It is a Virtue to keep the Faith, to always believe in God, and to have Faith that everything happens for a reason according to God’s will.
The Victory in Virtue Series
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Welcome to the first post in the Victory in Virtue series! Today’s Virtue is Faith, arguably the most important Virtue of all.
In today’s post I’m going to talk about what the Virtue of Faith is, show you a few prayers for gaining Faith, and finally a few ideas on how to get started practicing the Virtue of Faith.
This is a long post, so let’s get straight into it.
What Is the Virtue of Faith?
What is Faith? Yikes … that’s a topic that has filled countless books. How can I explain it in one blog post? I can’t, not completely anyway. Faith is also personal, we don’t all experience it the same way.
If I had to define it myself, in a few words, I’d say it’s something like: Trust and belief. Trusting in God, His Word, and His plans. Believing in Jesus, believing that He died on the cross for our sins, believing that He is the Son of God, believing that He is everything He said He is. Trusting and believing in the promises He gave us.
To connect Faith with spiritual warfare, Faith is a belief in the Spiritual Realm, the unseen world. The invisible. The world behind the veil of what we can see that influences so much of what happens in our visible, physical world. It’s a belief in this world, in the demons that inhabit it, but also believing and being confident in the fact that our God, the LORD Most High, is the ruler of the Spiritual Realm too. All the demons and spirits in it must submit to His power and authority. This is Faith too, or another part of it.
That’s how I would define Faith, for a start. Like I said, countless books have been written on the subject. So why don’t we turn to the greatest book of all for an answer? Let’s look at Scripture.
Hebrews 11 is a great place to start reading about Faith. The entire chapter deals with Faith, starting from verse 1.
(1) Faith is the reality of what we hope for, the proof of what we don’t see.Hebrews 11:1, 3 (CEB)
(3) By faith we understand that the universe has been created by a word from God so that the visible came into existence from the invisible.
“Proof of what we don’t see.” That’s a great explanation. Faith is belief in the God we can’t physically see, looking at His actions and knowing that He is God and He is good. Finding our belief in God through what He has done. Interacting with God through prayer, having Faith that He hears us and will answer us somehow. Working hard to reform our ways and living as a Christian, because of belief in God’s Word.
Faith is vital to have in our lives. Faith provides our reason for praying in the first place—why would we bother praying to God if we didn’t believe in God? But believing may be difficult for some in this increasingly faithless and secular world … or if our life is suffering, and we question God Himself.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed (John 20:29 [ESV]).” It is a Virtue to keep the Faith, to always believe in God, and to have Faith that everything happens for a reason according to God’s will. It’s easy to have strong Faith when times are good, and your life is going great (though people can lose Faith at these times too, because they attribute their success and good fortune to themselves rather than God). It’s when everything goes wrong that people tend to lose Faith. When tragedy strikes, and they feel hurt by the unfairness of it. Although many people find their faith at their rock bottom, many people lose it there too.
We are all imperfect humans and keeping our Faith through near-unbearable tragedy isn’t easy. If you feel your Faith coming and going, rising and falling … then know that you are not alone. Many people feel the same! But Faith is actually a life-saving resource in the most trying times! Faith can sustain us as we endure tragedy and suffering. Faith can be our defense in a crisis. Faith can drive us to extraordinary actions to overcome whatever opposes us.
(33) Through faith they conquered kingdoms, brought about justice, realized promises, shut the mouths of lions, (34) put out raging fires, escaped from the edge of the sword, found strength in weakness, were mighty in war, and routed foreign armies.Hebrews 11:33-34 (CEB)
Have Faith that God will see us through, and that this too will pass. Yes, even this. Have Faith that each day gets us one day closer to relief, and that God will bring it all to a healing resolution that is best for us. Have Faith that we will then find deep meaning in the suffering, and having learned and grown through the pain, we will then be grateful and happy we kept on going, without giving up.
We can learn to keep our Faith during the bad times, when everything is going wrong. In fact, we can learn the skill and wisdom of relying on our Faith during these times, instead of our own strength. That will teach us how great a resource, comfort, and source of strength Faith is, and how to use it.
With Faith in God, we also regulate our lives by our Faith, choosing to live by a certain self-imposed code of conduct, keeping our cravings for the pleasures of this world under control for our own good, and only acting in ways that glorify God to the best of our ability (according to our current condition). This is because we believe in God and respect what He asks of us. If we didn’t believe we would have no reason to keep His commandments, and we could act any way we like. But that’s not how we do things, as Christians. It’s our Faith in God and what He has said through His Word that makes us want to honor Him, and to change our ways and act right.
So, Faith is a foundational Virtue. It’s a very basic and fundamental Virtue that inspires everything else we do. The stronger our Faith is, the stronger we are. We become more resilient in the face of life’s challenges, knowing we have the ultimate power on our side, that He loves us and is always working for our good (Romans 8:28).
