Believing prayer forms a rock-solid foundation for every vibrant Christian. Jesus has already made provision for everything we need. We pray with faith, not in the power of our words, but rather faith in what Jesus already made available to us.
With the approaching Christmas season, I have been considering again the significance of Jesus’ coming. He fulfilled every requirement of the law and the Old Covenant, implementing the New Covenant. Jesus made a way for all those who believe in Him to come to the Father without sacrifice or religious ceremony.
What does this mean regarding believing prayer? Everything!
Let’s look at an incredible promise Jesus gave to each of us.
” ‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Although faith makes room for silent prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to “say,” or speak, their prayers out loud. He emphasized disdain for anyone who used loud, long-winded, public prayer, attempting to inflate egos or elevate religious status. God knows our hearts, but we inform the enemy through our words.
In verse 23, Jesus uses two different Greek words for “say”:
- The first comes from the Greek word epo, which means “to speak with authority, to command or order as a king or general.”
- The next word “say” comes from the Greek word lego, meaning “to speak by linking together or expressing the heart and mind with words.”
A king doesn’t need to raise his voice to issue a command. Our humble voices carry the authority of Jesus Christ to bring God’s will into effect around us.
Jesus emphasized to His disciples that a person’s confident faith combined with God’s power could produce amazing results. When the request is in harmony with God’s will, God is fully capable of doing that which man regards as impossible.
“Jesus responded, ‘What appears humanly impossible is more than possible with God. For God can do what man cannot.”
So, we pray spoken, authoritative words, with a united heart and mind.
Does Not Doubt
Jesus calls us to combine authoritative voice with an undivided heart. The Aramaic word for “doubt” means “to be divided or undecided in your heart.”
Let’s reject the whispers of condemnation regarding why some prayers appear to go unanswered. Prayer will always contain an element of mystery. Through believing prayer, we bring our requests to the Father and allow our hearts to leave the results to His ways and wisdom. Sometimes the healing comes; sometimes it doesn’t. Often, provision unfolds, but sometimes it doesn’t.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
James calls anyone who doubts “double-minded,” or literally having “two souls” — one of faith and one without.
Believe You Have Received It
Do I drench my prayers in the faith that God has already answered? Sometimes yes, but sadly not always.
Here rests the heart of Jesus’ promise to us.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
“You have received it!” Jesus declares! What? When? How? Everything we could every ask from God has already been provided through Jesus Christ. Everything!
Let’s take a quick look at the example of prayer Jesus gave His disciples and us.
“…Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one,
for yours is the kingdom
and the power and the glory forever.
Every aspect of this model prayer, we have already received! We approach God not as some distant cruel tyrant, but as our loving Father. Through the authority of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, heaven already invades earth’s corrupt domain. We already feast on daily manna, the Living Word. Every sin (past, present, and future) Jesus already dealt with through His shed blood. Jesus already broke all the enemy’s authority over our lives. We already live under the protection and provision of our King of kings and Lord of lords.
So as we pray, we do so with complete confidence.
Both Matthew and Mark speak about one condition — our willingness to forgive others.
“That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive — only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.”
Mark 11:24-26 MSG
Several months ago, God challenged me to refuse to entertain any negative thoughts toward anyone. Too easily, we allow critical thinking or judgments to swirl in our hearts and minds. Jesus makes it clear that it is impossible to have a pure heart in prayer while holding a polluted heart toward others. By freely and willingly forgiving every hurtful thing against us, we align our hearts with His.
May nothing stand in the way of us receiving His full promise. May believing prayer rise from knowing that we “have received” whatever we ask for according to God’s will. Through the prayer of faith, we reach into the treasure trove of God’s storehouse of provision already waiting for us.
Today, may we each grasp a greater awareness of all that God has made available.