Bible Reference: Matthew 21:20–22
Bible Text: 20 The disciples were shocked when they saw how quickly the tree had dried up. 21 But Jesus said to them, “If you have faith and don’t doubt, I promise that you can do what I did to this tree. And you will be able to do even more. You can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. 22 If you have faith when you pray, you will be given whatever you ask for.”
Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)
I believe that when we can’t explain an action we call it ‘magic’. From this scripture, I believe many may call what Jesus did with the fig tree ‘magic’, but as we read this passage carefully we see where this action, and indeed what Jesus assures us we can do, boils down to the faith we have in the One who can do all things, and the fact that we must believe in Him wholeheartedly if we expect to receive from Him. Friends, here are a few things that jumped out off the page at me. I believe we must follow these things if we expect to receive from God:
- Faith – there is a passage of scripture where Jesus tell us that without ‘faith’ we can do nothing. As an example, we may admire a beautiful boat anchored on the lake, and because we have always been told that we could use a boat to cross the body of water over to the other side, then we tend to believe that. However unless we have faith enough to step into the boat and let it takes us across the lake, we will remain stay put and only wave at our friends who are safely on the other side. Likewise, having ‘faith’ in the One to whom we are praying, helps us to pray that His will and ours are in sync;
- Don’t Doubt – I believe you will find it extremely challenging to pray in faith, and totally believe in the One to whom you are praying, if you have doubt in His existence and His power. Please try to never approach God thinking that you are presenting an impossible situation to Him, because that gives clear evidence that you have doubts about Him being able to satisfy your prayer request about that need;
- Believe – Unless you believe in the awesome power of the One to whom you are praying, why bother to pray to Him? Our belief system is developed based on the facts we have already learned about the One to whom we are praying. So don’t be afraid to include an example of answered prayer along the lines of what you are praying about. For example, when praying about a blind person, be sure to reflect on the fact that Jesus actually gave sight to the blind, as it helps you pray in faith and confidence that Jesus is still very capable of answering your prayer concern about your blind friend;
- Purpose – We should always pray with the end in mind. I have studied under a wonderful teacher who helped me include a ‘so that’ in my prayers. Example, Father God, please give my blind friend the determination and boldness to fight the battles that Satan will throw his way about his blindness, so that my friend may succeed in life in spite of his disability. This is intended only to help us seek God’s will with purpose, and helps us think about the purpose behind our request. This becomes a lot more specific than just simply asking God to bless my blind friend. Try this with your prayer requests friends!
- Expectation – Those that pray, expecting God to respond, are praying with all of the above in mind. They are exercising their ‘faith’ ‘without doubting’, ‘believing’ that the God who created this whole universe could easily answer their prayer request, ‘so that’ their loved one may be restored
Friends, praying faithfully to our awesome God, knowing that He can do all things, if only we will trust Him, is what a believer in Jesus Christ does. How’s your prayer life friend?
Father, I believe that You have built into each of us the warning signs of not attempting to do things that we are incapable of, in order to save ourselves from injury. I also believe that way too often we apply that principle to our prayer life without consciously recognizing that we are really praying to the God that CAN do ALL things. In our scripture verses today You have shown us five things that we must keep in mind as we pray. Thank You Lord for taking us to a whole new level, recognizing that with God all things are possible. This requires faith, determination and dependency on You oh Lord. Please grant us the boldness and faith needed to let go and let God. You are awesome oh Lord, and I just want to thank You for drawing me to Yourself. May I seek to serve You all the days of my life, and may You be honored and praised in every way, through every thing that I do or say. Please also meet the needs of my readers today. Draw them to You and remind them of Your awesome power. May You be glorified today in everything, because of our faith in You. AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!