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Believe When You Pray

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Mark 11:24 NIV says: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

This is one of my favorite scriptures about prayer because it demonstrates that we have a part to play in our walk with God. Many Believers get saved and then think that they can hand God a checklist of blessings they want; a job promotion, a spouse, a new car, and Lord I’ve got this back pain that needs healing—thanks!

Then, of course, when it seems their prayers haven’t been answered, they get upset with God. Why isn’t God listening to me? Why was I passed up for that promotion at work? Where is God?

If that sounds anything like you then I urge you to take a closer look at Mark 11:24. Yes, that scripture says whatever you ask for in prayer will be yours but it also says to believe that you have received it. Take a step back and look at your prayer life; when you sit down to spend time with God the Father, do you believe that He is listening? Do you believe that you already have what you’ve been asking for? Do you believe that your prayers were answered over 2000 years ago on the cross at cavalry?

There is a reason that Jesus Christ Himself tells us to believe that we have received what we asked for in prayer; this is because He wants us to use faith. We’ve gone over faith many times here at The Rebel Christian, one of my favorite verses on this matter is Hebrews 11:6 NIV And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Isn’t it interesting to know that you cannot please God without faith? You cannot please Him if you do not believe in Him! So, when Jesus says we must believe that we have received what we’ve asked for, He is reminding us to have faith. Now some of you might say, Vay, I do have faith—I do believe but God still has not answered me.

Well, my friend, what is your faith in? I have been saved all my life and I am not ashamed to admit that I only recently realized I was making the mistake of placing my faith in the wrong things. Let me give you an example.

There have been times where I was short on funds but I had payments coming up so I would ask God in prayer; Lord, you know that my bills are due, and you know how much is in my bank account. I need this amount before this date, Father—thank you for being my provider and taking care of this need, in Jesus’ name.

That sounds like a lovely prayer, right? Full of faith and expectancy—and as long as I was down on my knees in prayer, I was full of faith. But once I finished my prayer, it was like all my faith would just wash away. Thoughts of how and when would flood my mind. How is God going to get me that money? Am I finally getting that breakthrough in my job I’ve been praying about? Maybe I’m about to meet a rich man who’ll fall in love with me. All these worrying thoughts would come into my head and chase away every bit of peace I’d had about the situation. We could sum this up to impatience, but I want to dig deeper than that. This was a result of misplaced faith.

You see, Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore [Hebrews 13:8]. The God I asked to help me in my finances is the same God who parted the Red Sea for the Israelites who escaped Egypt. The God I asked to bless my funds is the same God who walked on water and called Peter from the boat. The God I trusted to keep me afloat even though my debts were causing me to sink is the same God who raised Lazarus from the dead. Nothing has changed about our Lord—and nothing ever will. Christ has more than enough power to supply your every need, His grace is sufficient for you [II Corinthians 12:9].  

So, when Jesus tells us to believe that we have received, He isn’t saying to increase your faith; many of us think we’ve got to have bigger faith and then our prayers will be answered. It’s always great to strive to increase your faith, my friend, but Jesus wants us to increase our faith in Him. When you pray asking for a blessing and then immediately begin to wonder how God is going to give you this blessing, you’re not having faith in Him, you are placing your faith in your own creativity and your own ability to figure things out. We worry and wonder how God will do something and then we begin to have great faith once we think we’ve figured out how God will do it. I need the Lord to increase my finances—oh, I know! This must mean He’s going to give me that promotion! And suddenly your faith is flowing.

Friends, this is not how God wants us to be. We are not supposed to just have faith when we know every detail of God’s plan—that isn’t faith at all, that’s knowing the future! Faith is believing in what we cannot see [Hebrews 11:1]—it is only when we don’t know how things will turn out that we can activate our faith. So, when you find yourself beginning to wonder how God is going to turn something around in your life, that’s when you need to stop and begin to praise God. Do not focus on your faith and say I know I have the faith for healing—focus your faith on Jesus and say I know Jesus can heal me, Jesus can promote me, Jesus can bless me, etc.

Believing when you pray isn’t about believing that you have the faith, its about believing that God can and will and already has answered you.