Have you ever been caught in a storm at sea? Perhaps not, but surely you have seen movies depicting such a scene. Waves crash onto the deck of a ship, threatening to take captive all on board, each wave bigger and stronger than the former. The ship’s captain works frantically to prevent it from going off course but fails as the waves toss it about. This is the image that comes to mind as the writer of James addresses people who pray doubtfully.
God, I feel like a ship being tossed about, uncertain of where I’ll end up. Help me be sure that you are listening and increase my faith in you.
The writer of James challenges us to pray without doubting.
No one can go left and right at the same time, but that’s essentially how double-minded people attempt to operate. They are indecisive, doubtful, “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (v. 6 ESV). James is clear that anyone who is like that, who is half-heartedly devoted to God is unstable and should not expect God to give them anything (v. 8). Whatever we need from God, we are challenged to ask for it without doubting.
Make up your mind. Decide to trust God. Take a moment to reflect on the final stanza of Greta Zwaan’s poem “Faith, A Gift”:
The faith you cannot find yourself comes through the Holy Spirit,
It's freely offered as a gift—by grace, not by your merit.
God has a plan reserved for you, He seeks for your compliance,
Together, walking down life's road, a wonderful alliance.
Ask God to bestow afresh in your life, this gift of faith.