“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying,, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:24-25
There are three steps to praying: know what you are praying for, believe that you will receive, and forgive. There is one premise I want to put forth and that is our Father in heaven always hears and always answers. In our finite minds, we often struggle with His response thinking in error that He has not answered. So…if we follow all these instructions we will get the answers we pray for, right? Without doubt, yes. But make sure you read each part closely to see the stipulations.
First, know what you are praying for. “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” There are five words that should be in our hearts as we pray, “If it be Your will.” When Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray for release from the pain of crucifixion He knew was coming, He ended His talk with God with if it be Your will. Jesus walked with God, He talked with God daily. He trusted God and yet He knew He was going to face pain and tribulation His whole life. God knew the end result would save all mankind, but as a human, Jesus suffered. God knew the whole picture and His will was that Jesus go through the pain to save the world. We too suffer the consequences of living in a broken world. We have pain, we face injustice, and we pray for release. God knows our story and He always wants what is best for us. I firmly believe that by walking close to God’s Word, and by putting our focus on Jesus first, we will know what to pray. At times it will be to pray for healing and if that is God’s will then the desire to pray will be on our hearts. At other times we may feel led to pray for a stranger walking down the sidewalk and we can know that God put that desire in our hearts. Bottom line, walk close enough to Jesus that our desires are His and God will give us what we pray for.
Second, we must believe that God hears and answers. We may not always agree with the answer, but we must always trust for the leading of the Holy Spirit in whichever response God gives. We are so weak, but walking with God makes us strong enough to go through the “no” answers.
And finally, we must forgive. This is so important to me today. I watch as anger destroys because of race, ethnicity, beliefs. We don’t even know most of the people we are angry with! Now, if you’re angry with your wife or hubby, then that forgiveness should be an automatic response. But sometimes we have to work for forgiveness of transgressions against us and what we believe. I get angry every time I hear of abortion and human trafficking. I get angry when I see injustice to race. And I get angry when Christian values are laughed at. These are my triggers to pray for the people behind each of them. I must forgive and embrace that they are not walking with God close enough to know that they are living in sin. And I must pray for them. That is God’s desire, that all people turn to Him to know right from wrong.
I must walk close enough to God to know that my prayers are His desires and I believe that He hears and will give me what I ask for. And I must forgive. I am praying for all people to turn to God and believe in His Word as the direction for life. And I believe that is God’s will.
Father God, Help America with its unbelief! Lead us into a renewed relationship with You! Forgive us when we find fault in our brothers and sisters. Help us to look beyond their shortcomings and look deeper within ourselves to become better people. Forgive us when we fall short of doing all that You’ve called us to do, and when we fail to demonstrate love and forgiveness toward those who wrong us. Thank You for the blessing of knowing that we are forgiven – no matter what. In God’s will and Jesus’ name, Amen
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14