Pray And Believe For Anything?

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:24

Mark 11 records the triumphant entry of Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem. This began His final week before He gave His life on the cross for us. And it turned out to be very eventful.

As He entered, the crowd welcomed Him by laying their garments and palm branches before Him. Then they shouted praises to Him as He passed by.

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Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!” Mark 11:9-10

The Lord entered the Temple, looked around at everything, and left because it was late afternoon. Then, He and His twelve disciples returned to Bethany.

The next day, on the way back to Jerusalem, Jesus stopped at a fig tree to pick some figs. The tree, however, was filled with leaves, but it bore no fruit.

The Fig Tree

Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it. Mark 11:14

Pray and Believe

You may be asking at this point what this has to do with our subject to pray and believe for anything. This particular event leads up to His teaching on today’s topic.

When they got to Jerusalem, Jesus again went into the Temple. This time, He went in with a mission. Mark continued by saying He drove out those buying and selling animals for sacrifices.

When people came to the city to celebrate a feast, many traveled long distances to get there. So, instead of bringing an animal to sacrifice, they bought one after getting there.

It also stated that He knocked over the tables of the money changers. People could only use temple currency to purchase the sacrificial animals, thus the need for money changers.

He stopped everyone from using the Temple as a marketplace. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” Mark 11:16-17

Then He and His disciples left Jerusalem again that evening, but they returned the next morning. When they passed the fig tree that Jesus cursed, His disciples noticed it had withered and died.

Jesus used the fig tree as an illustration to teach them to have faith in God. In other words, He told them that when they pray, they must believe. Then, He expanded on this point.

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. Mark 11:23

Pray and Believe

Pray and Believe to Move a Mountain?

He followed that statement with our verse for today. He said we can pray for anything; it will be ours if we believe we’ve received it. That’s how the New Living Translation worded it.

It seems like a simple enough verse that says what it means. It contains an “if” and a “then.” If you believe, then it will be yours. Let’s look at how the Amplified Bible translated this verse.

For this reason I am telling you, whatever things you ask for in prayer [in accordance with God’s will], believe [with confident trust] that you have received them, and they will be given to you. Mark 11:24 (AMP)

The words in brackets are words they consider as implied. So, this version also says whatever you ask for, but only “if” they are in accordance with God’s will.

No other translations I checked say “in accordance with God’s will.” I personally like that phrase because when we live for God, don’t we want to pray in His will?

I think we would want to know what God means in this verse. What If I pray for a mountain to be cast into the sea, and it doesn’t happen? Does that mean I lack faith?

All of Christianity is built upon faith. Without a shadow of a doubt, I believe that Jesus died and rose again for me. And because I have received Him into my life, I will spend eternity with Him.

But if I pray, could I believe the mountain would end up in the sea? Probably not! I can give you a hundred reasons why it won’t end up in the sea. So, for that, I would lack faith.

The Concept of Faith

Faith, though, isn’t built around an “always or never” concept. Just because we might lack faith in one area, it doesn’t mean we lack faith in others.

Jesus, though, wants us to trust God and believe Him for everything we pray for. The Lord then added another layer to His teaching. He said we must not only pray and believe but also forgive.

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25

The Amplified Bible explains what it means to forgive someone. After the word forgive, it includes in brackets, “drop the issue, let it go,” That’s precisely what God did for us.

God is in the forgiving business. Why? Because He wants a relationship with us, not only for now but for all eternity. Look at the following verses from Psalm 103 and 1 John.

  • He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12
  • But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9

Lord, I believe that when we pray, you answer and will supply our needs. Help me to believe if I ever need to pray for a mountain to be cast into the sea.

Check out these related posts about prayer.



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2 thoughts on “Pray And Believe For Anything?”

  1. Thank you, Pastor Robin, for consistently encouraging us in the faith. I read somewhere that the fig tree’s appearance indicated fruit, so I wonder if Jesus cursed its hypocrisy.

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