“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Jesus makes a powerful statement in this verse, Mark 11:24. He addresses praying with faith. I used to wonder how I should pray. I used to have a few prayers memorized. They made me feel good but they left me empty at the same time. Those prayers were not a way for me to connect with God. They were meant to fulfill the need to seem holy and godly but they didn’t do much for me. I didn’t even have faith that God heard me. I prayed and the words didn’t go anywhere. I knew there was more to prayer and it took me a while to find out about the power of prayer. Prayers combined with faith equals powerful prayers. I also learned that prayer was a conversation and not a one-way street. Prayer is talking to God and hearing from God and it is also making requests that God hears. That is the point. We have to believe that we are heard. Naturally if we go to someone who can help us and we keep asking him or her for help, the person will get tired of our requests. That person will think that we don’t really believe he or she can help us because we keep asking the same thing over and over again. It is the same with God. If we go to Him and keep asking the same thing, He will not get annoyed with us but He will see that we don’t really believe that He can help us. “If I keep asking, I might get what I need” is often what we believe. We can get so desperate that we repeat our requests until something happens and something changes. That is not the language of faith. Faith doesn’t question God by asking Him to do something a million times. I understand that it is comforting to us to keep asking but it truly is the opposite of faith and like I said, prayer and faith are a powerful combination.
How should we pray then? We should listen to the words of the Lord and pray with faith. Pray and believe that what we are asking is already there. Pray and trust that the answer is on the way. Pray and thank God that we have been heard. Gratitude should be our attitude when we pray. We shouldn’t wait for the answer to our prayers to come for us to be grateful. God hears our prayers and He also hears our faith and our doubts. We should work on deleting the doubts. We should work on making faith our default setting when we pray. “What if nothing happens?” you might ask. Well, in the name of Jesus something good will take place. We ought to be patient and to stay in faith. A few years ago, the Lord impressed a great message on my heart. When I was praying, He whispered to me that it is easy to have faith when everything is going well. Such a simple message packed with so much truth and wisdom. Faith should be maintained all the time. Faith is very useful when the seas of trouble are rocking our boat. Faith is the anchor we need in the storm. It is not just about thanking God when all is well. Faith is about thanking the Lord even when things are not going the right way. When we pray and we feel like nothing is going to change, faith says that it doesn’t matter how we feel. What matters is God and He said that if we believed when we prayed, we would receive what we need.
Jesus’ words about prayer are extremely encouraging. Let’s follow His directions. When we pray, let’s make our requests known to God and then thank Him for the answer. Every time we get into prayer, we should thank Him for answering our prayers instead of asking Him over and over again. God knows how to handle everything and whatever we ask, He will take care of the best way He knows how. I fell into the trap of thanking God for answering my prayers the way I wanted them to be answered. I can’t tell God how to be God but I can show Him my gratitude for always doing what’s best. Whatever you ask in prayer according to the Lord’s will, you will receive if you ask in faith. Spend time in God’s Word and build up your faith. I want to encourage you today to make your requests to God once and then keep thanking Him. Don’t give up. Keep praying with thanksgiving. This will be a great demonstration of your faith and your prayers will be answered. Take God at His Word. He is faithful. He will answer your prayers. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Matthew 21:22; John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15