23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:23-24 NKJV
A well known portion of Scripture but also a taken-out-of-context portion of Scripture in many instances.
As Paul Tripp notes;
“Now, Christ is not actually meaning that you and I will be given the power of God just to displace mountains at will. If you’re in Vermont and the mountains bother you and you want it to be flat, don’t pray for that; that’s not what Jesus is saying. He’s giving us this “beyond categories example” of the power of God that He is willing, by grace, to unleash upon His people; that’s what that is about.” Paul Tripp – The Temple and the Tree Sermon 30 June 2017
Often, believers in Christ think that they can pray for ‘anything’ and God will simply obey and deliver on their request. However, the context is important here and the motive of our heart, since God knows our heart (Psalm 44:21, Luke 16:15 , Acts 15:8 ).
“Oh my, has that verse ever been distorted! Name it and (this is sad that you could finish that)… What we have done with this is just violence.
Listen, if you’re acknowledging God’s existence then you acknowledge His glory and honor; you acknowledge His plan; and in prayer, you’re asking things that are consistent with and inside of His will. And when you do that, He will deliver what you ask. He finds great delight in fulfilling the true needs of His people, needs that He has defined.
There’s a little phrase in here that we have to face – “and does not doubt.” Faith is acknowledging God’s existence; faith is acknowledging His power and His willingness to unleash His power for His people; faith also recognizes that belief is a battle, it’s a war. And I fight the doubt that so often greets me.
But faith also is not just this vertical acknowledgement of God; faith calls us to something that’s horizontal. He says this, “When you stand praying, forgive. If you have anything against anyone so that your Father who also is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
It’s impossible for faith just to be a vertical exercise because faith is not just something you think; faith is not just something you do with your mouth and prayer; faith is something you live with your life, and Jesus makes that connection–how inconsistent it would be to seek your Father’s forgiveness and live in unforgiveness of your neighbor.” Paul Tripp – The Temple and the Tree Sermon 30 June 2017
Stay blessed in prayer,
Pr. Paddick Van Zyl – LDMI