Friday, February 17, 2012

Faith, Trust and Prayer

 The past couple of weeks we have posted articles on Faith.  When one prays it certainly helps if they have faith that it will be heard and trust that it will be answered.  How often have we prayed for something and seemingly never received an answer?  Could it have been that the answer was NO or NOT YET?  Have we questioned our faith when our prayers were seemingly not answered?   Have we said, well, they have more faith so their prayers got answered and mine didn't and then ceased to pray and soon found our faith, our trust in shambles. 

The story of two men, shipwrecked on a lonely island, is offered today with the question;
who's prayers were heard and who had the most faith?  Read before answering.

Two men survived a shipwreck and were cast onto a small island. The two men, not knowing what else to do, agreed they had no other choice but to pray to God.  They agreed to divide the island into two territories and each would pray and somehow determine who's prayers and who's faith was stronger.

The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning the first man saw a tree bearing tropical fruit on his side of the island and he began to eat, the other man's side remained barren.

After a week or so, the first man was lonely and decided to pray for a wife. The next morning a woman appeared on his side of the island.  On the other side, was nothing.  Soon the first man prayed for more food, a house and clothes. The next day, as if by magic all these things appeared on his side of the island.   The second man still had nothing on his side of the island.

Finally the first man prayed for a ship to come to his rescue so he and the woman could leave the island. In the morning a ship lay at anchor just off shore on his side of the island..  The first man and the woman decided to leave the island and leave the other man stranded.  He considered the other man unworthy of God's abundance and blessing since it appeared as though none of his prayers were answered.

As the first man was boarding the ship  a booming voice from heaven was heard asking, "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"

"Why not, since my blessings are mine and mine alone, since I am the one who prayed for them." boasted the first man.

"You are WRONG!" boomed the voice from heaven in rebuke. " He had only one prayer, which I answered.  If not for him you would not have received any of my blessings."

"Well, tell me, " the man asked in an arrogant voice, "what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?"

Quietly the voice from heaven answered, " He prayed that all your prayers be answered."

Now tell me, who's prayers were stronger and who's faith was strongest? 

How are we to know that the blessings we receive are the results of our prayers and our faith alone and not those of someone else praying and standing in faith for us, unselfishly that our prayers be answered?  Remember, "What you do for others is more important that what you do for yourself."

I shared this story with you, just as it was shared with me.  I hope that you will share it with someone else and I pray that all your prayers are answered.

Hattip:  Dr. Charles Edwards Jr., National Chaplain, Disabled Veterans of America. 


Z said...

lovely story,'s sure got a kick and a reminder.
There's a LOT in there on many levels...thanks for something to really think about.

Anonymous said...

Ticker, terrific story and one that reminds us that prayers are answered, not always in the ways that we expect.

Ticker said...

Glad that you enjoyed it Z.

Anon, true. Often times, silence is our best answer. We just have to know how to listen, even to silence.

sue hanes said...

Ticker - The second man showed Humility, Faith in what he believed to be right, Faith that God would do what is right, and he put Others first.

I haved always Prayed for what is Right - but now I have been 'shown' what I could conceivably have - and am so desperate to have it that I am afraid of being obsessed with it - combined with my inherent impatience.

Thanks Ticker - and what is Your Take on this?

Ticker said...

My take is to get people to think and consider their own lives. It matters little what I think if you haven't sought the answer for yourself.

If you pray for what is right(not just right in your own sight) then you will know it for your prayers will be answered. If they are not "right in His sight" then often times there is only silence. Sometimes He will give a resounding NO to things that would perhaps be harmful to self or others.

We have to depend on the Holy Spirit to direct our thoughts and prayers. When that occurs there is no problem.

Proverbs 1:5
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Proverbs 9:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

sue hanes said...

Thanks Ticker - You just told me -not what I wanted to hear - which is the answer I wanted to hear - but the Truth - which is that I must keep seeking what is right.

and not give up

In other words - hang in there.

Thanks Ticker - for giving me Encouragement - and Hope.

: ]

Ticker said...

1 Samuel 12:24
Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.

Psalm 91:4
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 8:32
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Jan said...

"How are we to know that the blessings we receive are the results of our prayers and our faith alone and not those of someone else praying and standing in faith for us, unselfishly that our prayers be answered?"

Exactly, Ticker, I believe that many times, others are interceeding for us, without our even knowing.

Also, I believe that some are healed, who are not that strong in the faith, simply because someone else has prayed...and not only for healing, but other important issues, as well.

I believe that in His mercy, and His love, and His desire that all would come to Him, that He does this.

And, we do know that the prayers of the righteous avail much, as it says in His word.

He's wonderful. :)

Ticker said...

Good post Jan. Glad you got the problem figured out or fixed or bypassed.

I look forward to more comments from you in the future. You certainly have a lot to add to the conversation