Lord, Increase Our Faith

“LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH”

“Lord, increase our faith” (Lk. 17:5)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which encourages us to look to the Lord to help us increase our faith is “Lord, Increase Our Faith” (#591 in Hymns for Worship Revised).  The text was written by Craig A. Roberts (b. 1957).  The tune was composed by R. J. Stevens (1927-2012).  The song was copyrighted in 1994 and first published in Hymns for Worship Revised (not in the original edition).  Among other hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church for use in churches of Christ, it has appeared in the 1998 Hymn Supplement: Let the Whole Creation Cry published by the Columbia Hymn Association; and the 2007 Sumphonia Hymn Supplement and the 2012 Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs both edited by Steve Wolfgang et. al.  In all these other books, there are minor alterations in the song, from first person plural to first person singular, and it is entitled, “Lord, Increase My Faith.” 

     The song specifies several different actions in which we need to show an increased faith.

I. Stanza 1 refers to sacrifice

Lord, may our (let my) faith be like Abraham’s,

Our (My) path, the path he trod;

Our (My) gifts from Thee, sacrificed as alms,

Our (My) name, the “Friend of God.”

 A. The faith of Abraham is cited in Scripture as an example for us: Heb. 11:8

 B. One specific way in which he is an example is his willingness to sacrifice, was willing to offer Isaac: Gen. 22:1-12

 C. This is part of the reason that he was called “the friend of God”: Jas. 2:21-23

II. Stanza 2 refers to work

Like others’ faith, Lord, may our (would my) faith be,

At work in times of fear,

Protecting men who would die for Thee

On noble missions here.

 A. We are told to follow the faith of others whose lives are recorded in God’s word for our example: Heb. 13:7

 B. They show us that our faith, like Rahab’s, must be demonstrated by works in order to be effective: Jas. 2:24-26

 C. One way to show our faith by our works is by helping those who go about serving the Lord: 3 Jn. vs. 5-7

III. Stanza 3 refers to patience

Lord, may we (help me) be like the patient man,

Whose faith could long endure,

Though blessed by Thee, tried and blessed again,

In all, remaining pure.

 A. Job is an example of a patient man who was blessed because he endured: Jas. 5:11

 B. Jesus tells us that those who will be saved are those who endure to the end: Matt. 24:13

 C. Therefore, when we are tempted or tried, we must endure to be blessed and to receive the crown of life: Jas. 1:12

IV. Stanza 4 refers to prayer

Lord, may our (let my) prayers, like the faithful prayers

Of prophets long ago

Call down Thy power, so that everywhere,

The cause of Christ will grow.

 A. The Lord wants us to be faithful in our prayers: Lk. 18:1

 B. Prophets of long ago, such as Elijah, often resorted to prayer as they sought to do God’s will: Jas. 5:17-18

 C. Therefore today, we need to pray that the cause of Christ will grow: Eph. 6:18-20

     CONCL.:  We are justified by faith, but not by faith only, because faith without works is dead.  Instead, we need to add to our faith such other characteristics as virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, so that in all things we might walk by faith and not by sight.  Therefore, we should always make our request of the heavenly Father, “Lord, Increase Our Faith.”

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