Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Whatever You Desire, When You Pray

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:24 NKJV)

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (KJV)

That is why I tell you, as to whatever you pray and make request for, if you believe that you have received it, it shall be yours. (Weymouth)
Ask, desire, request — it is all the same word in the Greek, and all in the context of prayer and faith. And yet, some people, when they pray, don’t do any of them. They don’t ask, they don’t make request, they don’t speak their desire — they just complain. They whine to God and call it prayer.

But their prayers don’t get answered because they don’t have anything of faith to them. The Bible says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6). God hears faith — and His desire is aroused by it. But whining doesn’t even get His attention.

Remember the man in John 5, who had had an infirmity for thirty-eight years, and he was waiting for the troubling of the waters by the pool of Bethesda? Jesus came to him and asked him, very directly, “Do you want to be made well?” (v. 6).

But the man was actually confused about what he really wanted. So he began to complain, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me” (v.7).

Can’t you just hear him whine? He lost sight of the solution and focused on the problem, and the problem about getting the problem taken care of.

The Answer was literally staring him in the face and asking, “What do you want?”

Now consider what happened with two blind men Jesus met as He was passing from the old city of Jericho to the new. It is found in Matthew 20:29-34. These two men cried out to Jesus, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David.” Even when the crowd tried to hush them up, they just cried out louder, “Have mercy on us.”

So Jesus stopped and asked them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And what do you suppose they answered? Just this: “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” No whining. No complaining. But a simple, faith-filled request. They spoke their desire.

In Mark 11:23, Jesus declared, “Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed ad 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.”

Don’t whine to the mountain — speak to it. Don’t complain about how hard it is to get around or to climb over it — tell it to move. Don’t explain to your friends that, you know, you would like to move ahead, but you see, there is this huge mountain in the way, and you’ve called this person and that one, but nobody really seems to understand or is willing to help, and now you just don’t know what you’re gonna do. You might as well have a seat, because you are going to be there for a long, long time — looking at that mountain.

Or you can do what Jesus says in the next verse and speak what you desire. Not only that, Jesus says, but believe that you receive it. The NASB says “believe that you have received it.” When you do, Jesus says, you will have it — it will be yours.

Whenever you pray, understand the difference between speaking your desire to God and simply complaining. God can do tons with the former and nothing with the latter. Don’t focus on the problem, focus on the answer. Have faith in God’s Word concerning it and believe that you receive what you are believing Him for, then you will see it come to pass.