Matthew 17:20b If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6a But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.

James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

I John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.


MEMORY VERSE: Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. —Matthew 18:19


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The effectual, fervent prayer of unwavering faith is promised in God’s Word to be answered when it is accompanied by fasting, seeking, knocking, abiding in Christ, knowledge and obedience of His will, confession of faults, and spiritual agreement. Complete consecration to God’s will and trust in his divine wisdom is also essential to the prayer of faith.




Matthew 17:20b “Mustard seed”: “the name of a plant which in oriental countries grows from a very small seed and attains to the height of ‘a tree’—ten feet and more” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon).

21 “This kind”: “There are certain evil propensities, in some persons, which pampering the flesh tends to nourish and strengthen; and that self-denial and fasting, accompanied by prayer to God, are the most likely means, not only to mortify such propensities, but also to destroy them” (Clarke’s Commentary).

James 1:5 “Upbraideth”: disgrace; insult; revile; reproach; create shame; cast blame.

6 “Wavering”: to go back and forth trying to decide or distinguish; to be at variance with one’s self; doubt or hesitate.

James 5:16 “Effectual, fervent”: accomplish; engage in work; energize.

Matthew 18:19 “Agree”: to be in harmony with. From a Greek root from which we get the English word symphony.




The first verses in our lesson are from the incident where Jesus’ disciples were unable (because of their “littleness of faith,” Jesus told them), to cast out the devil which tormented a young child. Jesus compared facing problems like this to commanding a mountain to move. Insurmountable difficulties. Impossible situations—they all must change at a command from the Deliverer. Jesus reproved some people for “little” faith and commended some for great faith. Examples of great faith included the centurion who grasped the concept of Who Jesus was. He was convinced that Jesus was like himself, under authority and having authority to command sickness or disease to go or come. Others, like the woman who was convinced that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ robe, she would be healed, were also commended by the Savior. Their faith for deliverance and healing came from the same revelation and conviction essential for salvation and sanctification.

Jesus also commended people like the four friends who removed a roof to bring their crippled friend to Jesus, as well as the Gentile woman who persevered despite apparent put-offs by Jesus and his disciples. In Luke 11 he tells of a man who, being refused help from his friend in the middle of the night, kept right on asking until the friend, moved by his unwavering importunity, gave him whatever he needed. He tells a very similar story of the importuning widow in chapter 18. Jesus’ purpose was to illustrate the necessary element of unceasing prayer to God when we are in need and demonstrate an important characteristic of faith: perseverance. Asking God for our needs may involve further earnest seeking of God, with the added emphasis of knocking. This is repeated by James as he describes how the prayer for wisdom must include perseverance, not the hesitation caused by going back and forth on an issue or trying to “split hairs” over what is lawful or not. He encourages the seeker that God is not standing in judgment or condemning us for having a need or lack.

John emphasizes the important element of a life that abides in Christ; also, one must have God’s Word (faith comes by hearing!) permanently fixed in mind and heart. This kind of persuasion generated by God’s revealed Word is what gives the assurance that the request will not only be heard, but answered. He adds in his later epistle that the assurance comes from our knowledge and obedience of God’s will. Certainly a person asking for forgiveness and deliverance from sin can be assured that he is asking according to God’s will; asking for the infilling of the Holy Spirit is definitely God’s will as well. So you can ask in complete faith for these things. Are you sick? Ask God for a witness, or persuasion from His Word, that it is His will to make you well. When He inspires a promise, or gives you the conviction that His atoning blood that saves you is sufficient to heal you as well, you can draw near with full assurance of faith that it will be accomplished.

These verses give a clear picture of what it means to pray the prayer of faith. The early church followed these commands. Anointing with oil in the name of the Lord, prayer, fasting, and confession of faults was the method the believers followed for the healing of the sick. God witnessed to their faith by many miracles. In later times of reformation after apostasy, God would once again send miracles of healings for those who would live their lives by the revelation and conviction of His Word and follow the example laid down by the apostles of faith and fervent prayer.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




  1. This Kind: Having the kind of faith and spiritual power required by particular circumstances of illness or oppression will take what kind of action?
  2. Ask, Seek, Knock: What might be the meaning of the progression of these actions?
  3. Great Faith/Little Faith: Describe what these terms mean to you.
  4. Any Sick: What conditions must be met for the prayer of faith to be prayed?
  5. Any Two of You: Express what is meant by the word agree.





We began this series of studies with an emphasis on the power of God’s Word when it is heard and received by the heart, to convince and persuade the soul. This generates faith to believe and apply the promises, either for justification from sin for the sinner or for sanctification by the Holy Spirit in the heart of the justified believer. We explored the concepts of complete trust in God for all of life and described the hindrances and challenges to that trust. We discovered the importance of complete consecration of soul and body and the resulting inner peace and soul rest. We studied what it means to fight the good fight of faith.

Having thus laid a solid scriptural foundation and argument for faith and trust in God for all things, how can we separate what God has promised to do for the soul who believes and trusts Him, from the wonderful provision of divine healing for the body? Has His Word not proven His power and promises, His way and wisdom that is best, His conditions and requirements for those who come to Him?

As we have been seekers of His saving, sanctifying and keeping grace; as we have learned to trust Him for His provision and care over all of life; let us now be convicted and inspired to seek Him as Healer of the body! Let us ask Him what it means for us to trust in horses and chariots; to go to Egypt for help, to lean upon the arm of flesh.

As we near the time of His coming, how shall we give an answer to His searching question: When the Son of man cometh, will He find FAITH on the earth?

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




We are inundated with many options in nearly every aspect of our lives. At the grocery store we can choose from a multitude of brands and variations. This is also true of the cars we drive, the clothes we wear and the homes in which we live. The list of options is virtually endless.

As a society we have come to expect variety as our God-given right. We demand it! The financial market is driven by it and as a result we’ve come to expect it even in the spiritual realm. This, I believe, is one of the greatest challenges to faith in our generation. We have too many options.

So when we come to places in our experience where there is nothing to stand on but God, we are tempted to waver. We search for an alternative, thinking perhaps there’s another way. But we must relinquish our search and set our focus on God alone.

This is the place where prayer, on the wings of faith, can soar through the clouds and above the storm. The prayer of faith is not reserved for the spiritual elite nor is it beyond the reach of the average Christian. It is for us all. We attain it when we learn to pray with a single eye, a single mind and a single purpose—trusting in God only.

Thus, prayer can be defined as us coming to and communing with God in faith—seeing God as the only option. True prayer, no matter how elementary, must be accompanied by faith. Therefore, the prayer of faith is simply praying in faith—it is believing in God and standing on His word alone.

—Bro. Darrell Johnson