The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. (Luke 17:5-6, ESV)
What an incredible prayer! I can’t count the number of times that I have prayed that prayer when I felt that my spiritual walk was weak, or in times when I am stepping out to do something out of my range in what little faith I think I have knowing that I am going to need more. So I pray, “Lord, give me more faith so I can do what you need me to do.”
In the times that I have prayed this prayer, and I am sure the number of time I will pray it in the future, if I was praying this simply because I looked at the quality of my faith and thought, “this is not near enough to get the job done.” So it is pulled off my prayer shelf and used.
Jesus debunks that whole thought process of thinking that we need a ton of faith to do his work when He said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Get up and move into the ocean’.” That’s not a whole lot of faith in my mind. I am thinking that if someone came to me and said, “I have about a mustard seed amount of faith in you”, that I would see that as not real good. But not Jesus! He says all you need is a small amount.
I am learning over time, and yes I am still learning, that when it comes to the Kingdom it is not about how much, but who it is in. Faith is not about how great the quality is or how much we have of it, but the object of our faith. When Jesus is the object of our faith, He gives our faith quality and ability. The object of our faith drives the activity of our faith. So often we want to practice a strong and vibrant faith, yet our affection is not on the one who gives us the faith in the first place – Jesus.
So is this is a bad prayer? Absolutely not, but remember as you are asking for more faith that you are really asking for more of Jesus – the author of our faith.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2, ESV)