Help My Unbelief

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. (Romans 12:3)

In the context of this verse, Paul is concerned that people were thinking of themselves “more highly than [they] ought to think.” His final remedy for this pride is to say that not only are spiritual gifts a work of God’s free grace in our lives, but so also is the very faith with which we use those gifts. “. . . each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

This means that every possible ground of boasting is taken away from us. How can we boast if even the qualification for receiving gifts is also a gift?

This truth has a profound impact on how we pray. Jesus gives us the example in Luke 22:31–32. Before Peter denies him three times Jesus says to him, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus prays for Peter’s faith to be sustained even through the sin of denial, because he knows that God is the one who gives faith. So we should pray the way Jesus did — for ourselves and for others that God would sustain our faith.

Thus, the man with the epileptic son cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). This is a good prayer. It acknowledges that without God we cannot believe as we ought to believe.

Let us pray daily, “O Lord, thank you for my faith. Sustain it. Strengthen it. Deepen it. Don’t let it fail. Make it the power of my life, so that in everything I do, you get the glory as the great Giver. Amen.”