“And the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith” – Luke 17:5
“Faith,” what is it? Is it important? Why is it important? Ever wonder about faith? Sometimes we become so used to something that we overlook it. Familiarity breeds contempt. We tend to take for granted those things which are common in our lives. We don’t appreciate things the way we should when they are always there. Let’s take today for instance. There was no guarantee that today would be another day. There are more and more people who suggest we have fewer and fewer days to live out. We look at the world around us and see natural disasters, wars, terrorism, violence, murder, death, the frequent unexpected end to life. We see these things and maybe that shakes our confidence in the likelihood of another “today” for us. But because our continued ongoing existence provides us with more days, we grow to expect them and we take them for granted. We hear teachers of prophecy warn that “today,” might be the last day, but we’ve experienced so many other days that we ignore the warnings and just keep pressing on to another day.
We’re not guaranteed another day. Someone has said, “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life: It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Many people die in their sleep. The first prayer I was ever taught had to do with the possibility of not awaking from sleep. My dear old grandmother taught me to pray, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” That’s all I remember of it. I discovered later that there’s an important additional verse that says, “If I should live for another day, I pray the Lord to guide my way.” I can’t remember ever wondering as a young child why my grandmother had me praying about whether or not I’d awake from my sleep. At the time it was a soothing ritual grandma led me through. But now that I come to think of it, it’s pretty scary! “Why grandma, why do I have to pray that I might die?” Interesting. But we probably didn’t give that much thought when we laid our head on our pillow last night. We go to sleep assuming we will awake in the morning. We take it for granted. “Lord, we don’t care if we awake. We don’t care if our soul You take.”
A few years ago, there was a story about a man whose house and bedroom where he was sleeping were swallowed up by a sink hole.  Imagine that, going to bed and waking up in a sink hole. Imagine going to bed and awakening to the sense of falling and falling into a dark hole in the ground. A hole big enough to swallow your house! We see such stories every once in awhile and maybe we’re amused by them. But we still expect to awaken from our sleep to face another day.
When we do rise each day, we get up, go to the bathroom and expect it to be there. We expect fresh air, water and lights all to be there when we wake up. We likely expect clothes in our closet and food to eat for breakfast. We expect there to be programs on the computer, TV or radio. We expect Alexis to be there. We expect our pets, the cat or the dog or the fish or snakes or whatever to all be there. We expect things to be as they were when we went to sleep. We expect to be able to walk the streets, ride our bicycle, or skate on our skateboard to get where we want to go. We walk out to our car and expect it to be there. If our car is in good order, we expect it to start and drive when we put in the key or press the ignition button. We drive and expect people to generally abide by the traffic laws. If we use public transportation, we trust the uber, taxi, bus or train to get us there. If we go further and have to take a plane, and that plane, maybe a new Boeing 777 200ER that weighs 656,000 pounds at takeoff, (that’s about 328 tons!), we trust the laws of aerodynamics and the manufacturer and operators of that plane to get us safely where we want to go. But even feet trip and fall, and bicycles, skateboards, cars, ubers, taxis, buses, trains and yes, even planes, have accidents. Sometimes people don’t get where they want to go.
Sometimes we don’t wake up. Sometimes we don’t get to where we’re going. Sometimes the ground quakes and shakes or completely gives way. Sometimes a storm hits. Sometimes an act of unexpected violence intrudes on life and ends it. Sometimes people become consumed, overwhelmed by such thoughts and it paralyzes them and keeps them from moving forward in life. But most of us carry on with little to no thought of the unexpected and often life-threatening contingencies of life. How do we do that? What keeps us going in light of all the possible dangers? That answer is faith.
We exert faith and trust in every part of every day of life. By faith we expect things to be just as they were the night before. By faith we expect things to go on being as they always were. That “faith,” is often more presumption than anything else. But it is a type of faith nonetheless. It is rudimentary, fundamental, existential faith. We function and get through one day to the next, through our daily lives, by faith. That is well and good and necessary in this life. But what happens when this life ends? Can faith get us through the transition from this life to the next? Can our faith deal with death?
