A Prayer to Believe God Will Do What He Promised
By Victoria Riollano
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” - Hebrews 11:1
I couldn’t stop obsessing about it.
After months of planning for our church fall festival, we had run into a major issue. A week before the event, the forecast called for severe thunderstorms. As the official point person for the festival, I was immediately concerned. Between the vendors secured, the entertainment we had purchased for the kids, the church merchandise that had been ordered and the money spent on advertising, canceling the festival was going to hurt more than just my feelings. Panic ensued. There was simply not enough time and resources to reschedule the event and not incur a major loss.
It was in those seven days leading up to the event that I realized my inner tendencies to worry, and worry, and worry. I spent hours on weather apps, comparing the times the rain would start or stop. I couldn’t sleep and wondered what if anything I could do to fix this situation. Sadly, I didn’t run to prayer. In my mind, I figured God had more important things to handle than a fall festival. I troubleshot every scenario and justified why God would allow this to happen. Maybe a cancelation was His will, I figured. Maybe He didn’t realize we were putting on the event to let people know about His church?
During it all, the Spirit convicted me with this idea: “You are a Believer, but you’re not a believer.”
Stunned at this still small voice, I wondered how this could be possible. I had been a believer of the Gospel for almost two decades. I lead worship and helped start churches. How could the Lord not see me as one of His faithful ones?
You see, the Lord wasn’t challenging my belief in Him – I fully believed God was real. Instead, He was challenging me to actually believe in His power, for the here and now. I was great at believing God was the reason for my heavenly blessings in everyday life, but I struggled with needing to be in control when things turned south and not trusting God to show up in those moments, too.
I was guilty of being a believer who wasn’t a believer.
I am afraid I am not the first. I am convinced that many Christ-followers struggle to believe in His power. We see this in the story of Thomas in John 20. After the resurrection, as Jesus started to appear to His disciples, some questioned how it could be possible. Yet, we see a moment where Jesus challenged Thomas’ doubt. Jesus asks Thomas to touch him to prove that He was indeed flesh and bones resurrected from the grace and not just a spirit or his imagination.
Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:27-29
The words of Jesus are so powerful and a reminder that our primary responsibility as a Christian is to have faith. Like Thomas, many of us have the faith that requires us to see it before we believe it. Which isn’t faith at all! I’ve come to learn that it's easy to have “faith” in situations we can control or that are easy. But when we must trust God for something bigger than us, this is when it matters.
When we face an illness that we’re told is incurable or when our finances seem daunting, we walk in faith, knowing that God’s will shall prevail for our lives. When we deal with difficult relationships we believe for restoration. Even we don’t understand, we trust that the Lord is with us. We remember that we are blessed when we walk in the assurance that the Lord always has a plan. And our faith doesn’t have to be large. It can be as small as a mustard seed.
This is what my church’s fall festival taught me. And the Lord, being as good as He is, He completely cleared the forecast twenty-four hours before the event! Not a single drop of rain fell until we drove from the lot at the end of the event! We had an amazing turnout and so many were blessed. This was just another example of the Lord reminding us that He cares about every detail! What an amazing God we serve.
Lord, I thank you for taking notice of every detail of my life – not one concern is unseen by you. Forgive me for the time I become obsessive and choose not to trust you. Teach me to release control.
I trust you for my health. I trust you with my family. I trust you for my finances and every other area of my life. God, show me when I am not being a true believer of your Word. I thank you for searching my heart and showing me when I allow worry to consume my mind. I praise you for being a good Father who delights in His creation and who still answers prayers.
Help me to not just believe in who you are, but also your ability to shift my circumstance in an instant. You are my place of comfort and stability all the days of my life.
In Jesus' name. Amen.
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of six, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released her book, The Victory Walk: A 21 Day Devotional on Living A Victorious Life. Her ultimate desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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