we put our faith in: the Creator and King of the universe. He is the One who called mountains to spring forth by the power of his word and can dissolve them to dust with a word. What matters is that our faith is in God. Our faith is not in prayer, but our prayers should be filled with faith in our great God.

When this kind of faith fills our prayers, we learn to pray boldly according to the will of God. Maybe a reason we neglect to pray is because our hearts doubt that God will or can do great things. What we need is a deeper knowledge of God that drives us to our knees and builds up our faith in his power. We can pray for great things because we know a great God.  

Discussion Questions

  1. How does Jesus teach his disciples to pray in Mark 11:20–26?
  2. How can we learn to pray with faith?
  3. Is Jesus teaching here that God will give us whatever we want as long as we believe strongly enough? Why or why not?

Ideas for Younger Kids

·      Read “How to Pray” in The Jesus Storybook Bible (pages 222–27). Highlight for your children that prayer isn’t about fancy words. God doesn’t hear us because we know the right words. God hears our prayers because he loves us. So, we can pray with an attitude of faith that God loves us and answers our prayers. 

Memorization: “And Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God.’” (Mark 11:22)

Song: Listen to “By Faith” (Keith and Kristyn Getty). “By faith this mountain shall be moved/And the power of the gospel shall prevail/For we know in Christ all things are possible/For all who call upon His name!”

Pray Together

  • Praise God that he is the all-powerful Creator and King and nothing is too difficult for him!
  • Confess before God our weak faith. We often pray small prayers because we lack faith in the power of God to do great things in our lives.
  • Give thanks to God that he does hear us, answer our prayers in ways that are for our good, and that he can do great things.
  • Pray that God would help us to know him more and give us a firmer trust in his power, character, and promises. Pray that God would help us in our unbelief and teach us to pray.

Go Together

  • Discuss together some of the common things you pray for. Consider whether these requests reveal faith in how you pray. Write down a bold prayer request that is God-exalting, gospel-centered, and biblically sound and commit to pray for it over the weeks to come, trusting not in the strength of your faith or prayers, but in the power of God. For example, pray with faith that God would move the mountain of unbelief (maybe through you) in the heart of a loved one, co-worker, or neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus.  
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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