In my last post I wrote a little on how to have great faith instead of little faith. If you are still not sure how you can increase your faith (make your faith more complete or consistent) here are a few ideas—taken from my book Prayer A to Z.
Eight Ways to Increase Your Faith
1. Take your unbelief to God. Ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit and with His desire. Surrender yourself completely to Him. Be humble before Him and confess your sins and helplessness. Be like the man who said to Jesus, “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mk. 9:24)! Always remember that faith is a gift from God. None of us were born with it; none of us can create it in ourselves. We have to humbly ask for faith. Asking for faith in prayer is the way we received it when we were first saved, and it is the way we receive it each and every day of our life.
2. Meditate on the Word. With a humble, obedient heart, meditate every day on the Word of God. As you prayerfully meditate seek God’s will for your life. Look carefully to discover whatever He wants to tell you. Perhaps He will show you a sin to confess, a command to obey, or a warning to heed. He may also show you an example to follow, a truth to believe, or a promise to claim. Study hard to find the exact meaning of the passage you are reading. Think deep about the One who is speaking to you, and about how He cares for you and loves you. Let the final evidence for your faith be based on God’s good and loving character.
3. Spend a lot of time in prayer. Pray with praise, thanksgiving, and confession. Pray also for specific needs. Through prayer, faith is exercised, energized, and made more perfect. For since prayer is a work of God, and since faith is perfected by works (Ja. 2:20-22), prayer then can be used to perfect faith. E. M. Bounds has written, “Prayer introduces us to a life of faith,” and “Faith gathers strength by waiting and praying.” He also has stated, correctly that “Prayer is absolutely dependent upon faith” and that “Faith makes prayer strong, and gives it patience to wait on God.” Hence, faith and prayer go hand in hand. One can not survive without the other. Each energizes the other.
4. Act on the faith you have. To build strong faith we must act on the faith we already have. Thus, obey God in everything. For faith is not only a noun, it is also a verb—translated as believe. It requires action. John R. Rice, in his book Prayer Asking and Receiving, comments: “Faith is not primarily feeling…faith is acting.” He points out that every one of the faith heroes in Hebrews 11, “by faith did something!” For example, by faith Abel offered a better sacrifice then Cain. Also, by faith Noah prepared an ark. So then, faith is always at work. If it stops working for God it dies. Hence, if you stop working for God your faith will die—that is, it will not continue.
5. Welcome trials. In James 1:3 we read, “The testing of your faith develops patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” This perfection is a perfection of holiness and character, which is what is required for faith, because when we are more holy we are more like God. Lloyd-Jones has said, “The more holy we are the greater will be our faith.” Accordingly, we ought to regard faith as a muscle and welcome trials as exercise. The more we exercise that muscle the stronger it becomes.
6. Cherish the desires God gives you. First, you ought always to desire the Holy Spirit. And when He gives you a desire for something, pay attention to it—because, since it is from Him, and He offers it to you, He most definitely wants you to pray for that thing you desire and receive it. Charles Finney in his Principles of Prayer, writes, “Cherish the good desires you have. Christians very often lose their good desires by not attending to this, and then their prayers are mere words, without any desire or earnestness at all. The least longing or desire must be cherished.”
7. Read about the heroes of faith. Read about heroes in the Bible, but also about those down through the centuries, such as Marten Luther, John Wesley, Charles Finney and George Muller. Perhaps there are also some you know of even in this present time. Whoever you think of and read about, reflect on their lives and prayers, and regard their faith (Heb. 13:7). Notice how God has answered their prayers. Your reading will no doubt help to increase your faith.
8. Use Self Talk. Self talk is part of meditation. It is part of our thinking process. When we meditate correctly, when we think deeply, all the while we will be speaking to ourselves, trying to convince ourselves of what we believe is true and right. This process I believe is the way faith comes to us from God. Hence, words, especially our own words to ourselves release a power within us—the power of faith to believe something.
Unfortunately, our words to ourselves are not always good, positive, and true. And so, words are also very powerful to us in a negative way. For example, if you think you may be getting sick and you keep saying to yourself “I think I’m getting sick,” soon you will be sick! If you think you are going to have a bad day and you say to yourself, “I think this is going to be a bad day,” guess what? A bad day will suddenly come to you.
But if you read a verse like Romans 8:28, and then you say to yourself, “All things will work together for good according to His purpose,” those words that you just spoke to yourself will give you power to actually believe it. Likewise, if you read 1 Peter 5:7, which says, “Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you,” and then when you tell yourself, “Yes, God cares for me and so I am going to cast my cares on Him,” those words to yourself will create faith in you—faith to believe what you just told yourself. Yes, God will use our own words to build up our faith. Therefore, the more we read and meditate on the Word, and then speak those good words back to ourselves, the more our faith will grow, or we could say the more we will actually believe His words to us.
David Stoop’s book entitled Life Can Be Great When You Use Self Talk, has been a wonderful help to me on this subject of self talk and faith. I recommend it to you.