Below is an excerpt from the third chapter of E.M. Bounds book, “The Necessity of Prayer.
“Have faith in God,” “Trust in the Lord” form the keynote and foundation of prayer. Primarily, it is not trust in the Word of God, but rather trust in the Person of God. For trust in the Person of God must precede trust in the Word of God. “Ye believe in God, believe also in Me,” is the demand our Lord makes on the personal trust of His disciples. The person of Jesus Christ must be central, to the eye of trust. This great truth Jesus sought to impress upon Martha, when her brother lay dead, in the home at Bethany. Martha asserted her belief in the fact of the resurrection of her brother: “Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24) Jesus lifts her trust clear above the mere fact of the resurrection, to His own Person, by saying: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” (John 11:25-27) Trust, in an historical fact or in a mere record may be a very passive thing, but trust in a person vitalizes the quality, fructifies it, informs it with love. The trust which informs prayer centers in a Person.
(Jesus) gave no definition of trust, and He furnishes no theological discussion of, or analysis of it; for He knew that men would see what faith was by what faith did; and from its free exercise trust grew up, spontaneously, in His presence. It was the product of His work, His power and His Person. These furnished and created an atmosphere most favorable for its exercise and development. Trust is altogether too splendidly simple for verbal definition; too hearty and spontaneous for theological terminology. The very simplicity of trust is that which staggers many people. They look away for some great thing to come to pass, while all the time “the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart.”
When the saddening news of his daughter’s death was brought to Jairus our Lord interposed: “Be not afraid,” He said calmly, “only believe.” To the woman with the issue of blood, who stood tremblingly before Him, He said: “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark5:34) As the two blind men followed Him, pressing their way into the house, He said: “According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened.” (Matt 9:29-30) When the paralytic was let down through the roof of the house, where Jesus was teaching, and placed before Him by four of his friends, it is recorded after this fashion: “And Jesus seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsy: Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Matt 9:2) When Jesus dismissed the centurion whose servant was seriously ill, and who had come to Jesus with the prayer that He speak the healing word, without even going to his house, He did it in the manner following: “And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” (Matt 8:13) When the poor leper fell at the feet of Jesus and cried out for relief, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean,” Jesus immediately granted his request, and the man glorified Him with a loud voice. Then Jesus said unto him, “Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.” The Syrophoenician woman came to Jesus with the case of her afflicted daughter, making the case her own, with the prayer, “Lord, help me,” making a fearful and heroic struggle. Jesus honors her faith and prayer, saying: “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” (Matt 15:28) After the disciples had utterly failed to cast the devil out of the epileptic boy, the father of the stricken lad came to Jesus with the plaintive and almost despairing cry, “If Thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” But Jesus replied, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Blind Bartimaeus sitting by the wayside, hears our Lord as He passes by, and cries out pitifully and almost despairingly, “Jesus, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.” The keen ears of our Lord immediately catch the sound of prayer, and He says to the beggar: “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”(Mark 10:52) To the weeping, penitent woman, washing His feet with her tears and wiping them with the hair of her head, Jesus speaks cheering, soul-comforting words: “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” One day Jesus healed ten lepers at one time, in answer to their united prayer, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us,” and He told them to go and show themselves to the priests.“And it came to pass as they went, they were cleansed.”