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Dear COA Family, 

How big should our faith be? Or how much faith does God expect us to have when we pray? 

Some think that we must have great faith in order to do the things of God. After all, in the Gospels, there were two specific incidents recorded of Jesus commending people for having great faith. In the first instance, Jesus praised the Canaanite woman who begged him to heal her demon-possessed daughter even though he tried to dissuade her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” (Matthew 15:28) In the second, Jesus was amazed at the faith of a Centurion requesting him to heal his dying servant from afar. He said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” (Luke 7:9) 

From here, we may surmise that Jesus is looking for great faith in our hearts so that he can accomplish his works in our lives. And by great faith, we may think it is that strong feeling without a shadow of doubt in our hearts that Jesus is able to do all that we have prayed for him to do. 

However, that is not what our Lord means at all! Instead, he taught his disciples about the nature of faith: “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” (Luke 17:6)

The kind of faith Jesus expects from us is not the strong kind but one as small as a mustard seed. This is because we are not to depend on the strength of our feelings in prayer but put ourselves fully in the hands of the Almighty God who is able to save us completely and accomplish his works beyond anything we can ask or imagine! 

So, the next time you pray, you don’t have to try to conjure up strong feelings within your own hearts for your prayer to heard. Instead, be like a small meek child lying in the hands of God, depending fully on him for his mercy and blessings. 

That is the nature of great faith in the sight of our God.

Have a blessed week ahead! 

Revd Ian