How many of us were raised thinking Mark 11:24 was about praying for and acquiring goods, products or services, you know, stuff from God? The truth is, this scripture is not about praying for and acquiring things. It is about developing an ongoing conversation with God.
“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
Mark 11:24 NLT
The scripture is about faith, belief, and relationship. It’s about God’s Omnipotent power. It is also a lesson about our faith in God, who provides all that He has for us. It is about building confidence in the fact that God is our Father and knows all there is to know about us and more. God knows what our material needs are, after all, he created us before he called this universe into being. He knew our challenges, pitfalls, and successes long before we were born. He gave us free will to navigate our paths. He knows our destinations, and as my VP used to share, he knows our stops on the way to our destination. This scripture is about encouragement. The encouragement to develop a daily conversation with God seeking his love, guidance, forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Once we develop a pattern of spiritual thinking, we can ask for anything in faith, knowing that God meets our needs.
Please pay attention to the term ‘needs.’ God provides what we need, not necessarily what we want. If we pray for our wants and they do not equate to needs that move us in the direction of spiritual maturity, they may not be granted. However, on the other hand, if we pray in confidence that God provides for our needs, then the expectation of receiving anything else is not considered as an option. Praying is the process of establishing our relationship with our Father, communing with him as we do with our best friend, confident that He will not let us down.
Matthew Henry puts it this way; All true Christians are endued with faith, which doeth wonders in things spiritual. Matthew Henry puts it this way, to that faith of miracles which the apostles and first preachers of the gospel were we endued with, which did wonders in things natural, healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils; these were, in effect, the removing of mountains. The apostles speak of a faith which would do that, and yet might be found where holy love was not, 1 Co. 13:2 . [2.] It may be applied to that miracle of faith, which all true Christians are endued with, which doeth wonders in things spiritual. It justifies us (Rom. 5:1 ), and so removes the mountains of guilt, and casts them into the depths of the sea, never to rise in judgment against us, Mic. 7: 19. It purifies the heart (Acts. 15:9 ), and so removes mountains of corruption, and makes them plains before the grace of God, Zec. 4: 7. It is by faith that the world is conquered, Satan’s fiery darts are quenched, a soul is crucified with Christ, and yet lives; by faith we set the Lord always before us, and see him that is invisible, and have him present to our minds; and this is effectual to remove mountains, for at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, the mountains were not only moved but removed, Ps. 114:4-7 .(2.) To this is added here that necessary qualification of the prevailing prayer, that we freely forgive those who have been any way injurious to us and be in charity with all men (v. 25, v. 26); When ye stand to pray, forgive. (BibleStudyTools.com)
As I was reading and studying this scripture and the two preceding ones I realized that I had been praying this prayer incorrectly. I used it to pray for things rather than to establish and strengthen my relationship with God. The scriptures throughout the Bible inform us that God moves mountains, manifests miracles, provides food, clothing, and provisions to survive. He does these things because He promised us He would, not because we asked in prayer.
The asking (in prayer) is our way of announcing that we have faith and confidence to petition requests to Him knowing that He has heard and will manifest what is needed in our lives. Once we understand Mark 11:24, we enter into a more mature relationship with God and ‘revelation’ will become a more frequent occurrence when studying the Bible.
The caveat announced in Mark 11:25, is that if we ask and have not forgiven others who have sinned against us, we ask God in vain because He must first forgive us before he answering our prayers.
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Mark 11:22-25 NKJV
I’ve learned that when studying a specific scripture it is important to read it in context which means reading the scriptures before and after the scripture we intend to use in prayer and when possible read a variety of commentaries about the scriptural package.
Ask yourself, how often do I pray amiss? Should I study scriptures more in-depth than simply reading them and adding them to my prayer tools?
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Scripture – Bible.com; Biblestudyhtools.com
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