proof of faith

proof of faith

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Psalm 14:1-7
Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” . . . and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord (vv.1,4).

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Read Matthew 6:5-18 and 7:7-11, and write down three things you should do as you pray.

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What do your prayers reveal about your faith in God? How should you respond if you don’t get what you ask for?

The renowned atheist Christopher Hitchens was dying. By his own admission, decades of heavy drinking and smoking had given him cancer of the esophagus, and now he was facing a brutal regimen of chemotherapy and a bleak prognosis. His thinning hair, weary eyes, and parched, halting voice were signs of a beaten man—yet he softly reaffirmed his unbelief in God.

Hitchens said that others could pray for his recovery if they wished, but he did not believe that such “incantations” made any difference. The only way he would ever pray for healing is if the cancer spread to his brain and turned him into a “raving, terrified person.” As long as he remained in his right mind, he would “not be taking part in that.”

Despite his tragic response, Hitchens has hit on something important: Prayer is the proof of faith. Psalm 14 declares that “Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1), and they show their commitment to atheism by refusing to pray to Him.

If someone proves his lack of faith by not praying, how do we who believe in Jesus demonstrate our faith? You guessed it. John Calvin observed, “The principal exercise which the children of God have is to pray; for in this way they give a true proof of their faith.” He added that anyone who does not run to God dishonors Him “as if they made new gods and idols, since in this way they deny God is the author of every good thing.”

We may say that we believe in God, but if we can make it through our day without prayer how different are we than Hitchens? Carve out some time to talk with God today. Ask Him for whatever you need, pray for what’s on your heart, and give thanks as you praise Him.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 13:1-21

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5 Responses to “proof of faith”

  1. tim gustafson says:

    Mike, my heart goes out to Hitchens. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, regardless of their beliefs. But I’ve noticed something interesting in outspoken atheists like him. It seems to me that true atheists are too angry at the God they don’t believe in for Him not to exist.

    At the same time, God loves us enough to let us reject HIm if that’s what we really want.

  2. tom felten says:

    So appreciate this challenging post, Mike. I’m reminded of what Paul wrote: “Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). There’s an interesting link between maintaining a prayerful posture before God and giving thanks to Him. For the grateful heart of a true believer is a catalyst for consistent communication with God.

  3. bearpair says:

    Excellent words of encouragement & incentive to “keep praying!” Love the quote from John Calvin! And as Tim said, how can one not believe in someone they are angry with???

  4. conmeo says:

    What a gift we have in ODJ. Thanks to God for you all.

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