Do you, like me, sometimes look at someone who has a close relationship with God and say, “Oh I wish I had your faith”?

There seems to be serenity about them and they seem so content whereas I worry about how I stand with God.

I want to believe, I want to pray and know that someone is listening, and I want to know that my life will be all right. But somehow things get so busy, I am so distracted, that God seems far away.

But comparing ourselves to those with a strong faith is missing the point.

For instance, in my wallet are two £5 notes. One is pristine and looks as though it were printed yesterday, and the other is creased, torn and grubby.

If I look carefully, though, each of them bears a promise from the Bank of England to pay me the sum of five pounds on demand. No matter the state of the bank note, the promise is the same.

Faith is a God given gift and when we have it, it doesn’t matter the state or our lives – pristine or tatty it connects us with God.

A man, desperate for his son’s health, begged Jesus for help. Jesus told him: “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

The man said, “Lord, I believe. Help my disbelief!” His son was healed.

Have you asked God for the gift of faith today?

John Thompson

Reader, United Benefice of Staveley, Kentmere and Ings