24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 (NLT)
I am back. I have been quite busy in the past week trying to make my millions. Then I realize that God is the true source of my prosperity, not my methods. Now that I am back to this blog, I am going to write on the basics, which is prayer.
Prayer should not be something strange for Christians. Even religious churches emphasize on prayers. However, there is a big difference between religious prayers and Christian prayers in which I will explore in this article.
In the above verse, Jesus teaches us what is prayer and how to make our prayers work. In the first ten years of my Christian life, I have attended a religious church and I have visited several of them but I have never heard a sermon on this verse. Prayer is nothing more than a ritual in a religious church. It is a duty for every Christian to pray because prayer is one of the conditions that Christians must fulfill to receive God’s “unconditional” love. No one had ever told me that prayers are suppose to work and how to make it work.
Some time ago, someone had told me that all Christians have the desire to pray and those who don’t are not truly Christians. They were not saved in the first place. So, if you don’t want to pray, you will go to hell. Here is my reply to such theology: A blackmail in any other name is still a blackmail.
God has never and will never force us to pray. Whether you want to pray or not to pray is your choice. You will not go to hell if you choose not to pray. Jesus’ death at the Cross also covers the sin of not wanting to pray. So, relax and don’t allow yourself to become a victim to the blackmail of the theologians.
In the above verse and throughout the Bible, God has never threatened people into praying. Praying is always based on free choice. When I say free choice, I mean free choice. I repeat, choosing not to pray will not send you to hell. So, if you want to pray, pray. If you don’t want to pray, don’t pray. God still loves you and wants to prosper you even if you don’t pray.
What is prayer about? In the above verse, Jesus seems to tell us that prayer is about asking things from God. Please note my disclaimer here. I never say prayer must always be about asking things from God. It is not necessary to always ask God for things when we pray. It is just that God expects us to ask from him things that we want. Why is that so? Obviously, God knows we are living in an imperfect world. The world that we are living in right now has shortages. There are many people who are poor, sick and lack the things they desire. Yet God wants us to prosper and be in health as our souls prosper. Looks like he wants us to look to him as our source of prosperity and he wants us to get all the things we want through him in prayer.
Therefore, we should not be ashamed to ask for anything we want from God. Health and wealth are not dirty words the way theologians make them to be. God wants us to be bold and ask him for anything we want.
What can we ask for? The answer is in the above verse. Jesus said “whatever you ask for in prayer”. Whatever we want means there is no limit what we want. Ask yourself this question. What do you really want? Do you want to have more money, better health, better relationship, a life partner or anything you desire? Ask God for them. You will never go to hell for asking too much. There is absolutely no limit on what we can ask from God.
If you have no money, ask God for money. If you already have a lot of money, ask God for even more money so that you can do more to bless others. God expects us to keep improving and advancing throughout our lives. He wants us to grow richer, healthier, wiser, younger and improve in every area in our lives. So, go ahead and ask anything you want from God.
The last part of the verse says, “believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” It simply says that in order to get what we ask God for in our prayer, we only have to believe we receive it and we will definitely get what is ours. This also means that God will never say “no” to anything we ask for.
Whatever you ask God to give you, God will never say “no” to you (assuming he has integrity). So, do not believe in the lie that says sometimes God can answer our prayers with a “no”. If that can happen, then Jesus is a liar. The bottom line is God’s answer to all our prayers must always be “yes” if he is to keep his integrity.
“If that is the case, why am I not receiving what I pray for?”
The answer is in the “believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” This is the only condition for us to get everything we ask God for. Why do we need to believe we receive? Obviously, we don’t get our prayers manifested immediately after we pray. There is a time lag between our prayers and the manifestation of our prayers. This is the time we need to exercise our faith in believing that we receive.
Don’t pray begging prayers. When I was in a religious church, I used to have this impression that when I ask for things, God will evaluate my request and decide on whether to say “yes” or “no”. The above verse says otherwise. Not only that, I never dared to ask God for health and wealth. It had never occurred to me that God wants me to be rich and healthy. All I knew was God only wants me to go for missions and give money to the church. He is not interested in other things. Knowing the truth has changed my life. The Truth has set me free.
The next question is how to practice the “believe you receive”? When we believe we receive what we ask for in prayer, we create an inner reality that our prayers have manifested. Let me give you an example. Let us say that you pray for God to give you an income on a million dollars a day. After you pray, make it a practice to visualize yourself living a lifestyle of having such income. Do it as often as you can in your free time. Imagine yourself living in a huge mansion, travelling in a limousine, dine in a luxurious restaurant and travelling around the world in the best money can buy. Make it so real that you can feel the joy as though your prayer has already manifested itself.
Remember to give thanks to God for answering your prayers. When you thank God for things you have not yet receive, you are using faith. You will certainly get what you want. How long are we supposed to believe we receive? As long as it takes to get our prayers answered. Kenneth Hagin once said that if we are willing to stand forever, it will not take very long. The more focused and determined we are in keeping our faith, the shorter time it takes to get our prayers manifested.
So, if you want to receive what you ask God for, grow your faith. You are the one who has the power to decide how soon you want your prayers to manifest, not God. God has already decided that he will give you what you want. The decision is yours.
In case somebody may ask me on why so-and-so prayed but does not get what he wants, my answer is, I don’t know anything about the so-and-so. All I know is my God is not a liar. He keeps his promises He promised to give me anything I ask for in prayer as long as I believe I receive it. This is what I am going to do.