IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: WHAT THINGS SOEVER YE DESIRE
Rev. Innocent Peace-Udochukwu President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mark 11:24, KJV)
The words of Jesus above are crystal clear. He says whatsoever you desire, you should believe when you pray and you will receive them.
The Bible tells us that we are not just to pray, but rather to pray believing. If we are specifically told to believe when we pray, then it must be possible to pray and not believe. Not all prayer brings results. Only believing prayer moves God and receives from Him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. James 1:6, 7
This is the radical concept of the Bible – the requirement of actually trusting God. This was first exhibited in the Old Testament, and further developed in the New Testament – the absolute necessity for one to believe when one prays. Other religious systems are content with the motions of prayer, but the true Living God requires that we maintain a relationship with Him and that we trust Him.
Believing takes the emphasis off of prayer itself, and puts the emphasis entirely on God Himself. It is all about Him and His faithfulness. The Bible does not teach us to rely on prayer alone. It teaches us to rely on Him. Only when we can fully rely on Him can we fully pray believing. We are to believe Him first, and then express that belief in prayer. The faith must be in the heart before the prayer comes out of the mouth.
But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Rom 10:8-10
This verse has something to do with the faith of miracles; but I think it hath far more reference to the miracle of faith. We shall say at any rate, this morning, consider it in that light. I believe that this text is the inheritance not only of the apostles, but of all those who walked in the faith of the apostles, believing in the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ. The advice which Christ gave to the twelve and to his immediate followers, is repeated to us in God’s Word this morning. May we have grace constantly to obey it. “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
If you look at it carefully, I think you will perceive the essential qualities which are necessary to any great success and prevalence in prayer. According to our Saviour’s description of prayer, there should always be some definite objects for which we should plead. He speaks of things—”what things soever ye desire.” It seems then that he did not put it that God’s children would go to him to pray when they have nothing to pray for. Another essential qualification of pray is earnest desire; for the Master supposes here that when we pray we have desires.
; I am persuaded that you would long for it. You would say, “I have something that I want. Oh that I could draw near my God, and ask him for it; I have a need, I want to have it satisfied, and I long till I can get alone, that I may pour out my heart before him, and ask him for this thing after which my soul so earnestly pants” You will find it more helpful to your prayers if you have some objects at which you aim, and I think also if you have some persons whom you will mention. Do not merely plead with God for sinners in general, but always mention some in particular.
Pray in your own words. Speak plainly to God; ask at once for what you want. Name persons, name things, and make a straight aim at the object of your supplications, and I am sure you will soon find that the weariness and dullness of which you often complain in your intercessions, will no more fall upon you; or at least not so habitually as it has heretofore done.
John Wesley once said, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” That’s the law He has designed to operate on this earth—the law of prayer.
In other words, our Heavenly Father works through the prayers of His people. He shapes the world by the prayers of His saints. But that means He has to find someone who will intercede in prayer.
If we want the will of God to be done in this earth, it is our responsibility to pray that His will is done. The Lord’s Prayer says, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9–10). I don’t know about you, but as long as I’m here on this earth, I want to be surrounded by the will of my Heavenly Father!
Prayer is our responsibility as Christians. God has called each and every one of us to pray. In fact, it seems that He cannot carry out His plan on the earth without the prayers of His saints, which means we have a mighty job to do in prayer!
The law of prayer requires us, as believers, to pray so God can answer our prayers. In other words, we are supposed to ask, and then He answers.
Jesus says that if you have faith, you can command a mountain to jump into the sea. He also taught them that they must ask in his name and that their prayers must be in accordance with God’s will. Still, another way he puts it is that if they remain in him, or abide in him, they can ask anything and it will be done for them (Jn 15:7).
Prayer is the great privilege of the child of God. It is simply amazing that we can come to God through Christ, and that he grants us to ask him for things. It is also a wonderful mystery that the Sovereign God of the universe has ordained that he accomplishes his will in part through our prayers. He has a plan that involves us sometimes coming to him to change his mind about something (Ex 32:14).
The question here is what does it mean to “believe that you have received it?” Many have employed positive thinking techniques when praying, only to be disappointed. And yet, this is a promise. All the teaching of Jesus on prayer taken together points to a life of abiding in Christ and living for his name, and in his name so that we can be in line with the will of God, and he will move us to pray the prayers we will have faith for, or will “believe we have received it.”
#1Therefore I tell you,”
After the disciples saw Jesus’ power to curse the fruitless fig tree and hearing Jesus make the astounding statement that they could command a mountain into the sea, he now says to them the following.
#2 “whatever you ask for in prayer,”
The whole of Jesus’ recorded teaching comes with many qualifiers to this statement. Including the one that follows. But it stands that the sum of the qualifiers adds up to this point: belief. So, whatever you ask for under those circumstances is a forgone conclusion.
#3 “believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Again, not positive thinking, belief is the faith that Jesus says comes from abiding in him and in his word. When God reveals that he is doing something, the disciple often will “just know.” God will still answer prayers when we aren’t sure. Even then, there must have been some kind of genuine belief in the asking.
Once more look up and rejoice. Though you have sinned against him he loves you still. Ye have not prayed unto him nor sought his face, but behold he cries to you still—”Seek ye my face;” and he saith not “Seek ye me in vain.” Ye may not have gone to the fountain, but it flows as freely as before. Ye have not drawn near to God, but he waiteth to be gracious still, and is ready to hear all your petitions. Behold, he says unto you, “Enquire of me concerning things to come, and concerning my sons and daughters, command ye me.” What a blessed thing it is that the master in heaven is always ready to hear!
Does your heart long after salvation? Has the Spirit whispered, “Come to Jesus, sinner, he will hear you?” Believe that whisper, for he will hear you. The prayer of the awakened sinner is acceptable to God. He heareth the broken in heart and healeth them too. Take your groanings and your sighs to God and he will answer you. “Ah,” but says one, “I have nothing to plead.” Well, but plead as David did—”Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.” You have that plea—say, for his dear sake who shed his blood,” and you shall prevail.
God designed prayer to give his disciples the joy of bearing fruit while God himself gets the glory.
Prayer is for God’s name and God’s kingdom and God’s will — it is for fruit-bearing in all those great things. If our protection, and our escape from danger, and our eating and having clothes and houses and lands and education and vocational success leads to those great God-centered ends (the name of God and kingdom of God and will of God), then we pray about them with confidence.
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