The English dictionaries define ‘increase’ as to make greater as in number, size, strength, extent, capacity, scope, or quality, augment, add to, multiply, to reproduce, intensify, or enlarge.
Since this is on prayer, two things come to mind when I think of increase. Well, more than two, but we’ll just look at two.
* increase our faith
First of all, faith and prayer must go hand in hand. If we believe and have confidence in God, then we pray to Him.
Prayer without faith degenerates into ineffective utterances. What’s the point of praying if we have no faith? A prayer breathed in faith unfurls its fragrance at the Father’s feet. Spurgeon said, “Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.”
Through our intimate conversations with the Father, He reveals Himself and His truths to us, communicating His heart to us as we listen to Him, which then increases our faith.
However, if we do not mix faith with God’s Word, His promises, and the things He whispers to our hearts, then, we resemble the Israelites, for “the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Heb. 4:2b NKJV)
Sometimes a promise of God stalls in its appearance. What happens when inactivity occurs, when a promise seems to drift farther and farther away, when circumstances linger incessantly and patience wears thin? Are we more concerned about the problem or God’s promise? What happens to our faith? Does it increase or decrease?
God’s purpose in inspiring the writing of His Word was to “give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for His promises,” (Rom. 15:4b NLT) to increase our faith that we “do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Heb. 6:12 NKJV)
James said, “If you don’t ask with faith, don’t expect the Lord to give you any solid answer.” (James 1:7 TLB)
Our waiting may seem unproductive, yet, “we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently.” (Rom. 8:25 TLB)
If our prayers increase our faith, then they also…
* magnify the Lord
To increase or enlarge also means to magnify, as to increase in actual size, exaggerate, amplify, and intensify. ‘Magnify’ is also defined as to extol, praise, glorify, to make seem more important, and so on.
The disciple John said it most succinctly, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 NKJV)
How do we do that? As we release ourselves to the Lord for His total control, He increases and we decrease.
As the definition also says, it means to magnify. So we increase or magnify the Lord in our prayers. How do we do that? I don’t think we fully understand what magnifying the Lord means.
To extol or praise highly and exalt God enlarges His image, His power, His love, all His characteristics, intensifying them more than our circumstances or our list of wants.
If we constantly boo-hoo our circumstances or our unfulfilled desires more than praising God, we magnify our circumstances and lack above God’s character and power. David said, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” (Ps. 69:30 NKJV)
Prayer is not complete without praise and thanksgiving. Paul said, “Always maintain the habit of prayer; be both alert and thankful as you pray.” (Col. 4:2 Phillips)
Therefore, do we still raise our hands in praise and worship when in painful despair? Do we still fall on our knees in His presence and exalt His name when in a heart-wrenching trial?
God is always faithful to the promises in His Word, for the One Who breathes His promises into our hearts will not fail to manifest them, when our faith is increased to obey His Word and we magnify His presence and His name above all else.
~~Magnifying the Lord with you, Lynn~~