It’s a good thing to want the Virtue of Faith. One of the best ways to start cultivating a Virtue, besides contemplating it, is praying for it. Let’s look at a few such prayers now.
Prayers for the Virtue of Faith
There are many prayers we could pray to receive the Virtue of Faith. The best ones of course will be the ones that we create ourselves—the ones that come straight from the heart. Remember: When we pray we aren’t trying to say the right combination of words to unlock something in Heaven. No, that would be magic, which is an abomination to the LORD. Prayer is much simpler. Simply tell the LORD what you want, what you need, what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you, and so on.
Praying for a Virtue is a great way to build it up. It’s one of the best ways, actually. So here are a few short, simple prayers for the Virtue of Faith you can try adding to your prayer routine.
Deign to Strengthen our Faith
Here’s one I adapted from a Catholic prayer booklet to a certain saint. I took out all the parts about the saint. “There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus,” (1 Timothy 2:5). Saints are not mediators between God and humanity—there is no reason for praying to them, as they can do nothing for us. There is only one mediator. Saints and Mary are not mediators. Praying to them is a dangerous mistake that attracts demons to you.
And yet, there’s nothing wrong with this prayer for gaining the Virtue of Faith if we take out all the parts about the saint.
O God, Source of our salvation, we beseech You that You would deign to strengthen our faith which You have given to us so that by wisely subjecting our souls to Your Supreme Authority and by faithfully regulating our lives by our faith we may honor You with our whole heart and soul until the hour of our death, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Mark 9 — “Help my Unbelief!”
You’ve probably heard this phrase: “I believe, help my unbelief!” That’s about as simple of a prayer for Faith as we can say. We live in a secular world and we all have problems sometimes believing in things we can’t see. We all suffer from unbelief to some extent. So “help my unbelief” is a great thing to pray if we want stronger faith. It’s simple, and it directly tells God what we want.
If you don’t already know, this phrase comes from Mark 9. It’s in the story of the father of the demon-possessed boy. In this story a man is pleading with Jesus to deliver his demon-possessed son. Jesus tells him all things are possible through faith. The boy’s father says he believes, but he needs stronger faith.
(22) It [the demon] has often thrown him into a fire or into water trying to kill him. If you can do anything, help us! Show us compassion!”Mark 9:22-24 (CEB)
(23) Jesus said to him, “‘If you can do anything’? All things are possible for the one who has faith.”
(24) At that the boy’s father cried out, “I have faith; help my lack of faith!”
We all lack Faith sometimes, like I described above. Our Faith can rise and fall with the difficulties, obligations, and routines of life. We all suffer from unbelief about certain things. But the stronger our Faith is, the less this will happen. So let’s ask Jesus directly and humbly for help with our unbelief, like this man from Mark 9. Try a prayer like this:
LORD Jesus, I believe in You and that all things are possible for the one who has Faith. But my Faith can never be strong enough. Sometimes I suffer from unbelief or a lack of Faith. Please grant me the gift of strong Faith. Please help my unbelief! Amen.
Luke 17:5 — “Increase my Faith!”
This one is even simpler than the last! If you want the simplest prayer for the Virtue of Faith you can get, it would be this. Ask the LORD the same thing the disciples asked Him in Luke 17:5—”Increase our Faith!”
(5) The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”Luke 17:5 (CEB)
Short, sweet, and straight to the point. What’s wrong with praying for Faith like this? So try this one out, and say it at least once a day:
LORD, I ask that You increase and strengthen my Faith! Amen.
Walk by Faith, not by Sight (2 Corinthians 5:7)
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “walk by Faith, not by sight.” That’s 2 Corinthians 5:7.
(7) We live by faith and not by sight.2 Corinthians 5:7 (CEB)
It’s Virtuous to have Faith this strong. Faith so strong that we always trust in the LORD, not allowing what we see in the physical world to make us lose Faith. To always trust in God’s plan and God’s timing, and not be discouraged by what we see around us. To rely on God’s guidance rather than our own senses (sight) and abilities.
This kind of trust in God lies at the core of the Virtue of Faith. We need to be this trusting if we seek to have stronger Faith. This trust is something we can build up. So if you feel you don’t have this trust now, you can learn to have it. It’s not like you need to be born with this trust or anything like that. You can learn it.
Make a conscious decision to trust that God is in control of whatever situation you’re facing. Say: “I trust You, LORD. I don’t see Your plan at work here, in this present situation, but I will trust You that You’re in control and You care about what’s going on here. I choose to trust in You; please help me.” Then do what you need to do while waiting on the LORD to see you through and resolve the problem. Make a conscious decision to trust in God more than anything else You see or hear. See how things work out, and you’ll probably have stronger Faith when the crisis is over. This conscious decision to trust God and stop trying to control anything is how we learn to build up this trust.
