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Lesson 3 — First Encounter: The Peak of Unbelief

First Encounter: The Peak of Unbelief

Timeless Insights

“The power of prayer rests in the faith that God hears it. The moment I am assured that God hears, I feel drawn to pray and to persevere in prayer.”        

—Andrew Murray

Choosing Your Guide…

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

The __________________ Guide

__________________ is a choice. 

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 

Matthew 28:17 (NKJV)

Greek word for doubting: Distazo

“To stand ________________!”

The __________________ Guide

__________________ is a choice.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. 

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)

Timeless Insights
“It matters little what form of prayer we adopt or how many words we use, what matters is the faith which lays hold on God and touches the heart of the Father who knew us long before we came to Him.”             

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The Realities of Confronting the Peak of Unbelief

The ______________ of doubt and the ______________ of faith

Reality One: 

The Force of _____________

A. Doubt breeds _____________________.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord…

James 1:5-7 (NIV)

B. Doubt breeds _____________________.

And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.”

John 10:23-26 (NKJV)

C. Doubt breeds _______________.

They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness”… When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them…”

Psalm 78:18-19, 21-22 (NLT)

D. Doubt breeds _______________.

And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.

Matthew 14:23-26 (NKJV)

Reality Two: 

The Fruit of _____________

Timeless Insights

“Prayer is more than a wish; it is the voice of faith directed to God.”         

—Billy Graham

A. Faith assures us of _______________  __________.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.  

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

B. Faith assures us of _______________  ____________.

Timeless Insights

“Prayer projects faith on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer moves God.”       

—E. M. Bounds

Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither away so soon?” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” 

Matthew 21:18-22 (NKJV)

C. Faith assures us of ______________  _____________.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 

James 5:15 (NIV)

D. Faith assures us of _______________  __________.

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.  

Romans 5:1-2 (MSG)

Timeless Insights 

“Prayer is asking for rain. Faith is carrying the umbrella.”             —Robert C. Savage

Afterthoughts...Ponder and Pray

Ponder Points:

Why do you think doubt is so destructive to the prayer life of a believer? How can a believer build his or her faith in such a way as to diminish the impact of doubt when it comes to praying believing prayer? 

Personal Afterthoughts

Prayer Points:

Take time in prayer to express to the Lord the things that you feel have created doubt in your walk with Jesus. Ask God to bless you with supernatural grace to pray “without fear or doubting.”