For this reason I say to you, whatever you pray and ask, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24, TLV
“Whatever you pray …” “Believe that you have received it …” Today’s verse has been taken out of context by thousands of people — probably more. The context was that Jesus had cursed a fig tree because it had no fruit for Him to eat, even though it wasn’t the season for the fruit to be ripe (vss. 12-14; 20-21). Yeshua then preaches about the power of prayer with faith.
Today, people pray for miracles or wants and desires. From the simple to the sublime or the selfless to the selfish, prayers are offered up in great faith that God will do whatever they ask — because of this verse. When those prayers aren’t fulfilled, they may blame it on their lack of faith, or God.
Or if it comes to fruition, they attribute it to their faith, as well as God. That seems off to me.
Has this happened to you?
I remember a time when my doctor said that I had to have surgery, if I wanted relief from the pain and potential for more serious complications to develop. Of course, I sought prayer. Lots of prayer. I longed for the LORD to heal me, and I knew He could do it. I sought prayers from brothers and sisters with great faith. They prayed for a miraculous healing, and I agreed and believed with them in prayer.
One morning, I awoke with such a clear “voice” telling me, “If you go through with this, our time together will be wonderful.” I think He even said the word, “Fun.” Major abdominal surgery? Fun? But, I knew it was from the LORD, because the urgency to pray for a healing was gone. In its place, I was looking forward to this “wonderful” time together with my Heavenly Father.
Those who had been praying for me weren’t so sure. One dear friend said that I had given up and if I just had faith, God would heal me.
Well, I had faith that what God told me was true. And guess what? It was true.
Abdominal Surgery Isn’t Fun
Now, abdominal surgery isn’t “fun.” But, the LORD filled my hospital room with such love and joy that nurses, doctors, and other staff entered the room with joy. Many lingered and marveled at my countenance and how fun it was to talk with me. The recovery at home has so many precious moments I could write a book — maybe I will.
One moment was when I went to services for the first time after the surgery, one woman took me aside and asked if I had had “work done” on my face. She said I looked ten years younger. I laughed and told her what the surgery actually was, and that my appearance was because of my “honeymoon” with the LORD.
When the time came to return to work, I was sad that my “honeymoon” with the LORD was over. And like any honeymoon, of course it must end and the day-to-day life returns. Except, I knew how much my Father loved me. And that my faith for a miracle healing, changed once I knew God’s will. A so much better outcome than I ever thought possible.
Is there some formula we need in order to get our prayers answered? Not a formula so much as clearing away anything that keeps us from hearing God’s will, and once we do, keep that faith going. At least, that’s what I know for me. How about you?