Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 25, 2010

upward, not inward

With relative certainty, I would surmise that you prayed last week. After all, isn’t that what “good Christians” do. It may have been a quick plea for help, an obligatory meal prayer or in some cases a desperate cry for God’s intervention. But as the words left your lips, did you really believe they would make any difference? As a fellow journey struggler, I must confess that my prayers are too often littered with unbelief. But even in my weaker times, I have seen dramatic answers to heartfelt cries. So what is the key to a prayer life that honors the Father?

Books have been written about model prayers, mountain moving faith, praying without ceasing etc… Our purpose in this article is not to answer all of your questions about prayer. But, rather to turn your heart back to the simplicity of seeking God through prayer, and seeing Him move on your behalf. If you are new to faith in Christ, please trust me when I say that prayer works, and God does move mountains. If you have journeyed with Christ for many years, trust me when I say God still wants to move mountains for you.

Psalm 5:3
In the morning, O Lord,
you hear my voice; in the
morning I lay my requests
before you and wait in

Psalm 34:4
I sought the Lord, and he
answered me; he delivered
me from all my fears.

David’s words in the first verse, suggest a firm and simple trust as he began his day seeking God. He is confident that God hears him, and he petitions and waits in expectation (the equation could not be any simpler, or more powerful). Psalm 34:4 gives us a great picture of uncluttered asking and receiving. As simple as the verses look, I have found that my (and your) filtering systems get in the way of simply believing that God can, and does want to intervene in our everyday lives. Turning faith inward, and not upward makes faith about us, and not the Father. If you find yourself there, make the directional shift, and I believe you will find that prayer will never be the same for you.

Lest my words be misconstrued, I am not advocating that God has to respond my way if I have enough faith, or that He always moves dramatically. He doesn’t heal our loved ones every time. And in His wisdom, He will allow difficulties in our lives. Remember God is Eternal and Holy. He will choose to move in our lives according to His design, in His time, which is always good. But the truth remains, that He wants us to pray with faith. History, Scripture, and my own life have taught me that God will intervene when faith is present.

Matthew 17:19-20
Then the disciples came to
Jesus in private and asked,
“Why couldn’t we drive it
out?” He replied, “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 this
mountain, ‘Move from here
to there’ and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible
for you.”

This dialogue between Jesus and his disciples gives us powerful insight. You may be hearing it for the first time, or for maybe for the thousandth. And even still, you may feel your faith is too small. Looking at faith from an inward perspective will hinder mountains from being moved. Deciding today that God wants to take your faith and honor it, will change your prayer life and refresh your journey. Can you, will you believe that God will use your life of faith?!

Trust me, He can, and He will.


  1. Thanks again for the practicality of your devotionals. They help all of us see the light at the end of the tunnel. Praying is not that hard, but Praying with faith is harder than it sounds and living by it is a God thing- I can’t do it by myself.

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