Prayers for Passion Week: Asking in Prayer

Asking in Prayer

Mark 11: 20-26

Ever sat in the pulpit and listened to a preacher speak about faith? Undoubtedly you have. Whether it is about a mustard seed or a mountain, you have heard that faith changes things. Although it may come across as this supernatural force that enables a believer to inherit spiritual ESP, faith is the determining factor in it all. You see… without faith, there is no salvation. Ephesians 2:8 explains it… “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—“. Grace has been given to us by Christ as a gift, and our faith (simply believing that He was able to and did take on the wrath of God for our sins) is what saves us. But this isn’t a post about how we are saved… but rather one about what enables us to be saved. FAITH!

It can be perplexing to think that faith the size of a mustard seed could move a mass as large as a mountain. Let’s face it… there are no small mountains out there. But this is what Christ spoke to his disciples about on the second day of what we refer to as Passion Week. In Mark 11:20, the author begins to roll out a story about Peter recognizing that a fig tree that Christ cursed earlier that day for not bearing fruit (11:12-14) had already withered away. In response, Jesus says to Peter, “Have faith in God.” WAIT… WHAT? You cursed the tree because it didn’t bear fruit, yet you tell us the solution to the whole thing is having faith? I can honestly say that I would have been completely lost at this point and would have had to lean over to another disciple to ask if I were the only one. However, Jesus took this opportunity to teach his students (soon to be friends – John 15:15), what he meant in all of this.

You see…Faith is not just believing but it’s an assured belief; like what we know as trust. Jesus was saying that in order to bear fruit, you must trust that God can provide what is required for you to do so. Whatever may be hindering you from trusting Him is the same thing that is keeping you from producing healthily. To wrap things up, Jesus gives the method to getting the answer and not just the answer to this quiz. ASKING THROUGH PRAYER. “Therefore, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours” (v.24). This doesn’t mean that if you pray for a new house that includes a better looking wife and a brand new car in the garage, that it will be yours. That’s wrong doctrine. Jesus wasn't preaching prosperity in external things but rather prosperity in internal ones. He is telling us that when we aren’t producing fruit because we aren't healthy, we can seek God in prayer to a.) remove whatever may be hindering us from producing it and b.) give us exactly what we need to grow. When he says “believe that you have received it”, He is explaining that just like 2 Peter 1:3 says “His divine power has given us EVERYTHING WE NEED for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”.

As we walk towards the Sunday that changed it all, examine your faith. Take a look at whether you are producing fruit or if your faith is weak. Read through Mark chapter 11 and pray as Christ instructed; and the Lord will be faithful with your requests. God Bless you. #MenPray

Father God,
Strengthen my faith in you
Revive my belief that Christ gave himself for my sins
Although my faith is challenged through each step I take with You
Never let me forget that you lived, died and rose
So that I may have life.
In Jesus' Mighty Name
Amen.

Byron L. Cogdell