“Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed…” – Genesis 17:17
Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife Sarah, was 99 years old, and up until this point, they had no children together. Before this, God made a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would be more than the stars in the heavens. And here, in this setting, God once again comes and tells Abraham about the promise. God takes it another step though and tells Abraham that the promise will come through the child that is born through Sarah. And what does Abraham do? He laughs at God. Not only does he laugh, but it also says he fell on his face laughing as if God was telling him a hysterical joke.
When God speaks, is it a joke? After all, He is the God of the possible and the impossible, isn’t He? As disciples of Jesus, many of us express that truth as if it were a beautiful sentiment, but do we truly believe it? Do we believe anything is possible with and for the Lord? I propose that nothing shows where our faith is in this area more than our prayer life.
Jesus is the Great Physician and said, “It is not those who are healthy that need a physician, but those who are sick (Matthew 9:12). Yet when my niece is sick with a common fever, do I ask Jesus to heal her or simply thank Him there is urgent care and antibiotics. Jesus said to lift up His name, and He would draw people to Himself. Do I believe that and pray the Holy Spirit would speak to the unsaved heart and then employ my own skills and abilities to try to do it on my own?
When we pray in unbelief, I think it is like we are laughing at the Lord and His promises. If God said it, it is true, and we can claim it in Jesus’ name without worry that we are out of His will. If it is done for His will and according to His Word then we can pray and believe God will do it and break down the strongholds of Satan.
“A person who has denied himself, taken up the cross, and following Jesus Christ can take these promises and lay claim to them. Anything he asks, desires, or wishes will be done.” – Chuck Smith