Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
This passage of scripture sets the gold standard for receiving answers to our petitions made to God. Note well that the scripture did not say to wait for evidence or confirmation before believing. It simply says to pray, believe, and receive. Our attitude has a lot to do with whether or not we will receive answers to petitions made to God. Now it's important here to note that there are specific conditions laid down as prerequisites for receiving what we asked of God. Believing involves much more than an acknowledgment on our part, that God is able to deliver on His promises. There are necessary steps that form a core part of "Believing". Let's read:
2nd Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 15 Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
Having said that, the Bible then encourages everyone to have and exercise a living faith in the Eternal God, in all circumstances and at all times. A notable example of what the scriptures mean, is found in the experience of five men, one of whom was crippled and was in need of healing, both physically and spiritually. As they approached the house where Jesus was teaching the people, they soon realized that they could not gain entrance by conventional means, because of the crowds. But because of the strength of their belief, they proceeded to dismantle the roof of the house, and while the sermon was taking place below, pieces of roof tiles started to drop down in the midst of the crowd. They were then able to lower the crippled man down to the place where Jesus was. Let's read:
Mark 2:2 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
In this example we see that the men faced a daunting task, with potential serious consequences. For instance, how would the homeowner react? And how was the roof going to be repaired? But these questions and answers were not allowed to hinder their faith in Christ. They believed that since Jesus was able to heal the sick and raise the dead, that He could also take care of the roof, and so they proceeded, believing that their request would be granted, and it was, for God always honors a sincere, persistent faith manifested in Him.
The question for us today then is what is the strength of our faith? What obstacles would prevent us from believing? How much evidence do we require before we believe? Sometimes we pray once or twice concerning an issue and then we give up in despair, but God invites us to persevere in our belief, knowing that we will reap if we faint not. We therefore end with a promise given to encourage faith and inspire confidence in the Living God. Let's read:
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
May this be the experience of our lives from now on. God bless!