“Jesus replied to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, if you have faith [personal trust and confidence in Me] and do not doubt or allow yourself to be drawn in two directions, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen [if God wills it]. And whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive.”” Matthew 21:21-22 AMP
“For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you. “ Mark 11:24 AMP
This morning in my quiet time, I was deeply challenged by these verses, in particular the parts that speak not just in having faith, but in believing. Many times, as believers, we speak about how God can do anything and that through prayer, we can change the world. I personally teach on this many times when I teach in schools on prayer. However, how many of us really believe that our prayers are bringing forth the very thing we long to see?
Webster’s dictionary defines the word “believe” as “to accept something as true, genuine, or real ideals; to have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction or persuasion”. When we believe something to be true, our actions and responses should be in accordance to that belief. For example, if I believe that a chair is built well enough to hold me up when I sit on it, then I should sit on it without any hesitation. There is no need for further action or investigation because I already know and believe that the chair will not break.
Jesus teaches us to pray and says that “whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive”. Just as we have the confidence in knowing that the chair is not going to break when we sit on it, we must hold the same confidence when we pray and believe for something that is not only dear to our hearts, but to the Father’s heart as well.
I have seen it happen many times in ministry, that the people we are ministering to say that God was answering their prayers, but then turn around and respond in a way that is completely contrary to what they just asked God to do on their behalf! For some reason, what they said they believed did not line up with the actions that should epxress that belief.
Several years ago, there was a school at the YWAM base in Guatemala City who felt that God was calling them to go on an outreach to Morocco. No one in the group had any money to go, nor did they have very many connections to raise the needed funds to go. All they had was a word that they were to go to Morocco. So they prayed, asked for God’s provision, and believed He would make a way for them to get there. Weeks passed by and still no apparent provision for the trip. Finally, they were right at the deadline to apply for the visa and still had no money. This was a moment of “sitting in the chair” and walking it out. They decided to keep pushing forward and begin the process of getting visas. Then, right at the deadline to buy their plane tickets, a donor came forward and purchased all the needed plane tickets. Shortly after the plane ticket purchase, the remainder of the funds came in.
This team had multiple opportunities to back down and change outreach plans. In fact, there had been several people who counseled them to do so. Yet, despite what the circumstances looked like, they had a word from God that they believed. It was not just that they believed, but their actions also reflected that belief in that they never wavered on their conviction that God was calling them to Morocco.
In Mark 11:22 (AMP), Jesus said “Have faith in God [constantly]”. Believing in what you are praying about is more than just a one time event, it is a way of life. It is a way of “constantly” walking about the very thing you have prayed for, no matter what the circumstance speaks.
In closing this blog, I would like to challenge each one and every reader with this question…”Do You Believe?” Do you really, truly believe? Do you actions reflect that belief? I get a sense that God is calling some of you to do something beyond your comfort zone. What steps do you need to take to move in the direction He is calling you to go? Do You Believe?