Proclaim. Mobilize. Equip.
Call 866-865-6253

When Faith Prays with Submission

February 14, 2020

“Abba, Father,” he [Jesus] said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 (NIV)

The greatest example of praying with faith in all of Scripture is in the Garden of Gethsemane when our Lord said these words.

This is how faith prays in all the situations where you simply do not know what the outcome will be. You apply for a job, but there is no special promise of Scripture that you will get it, and no special prompting of the Spirit. The outcome has not been made known.

There are two kinds of prayer—submission and assurance. But one is not greater than the other nor does it require more faith than the other. These two kinds of prayer are given for different situations.

A man with leprosy came to Jesus and begged him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean” (Mark 1:40). He knows Christ can heal him. “You can make me clean.” There is no doubt there. But he does not know is if it is Christ’s purpose to make him clean: “If you are willing…”

He does not know the outcome, so to ask with assurance would be presumption. He asks with submission, and in this way honors Christ. Then we read, “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’” (Mark 1:41).

This man’s faith is expressed not in assurance of the outcome, but in submission to the outcome. This is the appropriate way of praying when we do not have a promise of Scripture or a prompting of the Spirit in a particular situation.

Can you think of a time when you prayed with assurance? How about when you prayed with submission?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the President and Teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

Explore this topic further

Our Hearts Are Restless

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV) In the fourth century a man by the name of Augustine was being raised by his godly mother, Monica. But as soon as he was able, Augustine left home and threw...

Read Post

God Is Patient with You

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you. 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) What promise is Peter talking about here? God has promised to judge the earth with fire, just as He once judged the earth with water. You would expect...

Read Post

Life on Earth Is Very Short

With the Lord… a thousand years are like a day. 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV) Do the math—Abraham was born on Monday. King David was born on Tuesday. Jesus was born on Wednesday. The middle ages flashed by yesterday, and our generation will have passed before this morning is over. Another 30...

Read Post
For your gift of any amount

A Good Old Age

Loving and Following the Lord Jesus in Later Years

Get Unlocking the Bible's Weekly Email

"This Week at Unlocking the Bible" features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Share Your Story and Prayer Requests

If you have a testimony or story you would like to share or if you have a prayer request, please use the form below. If you would like someone from our staff to call you, please include your phone number.

We will never sell or misuse your information.

Learn more
about special resources to help you during this time of unexpected crisis.

Get Unlocking the Bible’s Weekly Email

“This Week at Unlocking the Bible” features new articles, radio programs, devotionals, and ministry updates

We will never sell or misuse your information.