Number One: ‘Believe you have received it….”
Number Two: “Forgive”…..and be forgiven……
I believe it is important to examine HOW we pray and HOW we yield. “Hope So” prayer does not equal the “know so” prayer Jesus taught in Mark 11:24 as well as in Matthew 21:22 (NIV) “If you believe, you will receive whatever ou ask for in prayer.”
Whoa! Did Jesus mean what He said? What “in the world” does it take to meet his “answered prayer criteria”?
One thing for sure, we need a yielded heart that holds no grudges because Jesus taught that fact in Mark ll:25. Is that all, though, a fully forgiving heart? Hmmmmmmm the flesh wants to argue with that idea but Jesus left no room for arguing. He made the requirement plain and sure. FORGIVE, period!
If we have no unforgiveness in our hearts, then what does it take to “believe you have it” at the very time you pray? Can we screw up our faces and roll on the floor and beat on our chest or conjure up that belief by working at it really hard? Not likely! What does God’s Word say about “yielding” fully to God so that it is His gift of faith that takes over?
It takes a prayer of committment. That’s what Paul and Peter teach us:
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) says, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests………”
Philippians 4:6 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
1 Peter 5:7 (amplified) “Casting the whole of your care–all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all–on Him; for He cares for you affectionately, and cares about you watchfully.” or (NIV) “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
I personally harken to Esther 4:16 when Queen Esther says, “If I perish, I perish” agreeing to risk her own life to save the Jews from destruction.
There are many different kinds of prayer–of faith, of praise, of worship, in agreement, of petition, in unison or united prayer, of thanksgiving……many kinds indeed. But the prayer of “casting all our anxiety and worry on God, as Peter is interpreted in the amplified translation, FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL? That is the prayer of commitment.
That is FAITH! Psalm 37:5 (KJV) says, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” How many times does our heavenly Father have to tell us? All these quoted scriptures plus Matthew 6:25-27, Luke 12:22, Luke 12:25, and on and on. Is He not saying saying, lay ALL your worries at my feet once and for all….commit ALL your anxieties to me” (para).
Is He saying “pray for Me to take your worries and anxieties away?” NO! NO! NO! God says for US to DO something just like Queen Esther did…..”go so far as to say, ‘if I perish, I perish, but I am laying my worries, my troubles, my very life at your feet, Holy Father….I TRUST YOU! I not only believe IN you, I believe you can and WILL do what you say you will do.”
Faith is not something we conjure up in our minds or emotions or through work…..Faith, God’s Word says, is casting ALL our worries and cares on God ONCE AND FOR ALL. Faith is in our hearts–our spirits.
Matthew 6:25(NIV) says, Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life….” Even “modern medicine” admits that worrying makes us physically ill. God’s Word tells us it makes us spiritually ill or “outside of obedience” which is, actually, sin. Is worrying sin? Well, one thing if for sure, if we obediently give our cares to God as He instructs, we can’t keep them. Only one of us can have them.
Worrying undermines faith. Praying while holdiing onto worries and anxieties regarding what we are praying about…..well, it keeps us out of the great victory of Mark 11:24.
Are we faithful enough to pray the prayer of committment, believe Mark 11:24 and begin praising God for hearing us as Jesus prayed at Lazarus’ tomb? According to God’s Word, when we surrender our cares, our prayers will be answered. He sure does love us!