We all know that prayer is essential to our relationship with God.  But is God satisfied with any old prayer we choose to throw out there?  Or is there a kind that gets God’s attention?  Nobody wants their prayers to be wasted, least of all God.  He wants to have answers to our prayers, and He tells us exactly how to make that happen.  Would you like to know how?

The Lord Jesus literally gave us the key to having everything we need.  Secrets that were hidden from the foundation of the earth, He revealed to those with ears to hear.  And you’d think people would jump on it like a toad on a bug, but largely they don’t, they’d rather make excuses why their prayers are going unanswered, even blaming God “for not answering prayer”.
What huge secret did the Lord Jesus reveal about receiving answer to prayer?  It’s right there in Mark 11:22-24:

Mar 11:22  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (the ancient Greek literally translates that as “Have the faith OF God”)
Mar 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Mar 11:24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

How many times have you read those verses? Have they changed your life?  They sure changed MINE!  When the LORD gave me revelation about those verses it was like standing before a huge bank vault and finding a piece of paper on the floor with the combination to the lock.  The combination was “potential”, which would not do anything for me unless I put it to use.
You can read those verses and say, “That’s very nice” and keep on reading, OR, you can stop right there and meditate on them and ask the LORD, “What do YOU want me to do with these verses, do they apply to ME?”  Well, YES, they apply to you!  Everything in the Bible is there for you to learn and profit from!  But the Bible is absolutely nothing but a bunch of print on paper, unless you believe it and apply it to your life.

Let’s say you send me a check for our ministry.  In reality, it’s nothing more than a piece of paper with some printing on it, and the value of it is only as much as the cost of the paper and the ink written on it if you look at it like that.  BUT…that paper check contains a PROMISE, that if I deposit that check in my bank account, they will debit your bank account for the amount YOU wrote on the check, and put that much money in MY account.  So, do you see the value of the promise there?  The Holy Bible is a book, not only of history, showing us consequences of people’s actions, but it also contains PROMISES, that if we apply them per directions given in God’s Word, we will benefit thereby.  And we ALL like BENEFITS, right?

One of my own favorite passages is in Psalm 103:2-3, which says,
Psa 103:2  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Psa 103:3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Right here we have the writer, King David, reminding us NOT TO FORGET ALL HIS BENEFITS!  Whose benefits?  GOD’S benefits, available to anyone who will take them, and that includes YOU, most importantly.   What are those benefits?  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;   Who forgives all your sins?  God does. How many?  ALL, the total amount of them.   Who heals all your diseases?  God does. Again, HOW many does He heal?  As many as you get, all of them.   Are those benefits that YOU would be interested in having?  Would you like to know HOW to receive them?  Go back and read Mark 11:22-24 again. There is no deep mystery there, the Lord Jesus spelled it out so simply that a child could do it.   It’s so simple you would have to work at it to NOT understand His directions.

The part that literally jumps off the page to me is “, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. So, let’s examine this verse very carefully. “What things soever ye desire….”  Do you see Jesus placing a limit on what things you have permission to ask Him for?  HHHMMMMM??  I don’t.  Let’s go on:  “when ye pray”, not IF you pray, but WHEN you pray, RIGHT THEN, not sometime later on, “believe that ye receive them,”  them WHAT??  The things (that’s not limited to ONE thing, either) you asked for, remember?  Notice the words “BELIEVE” and “RECEIVE” are both present tense.  Does that mean you can have them NOW, when you ask?  Well, when do you want them?  Listen, if I want something now, I will ask now.  If I want something next week, I will ask next week.  Yes, you can ask in advance, but what for, when you can have it WHEN YOU ASK?

Would you ask your mama for a sandwich next week when you’re hungry NOW?  Not if your mama loves you, for you would know when you ask she will feed you if you’re hungry.  Well, what kind of heavenly Father do you think we have if you have to ask and ask and keep on bugging Him, hoping SOMEDAY, when He gets around to it, or IF He’s in the right mood, He MIGHT give you what you ask for?  My heavenly Father is NOT like that.  And if you think He is, then you’ve been asking the wrong father for what you need, seeing he isn’t taking very good care of you, and you have doubts about him.  Come on over to MY heavenly Father!  He loves His kids!   And He takes real good care of them, one and all.

One problem I see in all this, is that many doubt the heavenly Father’s love for them.  Maybe they think they’ve done too much wrong for Him to love them, or they have been discouraged by earthly parents who only love them when they approved of their behavior.  Now don’t get me wrong here, though.  God HATES sin, but He LOVES the sinner!  That’s why the Lord Jesus came and paid your sin debt on the cross.  But just that part alone isn’t the most important.  MANY died on crosses back in those days.  But only the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead, because His heavenly Father resurrected Him, fully satisfied that Jesus had paid the WHOLE penalty for all the sins mankind: those committed back then, commited today, and will commit in the future.  ALL sin has been paid for, for those who ‘FORGET NOT ALL HIS BENEFITS”.  Oh, and ALL our diseases.

Will ALL be saved?  No, the Lord Jesus said there be FEW that be saved.  But that isn’t HIS choice, but rather OUR choice.  You see, many don’t believe, and therefore, they miss out on what God so fervently wants them to have and enjoy.  Here, look at what the Lord Jesus said:

Luk 13:23  Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
Luk 13:24  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
Luk 13:25  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
Luk 13:26  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
Luk 13:27  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
Luk 13:28  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
Luk 13:29  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
Luk 13:30  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

And that sad story above is why many don’t get their prayers answered:  many don’t believe.  But YOU don’t have to be among that number:  you can BELIEVE and RECEIVE what you pray for.  It’s totally up to you.  Maybe you think that’s too good to hope for?  Well then, don’t HOPE for it, BELIEVE and RECEIVE!!!

And finally, the last part of Mark 11:24: and ye shall have them. I think many of you think the heavenly Father is harsh, hard and difficult to get anything from.  That just isn’t true.  God LOVES you and wants you to be blessed.  So go on, BELIEVE His Words today, and RECEIVE, so that your joy may be full!  Praise His Holy Name!