Do we need to “have it all together?”
So many tragic things happen in this world and in our personal lives, that require us to have faith. What happens when the faith we have is imperfect? The truth is that we all have imperfect faith. The good news is that even with imperfect faith, our prayers make a difference.
A Parent’s Perspective
When one of my kids comes to me for help, I don’t require them to have everything in their life together before I respond to their need. If you have kids (of any age) I’m sure you feel the same way. That’s how it is with God. We can approach Him, even with imperfect faith.
When you don’t really know God
I have many friends and loved ones, who don’t have a relationship with God. Some of them believe God exists, but they don’t understand who He is, or how to fit Him into their life. Then, something happens that shakes their world to its foundations. It might be a violent death, a divorce, or a life-changing illness. They often feel like they can’t pray, themselves, either because they don’t know how, or because they feel like they have imperfect faith and God won’t listen to them. Many times they ask me to pray for the situation. I’m always glad to do this.
These requests for prayer are often for a loved one, like the father’s request for his son, found in Mark 9: 14-29.
One day there was a man in a crowd, who came to Jesus with his mute son. This son also had seizures. He said, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And when it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.” The father had even asked Jesus’ disciples to cast it out, but they were unsuccessful.
Jesus how long this had been going on. The father told him he’d been suffering since childhood. There had been times when he had even fallen into the fire due to the seizures. Then he said, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’. All things are possible for one who believes.”
To which the father responded, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Jesus drove the unclean spirit out.
We don’t need to do God’s job
Sometimes we think that we need to be Jesus, the one solving the problem. Sometimes we think we can’t approach God until we have a complete understanding of spiritual things. We think our faith life needs to be totally together.
I’m not advocating ignoring your spiritual life because God will understand and be merciful. A rich spiritual life is important. But we will always have an imperfect faith. Who has a complete understanding of God and His ways?
The father in this story was bold. He was saying. “I have imperfect faith, Jesus. I don’t get it, and I’m scared for my son. Help him, anyway. Enlarge my faith in the process.”
Don’t be afraid to approach God with imperfect faith.
If you or someone you love is going through something that requires more than human strength, or if you’ve been distant from God for a long time, and you aren’t sure how to approach Him, I would like to encourage you to begin talking to God. That’s really all that prayer is. There are no magic words or formulas required.
If you have any questions, you can write them in the comment section, or email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!
I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since my husband, Dan was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness.
My goal is to help people face cancer with grace.
My book Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone who Has Cancer, is available on Amazon.com