Is there even a “next” life, a next existence, something beyond this life? Some people believe this life is all there is. They are atheists. The Bible says such thinking is foolish (e.g. Psalm 14). Faith inherently tells us or gives us a very strong inkling that there is more than just this life. The Bible states, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Human beings are created by God (a faith statement in and of itself!). And we are created with “eternity in their hearts,” or an inherent sense that there is “eternity,” more than merely this life existence. Human beings are creatures of faith. But faith alone like this, is not enough. Common faith does not enable us to “find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”
Faith without God is incomplete. It isn’t until the object of our faith becomes God that our faith begins to realize the intended purpose. When God created humanity and included faith as an ingredient of who we are, He had a purpose for doing that. What is God’s purpose for faith? Faith begins to head in the right direction when it begins to realize, “for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). When we begin to analyze this faith existence we live by, we begin to question what or Who our faith is in. We begin to ask, “Why did I wake up today?” Or, “Why did this happen this way today?” Or, “Why didn’t this happen this way today?” Or, “Why did this happen to me?” Or, “Why didn’t this happen to me?”
When we start asking those types of questions, we begin to understand there’s something other than shear fate that is happening in life. We begin to see, by faith, Another. The eyes of faith begin to bring truth and reality into focus. God has created us for this. As we question and proceed in our venture of faith, we learn by faith that, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). By faith we are being drawn by God to discover the “Me” in that sentence.
Eventually, as we question and seek, we will find. We will discover that “the goodness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4). We will discover that the words of Jesus are faithful and true. Such words as, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). God wired us to have faith that would lead us to this discovery.
Did you know that even the devil and demons have faith? It’s true. When we look at the gospels it’s the devil and demons who are among the first to identify Jesus. Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness and identifies Him as “the Son of God” (Matthew 4:3). Early in the Gospel of Mark it is a host of demons who say, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know Who You are – the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24). In Matthew’s account the demons refer to Jesus as “Jesus, You Son of God” (Matthew 8:29). The demons knew Who Jesus was. They had a kind of faith. But such “faith” is obviously not enough. James the half brother of the Lord Jesus was inspired to write, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe – and tremble” (James 2:19).
It’s not enough to have faith. Faith is an instrument. People in the world have faith. We’ll often hear faith referred to in television programs or in the halls of social media. But it’s usually a very generic nondescript faith. It is a kind of faith in faith. It’s a faith that is so all encompassing a “faith” that it becomes useless. It’s not enough. God created humanity with the capacity to exert faith. But His intent is that our faith would be in the proper object. You see, what or who you believe in or put your faith in makes all the difference in the world.
Let’s say we are on vacation in a remote region of the world and need to take a plane on an excursion somewhere. If we are directed to go to a field somewhere instead of an airport terminal to get to the plane, that should raise red flags for us. If when we get to the field, we find a biplane, or rickety, rusty, worn out sad excuse for a plane, that may give us pause. If we are greeted by an unkept, disheveled and obviously drunk pilot with eyeglasses that have two-inch think lenses, that may draw of bead of sweat from our brow. If we see all that, and then entrust our lives to such a machine and its operator, then when it inevitably crashes and burns, we will have only ourselves to blame. The object of our faith is just as important as the faith itself.
If your sightseeing in New York City, minding your own business, having a good time, and a stranger introduces themselves to you, that may be startling. You sense you should walk away, but they begin to tell you about an opportunity of a lifetime that you just can’t pass up. They have your attention. Then they explain the deal and offer to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. When you hear that, your good sense causes you to doubt. You were interested but buying the Brooklyn Bridge? Absurd. You’ve heard of those Three Card Monty guys and know to stay away from them. But this, this sounds so good. You think, “There’s something ‘different’ about this guy. He can’t be lying to me. He looks so honest. He really believes in what he’s selling.” But friend, you should pause before proceeding forward with that kind of sale. Yes, you should indeed walk away. You’re thinking, “But they’re oh so convincing. They really seem to believe what they’re telling me. Their enthusiasm is infectious.” And then they even take you to the bridge and show you documentation of ownership! It looks so good! It feels right. Impressive for sure. But if you give them your life savings thinking you’re actually buying that magnificent Bridge, well, you have only yourself to blame. The reliability of what or who you put your faith in makes all the difference in the world.
Faith is important. We live by faith. But faith, in order to be truly useful, eternally useful, needs to be placed in truth and the right Person. For faith to reach its God-intended purpose, it must be exerted according to God’s instructions. If faith is to get us where God wants us to be, it must be guided and implemented the way God reveals it should be used. Faith alone, is not enough. Faith alone, to be useful and to be all God intended it to be when He created humanity with the capacity to exert it, must be aimed at and reliant on Jesus. That’s the reliable and faithful truth folks. I’m not trying to sell you a Bridge here. I’m not using sleight of hand. This is the truth. Faith alone is only useful and powerful in us to the extent that it trusts in Christ alone.
