When I was a fulltime instructor at a Bible school in Bangalore, India I came across a common statement that I never heard much in the USA. Often after teaching a class, students would approach me eager to learn more and they would say, “Brother, I have a doubt.” Their English was more British based than American. At first, I’d respond with a smile, “Doubt’s of the devil.” But quickly I realized a pattern. They were not doubting God’s word, but they had a question about God’s word. In other words, “I have a doubt” simply meant, “I have a question.” This realization gave me further understanding of a passage of scripture.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord“ (James 1:6-7).
When we pray, we are to ask the Father in faith, with no doubting, or you could say with no questions. If there is an “if” in your prayer, there is a question or a doubt. And the scripture is clear when it says, “For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
The presence of an unanswered question in your mind concerning God’s will reveals you don’t have a steadfast faith yet. In order to meet the condition for answered prayer, first you have to get all your questions answered. F.F. Bosworth in his classic, Christ the Healer, begins chapter one by saying, “Before people can have a steadfast faith for the healing of their body, they must be rid of all uncertainty concerning God’s will in the matter. Appropriating faith cannot go beyond one’s knowledge of the revealed will of God. Before attempting to exercise faith for healing, one needs to know what the Scriptures plainly teach, that it is just as much God’s will to heal the body as it is to heal the soul.”
It’s not wrong to have a question. But for you to exercise steadfast faith that successfully receives, the question needs to be answered before the prayer is offered. James 5:15 says, “the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up…” The prayer of faith will save the sick! Not the prayer of doubt. What is the prayer of doubt? The prayer of doubt has a question or an “if” in it. It usually says this, “Heal me if it be Your will.”
In Mark 1, a leper came to Jesus with a question in his mind. He said, “If You are willing, You can make me clean” (Luke 1:40). He knew Jesus could heal him. But he doubted whether He wanted to.
“Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’” (v41)
Jesus’ response to this leper is his response to you and to all. It is His will for all to be healed.
“As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed” (v42).
Notice as soon as Jesus spoke, the man was healed. Why? The question was answered. The “if” was removed. There ceased to be any doubting.
Get acquainted with God’s word. It is full of eternal promises made to you. The questions in your mind can be answered so that you can approach God in faith, fully persuaded of His will for your life.