My Favorite Prayer
Let’s come before God boldly today as we learn to pray in faith.
Prayer can sometimes feel daunting. How do you pray? What do you pray for? Did God hear my prayer? Is he going to answer my prayer? Today we’re going to look at God’s invitation to pray vulnerably and honestly. We don’t have to earn the right for God to hear us. And we don’t have to pray the perfect prayer for him to answer us. Let’s come before God boldly today as we learn to pray in faith.
My favorite prayer in Scripture is found in an unlikely place.
In Mark 9, we find Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, where his heavenly glory was revealed to his closest disciples. But when they came down from the mountain, they found the other disciples arguing with a “great crowd” (v. 14).
Then a man said to Jesus, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able” (vv. 17–18).
Jesus asked them to bring the boy to him, and verse 20 says that “when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.” The boy’s father pleaded with Jesus, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (v. 22). And Jesus replied, “‘If you can!’ All things are possible for one who believes” (v. 23).
The father’s response to Jesus comes next, which is my favorite prayer in the Bible. It says: “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’” (v. 24). And Jesus responds to this father’s vulnerable and honest prayer by healing his son (vv. 25–27).
The Bible consistently teaches us that we must pray in faith:
- “I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
- “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” (James 1:6).
- “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
But did you know that you can pray for faith? In fact, you can pray for the faith to have faith. You can tell God honestly, “I believe; help my unbelief!” and he will hear you and help you.
That’s because faith does not earn God’s favor—it positions us to receive his grace.
Imagine being invited to a friend’s house for dinner. You must have enough faith in your friend’s culinary abilities to choose to eat the food he or she prepares. Your faith didn’t earn your meal, but it was essential to experiencing it.
The same is true of First15—you need enough faith to believe these devotionals are worth your time. Your faith doesn’t earn them, but you wouldn’t be reading this without it.
The same is true with prayer. When you believe that God will hear you and answer you in whatever way is best, you will experience the grace he longs to give you.
And if you feel you are lacking in faith, pray for faith. Pray as this father did. You can come before God vulnerably and honestly.
today’s devotional is written by Jim Denison
1. Meditate on your Father’s presence and desire to hear every prayer you offer.
“The Lᴏʀᴅ is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).
2. Identify your greatest need today and trust it to him in faith. If you are struggling to trust him, ask for the faith to have faith.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3).
3. Believe that your Father has heard you and trust that he will always do what is best.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
George Mueller was known for his consistent life of intercession. For example, in 1844 he began praying for the conversion of five specific people. The first was converted eighteen months later, the second five years after that, and the third six years after that. Mueller prayed daily for the other two until he passed away in 1897, a total of fifty-two years. A few years after he died, both came to faith in Christ.
We don’t always know how or when God will answer our prayers. But continue praying for those in need, and trust that God will hear and answer you. We may never know on this side of heaven the eternal consequences of such faithfulness.
Continue praying for those in need, and trust that God will hear and answer you. We may never know on this side of heaven the eternal consequences of such faithfulness.