Praying or Declaring? (Part 1)

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’” (Mark 4:39-40).

Jesus regularly spoke to things and, as we shall see, He tells us to do the same. We know we have turned a major corner in our lives when we increasingly speak to things and decreasingly ask God to do those things. This transition in our prayer life is not about ordering God to do things, but it is about our understanding the authority that has been delegated to us.  

The story of Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4 is fascinating. If you read the entire account, you will find that the disciples blamed a sleeping Jesus for their problems. After they woke Jesus, they “prayed” to Him to help them. The Master spoke to the storm, and it ceased. This would seem to be a wonderful example of answered prayer, but Jesus ruins the celebration by implying that they should not have needed to get Him involved. He asked, “How is it that you have no faith?”

Say what? “Uh, Jesus, let me help You understand something. We did have faith – faith that You would take care of things. Our faith is what caused us to cry out to You to help us! What do You mean we have no faith?”

When Jesus asked, “How is it that you have no faith,” He was implying that the disciples weren’t getting what He had been saying to them in the past. It is one thing to have faith that God can do something, it is quite another to believe that we can do the same thing in His name. It is not so much faith in God’s ability, but in our ability in Christ.