It’s Virtuous to trust in God above all else. That doesn’t mean it’s easy though—it isn’t. Especially not at first. What we see in the world is so real and right in our faces. It’s meant to distract us from what God says. It’s meant to weaken our Faith. Cultivating the Virtue of Faith helps us to overcome those distractions. Pray 2 Corinthians 5:7 and ask the LORD to grant you the grace of this level of trust. If you can trust in God like this, you’ll go through dire crises in life and in the end, you won’t be shaken.
To walk by Faith and not sight takes strong Faith. So try a prayer like this:
LORD, I ask You to strengthen my Faith now, so I can always trust in You more than in what I see. Grant me stronger Faith so I can walk by Faith, not sight. Grant me the Faith to stay confident in You and to trust in Your plan. Grant me the Faith to not be shaken by what I see, to not lose Faith in the face of life’s tragedies and problems, or at the discouragement of the faithless World and its constant messaging.
Here’s another one, but it isn’t mine, and I don’t remember where I found it:
Lord, help me to trust you even in the midst of confusion and uncertainty. Thank you that, one day, your wisdom will be fully revealed. Thank you that you are good and that your love endures for ever.
Again, there are so many options for praying for Faith. I could go on and on and on. Everyone is always welcome to leave a comment with prayers of their own.
But once we’re done praying, it’s time to take action (in the physical world). Let’s move on to that now.
Living the Virtue
To cultivate a Virtue, we must also practice it, and do that consistently. Don’t just do it a few times and stop there—stay consistent. That consistency is how you build up a habit. It’s also how you cultivate and strengthen a virtue.
So how can we do that with Faith? Let’s look at a few practical ideas. And remember: These are only a start! The possibilities are endless. I welcome any comments with good ideas about this.
Here are just a few ideas of how we can live out the Virtue of Faith in our own lives:
- Pray at least once a day
- Counting your blessings, and giving thanks to God for each one
- Take risks on major life choices you believe would honor God; have Faith and just do it!
- And other ideas you can think of!
To build up Faith, the most basic daily activity we can do is prayer. Prayer is exercising our connection with God, learning how to talk to God and hear from Him. The very act of praying shows Faith. Why would you pray if you didn’t have Faith in what you were praying to? Even if you don’t have much Faith now or even any Faith—for example, if you’re brand new to Christianity and don’t have any idea what you’re doing—make the decision to pray anyway. The very act of praying, the act of engaging with God will gradually build up our Faith on its own.
Next is counting our blessings. Like I’ve said, it’s easy to lose Faith when life gets hard (which we know it’s going to). When we make a conscious effort to count our blessings, we turn our minds to the topic of how God has already blessed us in life. These blessings could be having something, or they could be not being afflicted with something. The blessing of having physical mobility, for example. This is a wonderful blessing that allows us great enjoyment in life, but not everyone has this blessing. If we have it, we must be grateful to God. Whatever the blessings are, the act of consciously trying to think of them and number them shows us how good God has been to us. When we see how good He is, we must thank Him. And seeing how good He is to us helps to build up our Faith.
Taking risks can be a good way to build up Faith. If you have an idea for something you believe would honor God, start praying about it. If you study the Word, and pray to God you should quickly realize whether your plan is a good, Biblical thing that the LORD would approve of or not. If it is, then once you get things ready, God is looking at you to see if you’re going to take the first step He is leading you toward. He’s looking to see if you’re going to trust Him and take action. It can be hard to take a leap of faith with major life choices. Trust in the LORD and take that leap! Though the process may be messy (that’s all part of the learning experience), when things work out for you your Faith will be rewarded and strengthened.
The best way to truly cultivate a Virtue in yourself is to put it into practice. What are some other good ways to build up Faith? I welcome any ideas in the comments.
Can never Have too much Faith
I have to stop this post somewhere, or else I’d be writing forever. Again, entire books have been written on Faith. I can’t hope to explain it even in one-hundred blog posts, let alone one. But I do hope that you’ve gained some understanding of this crucial Virtue, and found this post useful to you. Maybe you can use some of the prayers here.
To have Faith is Virtuous, and to want the Virtue of Faith is a good thing. We can always use more Faith, we can never have too much. The stronger our Faith is, the stronger we are.
Pray to the LORD for the Virtue of Faith. It’s an invaluable resource and source of comfort. It helps you ride out life’s difficulties, secure in the knowledge that everything will be OK. Everything is always OK in the end, because our God is good. Praise the LORD!
Next week’s Virtue is Hope. Subscribe to my FREE newsletter using the link below so you’ll never miss a post!!
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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