Maybe at this point you realize you have been living by faith, but your faith is not enough, it’s not saving faith, its not the kind of God-ordained faith that He designed for us to live by. Maybe at this point you’re thinking, “Lord, increase my faith!” That’s exactly what the disciples of Jesus asked Jesus to do for them. In Luke 17 Jesus was teaching them about sin and forgiveness and so powerful was His teaching that their response was, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). And that I believe is by God’s design. We can live by rudimentary faith and ask questions about faith, but God’s purpose is that we come to trust in Him through Jesus Christ.
How can our faith be increased? For our faith to be increased we need to first realize that faith is hindered in life. The proper use of faith is hindered by a thing called sin. Sin is disregarding God, living selfishly as though the world and universe revolved around us. Sin is disobeying God (Galatians 3:10-13; James 2:10). Sin tempts and lures us into trusting ourselves, sometimes others, but always anything or anyone other than God Himself. Sin warps us. Sin warps our concept and use of faith. Sin is something that will get us to board that rickety old biplane with the drunken pilot. Sin will lead us to crash and burn.
Another foe of faith is fear. Fear will step in front of faith and cause us to stand still instead of moving forward in faith. Fear paralyzes us in indecision. Faith involves decision. Faith is something we step out in. Fear causes us to stand still or run away. Fear can be the opposite of faith. God created humanity with the capacity to fear, but only as a sense that causes us to run away from or be warned of the truly dangerous. Sin uses fear to keep us away from God’s good and blessing. Therefore, fear, carnal, sinful fear, is the foe of God’s faith.
What is faith? “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith takes God at His word. Faith is fueled by God’s word (Romans 10:17). Faith is called upon by God to decide whether or not it will trust His word. In God’s word is His plan for salvation from sin. Sin is like cancer; it kills us spiritually. It starts small and eventually, if left untreated, consumes us. In our own strength we can’t solve this sin problem. We can’t perform self surgery to cut out the sin within us. On our own, we are hopelessly infected by sin. But God Who loves us has provided a cure for our sin. Sin incurs a debt; a death penalty to be righteously and deservedly enforced by God. Sin literally does kill us. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). But Jesus paid that death penalty on the cross. “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23b). Jesus paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. All we need do to reap the benefit of Jesus’ saving substitutionary cross work is to trust in Him, believe in Him, put our faith in Him and His work. And God has made that all the more obvious and easier for us to trust in, in that He raised Jesus from the dead to prove Jesus atoning cross work was acceptable and sufficient to pay our death penalty. God offers this “salvation” from sin as a free gift to be received by faith alone in Jesus alone. All we have to do to be saved from sin is trust in Jesus (Romans 10:8-13; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
Faith brings salvation and God’s forgiveness for our sins when forsaking all alternative means to salvation I trust Him; trust Christ alone for salvation (Luke 7:50). Then, “The just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4; Rom 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Faith is to be placed in God in Jesus Christ (John 14:1). Faith links us to God’s power in life (Acts 15:8-9). We’re supposed to walk by faith in God and not mere self-reliant sight (2 Cor. 5:7). Faith gets us through uncertainty in life. Faith is not only the instrument God provides for us to save us; faith is how we continue on after we are saved from our sins. We receive the gospel of Jesus by faith. We continue on by faith. We move “from faith to faith” (Romans 1:17).
Throughout Biblical history people were able to do great things by faith (e.g. Heb. 11). Faith brings healing (e.g. Luke 8:48; also 17:19). Everything we do in relation to God is done by faith. Therefore, when we read the disciples of Jesus ask Him to, “Increase our faith” it shouldn’t surprise us (Luke 17:5). “Faith” (Greek – πίστις – pistis) means assurance, belief, confidence, conviction, faith, fidelity, trust. We could all use more faith. The Bible says without faith it’s impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). We please God when we put our faith in Him.
The context of the disciple’s request for increased faith was that Jesus had just told His disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones” (Luke17:1-2). Jesus said the reality is that offenses (i.e. sins) will come. We are limited in our fallen state. We are going to fall at times. But we are called to live a holy life (1 Pet. 1:15-16). Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). He tells us the same. How is that possible?
Jesus’ words,” It is impossible that no offense should come,” reveal there is no such thing as sinless perfection in this life. In this life we will struggle at times to overcome certain sins in our lives. This is what the Apostle John meant when he said, “there is a sin not leading to death” (1 John 5:16-17). The key is drawing close to Jesus by faith. That is because the closer we come to Jesus by trusting in Him, the clearer we see sin. But also, the closer we come to Jesus by trusting in Him, the more power we will have over sin (e.g. 1 John 3:6-8). Faith in Jesus helps us to identify and overcome sin. God’s promise is that when we enter into new life in Christ sin will no longer dominate us (Rom. 6:14). God is faithful and promises to show us the way to escape giving into temptation when it comes (1 Cor. 10:13). Our faith is increased when we learn to trust in the faithfulness of God.
