From the Archives: On the Prayer of Faith
to Caspar Schwenckfeld, his beloved friend and brother in the Lord
Good health to you Caspar. Be strong in the Lord. As I readied myself to respond to your wishes and prepared to write to you on the prayer of faith, that request of the Lord’s disciples came to my mind: Lord teach us to pray. The experience led me to seek with them a similar request from the Lord, but I expanded it more fully: Lord teach us, in the first place, to experience what the prayer of faith is which is given by the spirit of faith and secondly, teach us not only to pray, but grant by your kindness that it be done in faith and according to your will. Amen.
The prayer of faith is mentioned in the fifth chapter of James the apostle: And the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up…. Following the same author we are able to define our subject in the following manner: The prayer of faith occurs when you pray in faith, so that you make no judgements, nor experience anything in your heart other than those things which steadfast and prayerful faith raise in you. It will accomplish its own ends….
From the first epistle of John, the fifth chapter, we are able to say that to pray in faith is to make a request in the confidence which we have before God, that if what we request is according to his will, he will hear us. It is according to the will of the Lord that we seek, and according to his will that we be heard. But why do we not say with the Lord himself? It is prayer in the spirit (from which you have faith) and in truth (through which you pray) which gives you what you request. For the Lord, who often remained through the night in prayer for us and abided in the prayer of faith prescribed what the prayer of faith should be in ...