Three Ways We Doubt God In Prayer

James 5:13-18 (NIV)

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.


I wonder if the lack of prayer in our lives is a result of doubt.  There are three ways that we doubt and therefore fail to pray:

  • We may doubt God’s goodness
  • We may doubt God’s greatness
  • We may doubt our righteousness

If we doubt God’s goodness, we will believe that He is not willing to answer our prayers.  We believe that He can answer them, but we’re not so sure that He will answer them.  If He does answer them, we’re not so sure that He will answer them with kindness and compassion.  This is not true.  God loves us and He desires to give His children good things as any loving father desires to give his children good things.

If we doubt God’s greatness, we will believe that He is not able to answer our prayers.  We somehow believe that God does not have the ability to answer our prayers.  We believe that He loves us, but that this situation is beyond His control.  This is not true.  God’s power goes beyond the scope of our ability to comprehend it.  He is mighty and strong.  Jesus said that nothing is impossible for God.If we doubt our righteousness, we will believe that we are not good enough and don’t deserve God’s goodness and greatness when it comes to answering our prayers.  James 5:16 (NIV) says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  So if we believe that we are unrighteous, then we will believe that we must do more and be better in order to get God’s attention.  We will believe that we have to believe more and doubt less.  We will believe that we have to stop sinning completely before God will do anything for His children.  So the question is one of righteousness.  Am I righteous because of my behavior?  Or am I righteous because of Jesus’ sacrifice?  If it is the former, we are left with lots of reasons to doubt.  The Bible says that there is no one righteous.  If it is the latter, then we have hope.  When I am clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27), I have hope because God sees Jesus when He looks at me.  My hope is built on Jesus’ blood and righteousness.  When I put my faith in my abilities to earn God’s favor, I will fall short every time.  When I put my faith in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, I have hope for answered prayers because Jesus never fails.  Pray in faith today, my friends.  God is good.  God is great.  Through Jesus, you have been declared righteous.

PRAYER: Almighty God, help me to trust You today.  To know that You are willing and able to answer my prayers according to Your unfailing love and Your perfect will.  I may not understand all that You are doing, but I know that You know what You are doing.  Help me to believe and not doubt when it comes to my prayer life.  Thank You for the prayers You have answered in the past and for answering my prayers in the present.  In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

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