Jesus pronounced a woe against those who instigate or who introduce temptations which cause others to stumble. It’s one thing to be tempted, it’s quite another to be the tempter. A name for the devil is “the tempter” (Mat. 4:3; 1 Thess. 3:5). When we tempt others, we are acting like the devil. That is why Jesus pronounces a woe on the one who tempts others. Using deception and temptation to manipulate others to do our will is satanic. Don’t do it. Rather than relying on manipulation and deception to achieve our goals and plans, we should trust in the Lord. True faith in the Lord is not manipulative.
Paul instructs believers to guard against being a hindrance to those of weaker faith (Rom. 14-15). This isn’t always easy. It means we may have to restrict our own freedoms for the sake of others. “For whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23b). People have different opinions about what is acceptable to God. And when Christians of differing opinions gather together, the one who has a stronger faith and freedom should not exert their freedoms if it means the one of a weaker faith will be stumbled and hindered in their faith.
There are many such issues in the church that people have varying opinions about. For instance, some see the beach as a place of obscenity. Others enjoy the sand and surf. Some cultures drink wine without issue, other cultures see it as carnal indulgence. To some the way one dresses is an issue of contention. We should always dress modestly. There are many such secondary issues. (Even the fact I refer to such issues as secondary is problematic for some who see them as primary.) I would just say, exert your faith freedoms as the Holy Spirit leads and do so in a way that is not injurious to other believers.
We may feel it an imposition to restrict our freedoms for the sake of others who are not as spiritually mature. But a person’s faith and its condition are of far greater importance and value than our freedoms. We need to act in love. The love of God seen clearly in Jesus is a love that sacrifices (Romans 5:8). If we are to be like Jesus and of strong faith, we too should love like Jesus, sacrificially (e.g. John 13:35; Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 4:8). A person’s faith is a treasure to God (Eph. 1:18). This is certainly the case when we abuse “freedom” to indulge our flesh (Gal. 5:13). Lord, increase our faith. Help us to not be the source of temptation or a hindrance to the faith of others. Don’t let us tear down what you went to the cross to build up!
Then Jesus says, “Take heed to yourselves” (Luke 17:3a). We need to be good stewards of what God has given to us. Jesus would not have said for His disciples to take heed to themselves unless there were dangers or pitfalls to guard against. We need to take care of ourselves spiritually. Faith is built and strengthened “by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Spiritual muscles atrophy and get flabby with disuse. We need to work out spiritually and do so on a regular basis. That means pray, read the word of God, fellowship and worship the Lord regularly (e.g. Acts 2:42). We need to take time to get alone and invite the Holy Spirit to do His holy work in us. Jesus spent time alone with His Father (Luke 6:12). We should too. This is the means by which Jesus works in us to increase our faith. Lord, increase our faith.
Jesus first says to take heed to yourselves because He knew the nature of people and that when offenses come it creates great temptations. When someone offends you there is a temptation for revenge, resentment, hatred, unforgiveness and a host of other sinful responses. That is why Jesus goes on to say, “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:3b-4). The word “rebuke” (Greek – ἐπιτιμάω – ĕpitimaō – ep-ee-tee-mah´-o) means admonish, warn, rebuke. We need to correct offenders. In other words, we need to deal with offenses and not let them accumulate and develop into larger problems. This is something we do by faith.
Dealing with offenses isn’t easy. Forgiving offenders isn’t easy. It hurts to be offended or sinned against. And yet Jesus says if a person sins against you and he “repents, forgive him.” To repent (Greek – μετανοέω metanoeo – met-an-ŏ-eh´-o) means to have a change of heart that leads to a change in action. Godly sorrow produces repentance that leads to salvation (2 Cor. 7:10). Repentance is necessary for true reconciliation to occur. That doesn’t mean we hate or try to hurt an unrepentant offender. We pray for them and seek discipline or to help them to learn the error of their ways. We should seek for them to experience godly sorrow for their sins that produces repentance that leads to salvation or reconciliation in the situation.
How often should we forgive someone who sins against us and repents? Jesus basically says as often as the offender repents. There is such a thing as a chronic offender. Jesus gave us the criteria and call to reconcile with such an offender. It is often very difficult to forgive and even more difficult to forgive often. That’s why the disciples and we say, “Lord, increase our faith.” We need to trust the Lord with our fears that injustice will prevail. We need to surrender offenders to Him. God is a Just Judge. Therefore, we forgive, by faith in Christ.
