22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11
Over the centuries, many have twisted this passage and even woven it into ancient mysticism teaching that we control the universe with our thoughts and our tongue. Ummm, no. That’s not what our Lord was talking about at all.
So, it doesn’t mean that we speak things into existence at every whim. I don’t go down to the Apple Store and say… “that 27″, fully-loaded iMac is mine,” and then walk out of the store with it – or go sit outside on the bench and wait for them to bring it out to me. Yet…Jesus uses the words “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
So is it literally true? Or is it not?
The answer is… It depends.
It is important to remember that you interpret specific Scripture and passages of Scripture in light of the whole of the Word of God.
Look at this…
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15
This passage in John speaks into what Jesus says in Mark 11 (And remember, the four Gospel books (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) are not chronicling the words of four different Jesuses. They are written from the perspective, if you will, of four different men. Same Jesus, same Gospel.). The texts are not at odds with one another even though one puts stipulations on the statement. The John text clarifies for us the Mark passage.
“If you abide in Me.” Abiding is more than just a casual relationship with Jesus that happens whenever you feel like it. It’s a continuing, consistent, remaining-in-Him relationship. It’s not a hot-for-Jesus one day and who-is-Jesus-again? the next day. It’s a relationship that gives me HIS mind and heart. It is a relationship that allows me to ask in prayer for something that Jesus would be/is asking for too…because He knows the big picture of the Father.
It means that if I am asking something after abiding in Him and remaining in Him that it’s as good as done. The Father gives the Son what He asks for. Without muddying the waters, it’s good to remember that the Son and the Father are part of the same Triune God (that also includes the Holy Spirit).
So you want God to answer your prayers? Then abide in Christ. Remain in Him. But be ready…it probably will mean that you’ll be asking for different things in prayer. And if you’re like me, the things you have been asking for? Some of them may seem silly in light of eternity.
Find a new way to Bless the Name of the Lord today. Post comments with words of BLESSING TO THE LORD if you wish.