I was in a Church one Sunday and the pastor who was conducting the payer service was calling out points of prayer, but a certain juncture he called out a certain prayer point, passionately, earnestly and from his heart he began to lead the prayers but I found myself unable to continue in the praying, I was checked from within, then this phrase rose up within me ‘the prayer of unbelief’
The prayer leader had read from the book of Luke the scripture where Jesus had said that the father had promised to give the Holy Spirit to them that asked him, and then he charged the people to pray for the Holy Spirit.
This was a congregation of saved, spirit filled people, many praying in tongues, as we (they) prayed I felt that the Lord was showing me something ‘why pray for what you have already received’? It was sincere, heartfelt and passionate praying but it was rooted in unbelief, sincere ignorant unbelief. What we were asking for we have already received
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Eph 1:13-14 NKJV
When a person believes in Jesus, he is sealed with the presence of the Holy Spirit and when he is baptized further in the Spirit he is endued with the power of God in a greater measure (Acts 1:8)
When Jesus uttered those words the Holy Spirit had not yet been given or made available to the people of God but all that changed when the Lord died and was raised up from the dead.
This is just an example of how we short circuit the power of God’s word in our lives and wonder why we seem to fall short of the manifestations of his presence as He has promised.
If we must pray again about the Holy Spirit it should be from the position of thanksgiving, acknowledging what has already been done through our salvation and or the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Many years ago, Brother Hagin shared how the Lord showed him the same problem was responsible for the relative scarcity of signs in his ministry, according to him he had begun to seek the Lord because he was worried that not enough signs were accompanying his ministry, as he prayed the Lord told him to examine what he was teaching more closely, he discovered that only about a half of what he was teaching was truly word based, the rest were unbelief and church tradition. HJ e said he became more careful about what he was teaching and over time began to see an increase in signs in his ministry.
Remember what the bible says
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Mark 16:17-18 NKJV
The signs follow faith, not prayer and when we pray it is the prayer of faith that gets the job done, not the prayer of unbelief. If the truth must be told, we all to a greater or lesser degree are afflicted with this same condition; it is in our songs, sermons, jokes, expressions and our thoughts.
Sincerity, intensity or passion, even quoting the bible itself is no substitute for prayer that is established in faith, God’s word is true when we pray and believe we get results, until then we can just use prayer as a means to massage our religious inclinations and egos.
Prayer must obtain visible tangible results, Our God answers prayer.