When Faith Outperforms Science

               According to several news outlets, 68-year-old Margaret Adenuga from Nigeria recently gave birth to twins. She and her husband, Noah (77), married in 1974 but couldn’t conceive, so they tried in-vitro fertilization several times. Finally, the twins were born, a healthy boy and girl who’re doing well. 

But to top that, 73-year-old Erramatti Mangayamma from India has given birth to twin girls. They were conceived by in-vitro fertilization and delivered by caesarian section and are healthy. (It took mom a while to recover, though.) Some think this is a world record for the oldest woman to give birth… but then there’s this lady named Sarah.

                At ninety years old Sarah had a son, conceived in the natural way with her husband who was one hundred years of age. No C-section and no modern medical science to help. Now that’s a world record!

The reason Sarah surpassed these other ladies is faith. Human ingenuity and medical science can do remarkable things but can’t compete with this superior power called “faith”.

God had promised Abraham and Sarah for twenty-five years that they would produce children who’d change the world, beginning with a son from their own bodies and they believed it.

According to the Book of Genesis, they both got so tickled at the prospect of having a child in their ‘nursing home years’ that God told them to name the child “Isaac” – which means “laughter” in the Hebrew language. Finally, after decades of faithful patience, this child of promise came by their faith in God and in his words.

The Apostle Paul wrote this about Abraham & Sarah: Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations… Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God… being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:18-21 NIV)

Abraham faced the facts, yet he and Sarah didn’t put the “facts” above the truth – the truth that God had spoken, that he had promised them this child and had sworn it with an oath. And you can face the facts, the circumstances, of your life and not waver, still receiving from God what he has promised you. What has he promised you?

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17 NIV)

A Request Backed By Covenant

The Apostle Paul almost got another beating that day. During his travels as a missionary to the Roman world he’d already been beaten five times with whips and three times with rods. The last thing he needed was more scars on his back. But, he was scheduled for more.

                As the Roman centurion’s men strapped the apostle down, Paul startled them with this: “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

                The centurion reported quickly to his commander; “What are you going to do?… This man is a Roman citizen.”

Alarmed, the commander went straight to Paul and confirmed his story. The same citizenship that had cost this Roman commander a small fortune, Paul had gotten by birth. His citizenship covenant with Rome saved Paul that day when he outranked his persecutors. (Read the whole story in Acts 22:22-29.)

                As believers in Christ “our citizenship is in heaven”, which means we share the rank of Jesus the Messiah. We have a blood covenant purchased for us by Christ. When we pray, we’re treated as covenant partners with God. When we pray, the Holy Spirit starts praying, interceding for us. When we pray, Jesus himself intercedes for us as he sits on the throne at the Father’s right hand*.

When we pray, we’re right in the middle of a vibrating divine conversation. And our little voices matter to God.

                So, don’t pray as a poor beggar. Remember this: “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV)

                *Romans 8:26-34

The Bold Faith Of Covenant Praying

Praying with boldness doesn’t come naturally. Too much of our ‘natural’ praying comes from utter weakness, from being broken down by life, from being at wit’s end and not knowing what else to do but beg. But these aren’t usually bold prayers.

Desperate prayers have their place, but as a steady diet they produce spiritual anemia. Instead of building faith, they weaken it. The self-pitying prayers of perpetual victimhood cripple a prayer life, hiding the essential ingredient in answered prayer… “according to your faith will it be done to you.” 

Here’s a hint to the secret of boldly praying in faith – covenant.

Think about Abraham’s bold prayer as he challenges God: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Far be it from you!” (Genesis 18:23-25 NIV).

That astonishing prayer stood on bedrock, on his blood covenant with God. Notice this: In Genesis chapter twelve, Jehovah had chosen Abram. In chapter fifteen God confirmed the covenant with a blood sacrifice (literally “cut a covenant”) and in chapter seventeen He changed Abram’s name to Abraham (“father of many nations”), requiring circumcision as a sign of this blood-contract between Jehovah and His human partner.

That’s why, concerning the upcoming judgment of Sodom, God said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” Then He answers His own question – “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation… For I have chosen him.”

Notice how Jehovah respects blood covenant. Because He has chosen Abraham and entered into this solemn covenant with him, He gives the patriarch a voice in the coming exercise of Divine Justice. Because of covenant, God considers a man’s advice and input as He decides to act on the earth.

Although Abraham didn’t have a Bible, every time he heard his new name, or disrobed, or saw the stars, or watched an animal sacrifice, he saw proof of his blood covenant with the Almighty. And that made his prayers bold. He didn’t pray like a hireling, like an orphan. He prayed the way a son talks to his father, like one who had authorization to speak intimately with Jehovah.

So, if you’d like to pray boldly and change the course of history, explore your covenant rights. Read about blood covenants*. Do a Bible word search on the word, covenant. Since “Jesus has become the guarantee of a better (blood) covenant”, we can “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance (boldness)of faith.” (Hebrews 7:22 & 10:22)

                *See The Blood Covenant by E.W. Kenyon.