We’ve seen how Jesus instruction to, “Take heed to yourselves” is a call to spiritual devotion. But what is His direct response to the request from the disciples to increase their faith? First Jesus says, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:6). In other words, the quality of your faith is more important than the quantity of your faith. It’s not how much faith you have that is of prime import. That’s because faith the size of a small mustard seed can uproot a mulberry tree and toss it in the sea. A mulberry tree is a tree with deep roots that is hard to uproot. A little bit of faith can move that which is hard to move.
The word “faith” also means “faithfulness.” Faithfulness moves that which is difficult to move. We see an example of this in Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow. Because of her faithful persistence in pestering a certain disinterested judge, she got what she wanted. Jesus told this parable so, “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1-8). Persevere in faith. Be faithful in prayer. The idea is we should have faith in prayer. God is not disinterested but very interested in us and our lives. That being the case, we should persist faithfully in prayer and not give up. Are you faithful in prayer?
Jesus told this parable because evidently the faithfulness of people was in question here. He ended the teaching by saying, “When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” How about you? How’s your faith? How’s your prayer life? Jesus equated persistence in prayer with faith in this parable? So when we ask ‘how’s your prayer life,’ we are also by implication asking “How’s your faith or faithfulness?”
Jesus shares one further instruction about increasing faith. The quality more than the quantity of faith is important. But how is our faith tweaked and honed to high quality? To answer this Jesus shares a parable with them. He says:
- Luke 17:7-10 – 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”
What’s the point? The point is that faith is increased through service. By sharing this parable with His disciples Jesus is teaching them that service produces faith. Service creates a host of faith building situations. When you serve the Lord you have to have faith to seek His will to know where and how He wants you to serve. You have to have faith that God will supply what you need to serve Him where and how He directs you to serve. And you have to have faith that God will work in and through you as you serve. Service is the environment in which faith is produced.
And there is a necessary attitude in this service that leads to faith. The parable conveys the idea that the one who serves should be serving with no expectation to get something. The service that builds faith is not service with ulterior motives. The service that builds faith has no other motive than to serve the master. The one serving is not doing his or her master a favor by serving him. The master is not obligated to give something to the one who serves him. When the servant serves, they are simply doing what a servant does or is supposed to do, i.e. serve. Faith is the fruit of a selfless servant. Serve the Lord in this way and your faith will soar.
The word “duty” implies an indebtedness (Greek – ὀφείλω – ŏphĕilō – of-i´-lo). When we look at this in terms of our service to the Lord, we should understand that we are His servants because we have been bought by Him. We are not our own. We are His. Jesus has redeemed us from the curse and penalty of sin with His precious blood (1 Co. 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Because Jesus died for us we should no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us. The compelling force in service should not be to manipulate or gain God’s favor through service. We should not serve to get something out of God. We serve because of our loving appreciation for Jesus and His sacrifice for us (2 Cor. 5:14-16). When we serve the Lord, compelled by love for Him, expecting nothing special in return, the byproduct is increased faith. Why is that? How is that?
When we serve God in loving appreciation trusting Him to increase our faith but with no expectations of any special favor from Him, what we discover is, “your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Mat. 6:8). Our faith is increased when we serve selflessly because we learn that God loves us and will bless us when we simply trust Him to do so. When we selflessly serve the Lord by faith, we learn God has our back. Serving the Lord by faith, trusting in Him, walks us along a road when God is able to demonstrate His providence, His provision, His power. Walk such a road by faith, whatever form it takes, and your faith will grow.
Selfless service increases our faith because it is the way to learn God, “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). Serving and living by faith in God, no matter the road, no matter the circumstances, provides God the opportunity to come through. And God always comes through. He is faithful. And here’s a wonderful truth to end on. The Early church put this truth into a creedal form. It states:
- 2 Timothy 2:11–13 (NKJV) – 11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
God is faithful. Even when our faith isn’t what it should be, He remains faithful. He has proven undeniably His faithfulness in dying for us. We can trust Him for all His other promises. God is faithful by nature. He “cannot deny Himself.” God cannot deny His own Being. God is faithful. That truth should increase our faith.
How’s your faith? Need some more? Are you willing to serve the Lord that way? Loving selfless service is Jesus’ prescription to increase faith. How’s your service? Dear Faithful Lord, we come humbly to You in Jesus’ name. Please help us to take heed to our spiritual condition. Please help us not to be a source of temptation to others. Please help us to forgive. Please help us to have faith. Please increase our faith. Lord we love you. Lord give us opportunities to serve You. Lord, increase our faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
 James 4:14