Answered prayers are only possible because of God’s grace, alone. Answered prayers can be part of our lives when we stop striving to ‘earn’ them and simply ‘receive’ them as gifts from our loving heavenly Father.
Our key verse from Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for—believe that you have received them, and you will have them.” (HCSB) For the context read Mark 11:12-14; 20-24.
Take a special note of the second part of the verse, “believe that you have received them, and you will have them.” These words sum up the heart of today’s sermon.
Jesus is saying that when you pray, you must believe that God has answered your prayer right there and then, at that very moment, even though you have not felt, smelt, tasted, heard or seen a physical manifestation of what you have asked God for! How can that be?
God is Spirit (John 4:24), and therefore, all His answers are also in the spirit-realm (Hebrews 11:3). This is most important because God does not have a physical body like you and I. And so are His answers to our prayers – they are in the spirit-realm.
Now there are many things that do exist even though you cannot see them. For example, the tiny waves that enable your mobile phone to work or your TV remote or your car GPS. You do not see wires hanging from the satellites in the sky to your mobile phone or to your car GPS. Nor are there wires between your TV remote control and your TV set. And yet you confidently use your mobile phone, TV remote and car GPS every day without even given them a thought. Tiny waves do exist, even though you have never seen them.
This fact applies to electricity, gravity, and many other unseen realities that our physical senses cannot pick up.
Jesus is asking us to apply the same functional ‘belief’ we have in our mobile phone, TV remote and car GPS to when we pray. Jesus is saying that God who is unseen, answers our prayers the moment we ask them even though we cannot see the answers physically.
Being a heavy smoker most of his life, my cousin had basically ruined his lungs beyond repair. The doctors could not do anymore for him and basically sent him home from hospital to die. But after in Jesus’ Name I commanded health and life into my cousin’s lungs in Samoa over the phone three weeks ago, he sat up from his death bed, asked for a bowl of porridge, and started eating it like a hungry teenager!
One of his daughters texted last week to thank me again for praying for her dad and reported how much he has improved even since three weeks ago. God is so good!
Now before you say, “I wish God can do that for me”, let me remind you that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). God shows no favoritism (Romans 2:11). But more importantly, the words – I wish God can do that for me – means you are depending on your good works rather than what Jesus did for you on the cross. You are saying that God only answers the prayers of ‘good’ people. But no one, is good enough before God!
God miraculously healed my cousin because Jesus’ stripes healed him 2,000 years ago when Jesus hung on the cross. (Isaiah 53:4-5; 1Peter 2:24).
When you KNOW God intimately, like a Friend (John 15:15), as your Heavenly Daddy (Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 4:6) who loves you with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3), who is very Honest, Faithful and an Always-Keep-His-Word Provider who can meet ALL your needs (Mat. 7:9-11), your heart knows, knows, knows, knows without a doubt, that this is your God, your Best Friend, who will Never Fail you!
So, PUT YOUR ONE HUNDRED PERCENT TRUST IN JESUS, and you will see the answers to your prayers!
Here is Jesus’ personal promise for you right now: “Therefore I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for — believe that you have received them, and you will have them.”