“And Jesus answered them, Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea; it will happen.’ And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” ‒ Matthew 21: 21-22 (NIV)
Matthew 21: 1-11 recounts Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, but then we see an unexpected turn. He loses it (figuratively, of course) when he gets to the temple. He starts flipping over tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who sold pigeons. Jesus then says, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers.” After some healing and some indignant questions from the priests, Jesus obviously needs some sleep.
What happens the next morning really helps me relate to Jesus. He’s hungry. I would be too. He sees a fig tree and goes looking for food, but there’s nothing on the tree but leaves. Frustration sets in again and Jesus says, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” The fig tree withers immediately. Seeing this, his disciples marvel and ask how it happened. Jesus’ response is important: “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith …”
When we pray, it’s important to remember exactly who God is. We must remember that God can do all things and He will, in accordance with His plan. The more we pray and develop our relationship with God, the more our desires move closer to His. The red letters tell us that we will receive what we ask for in prayer as long as we have faith.
I challenge each of you to pray with a purpose and remember who God is while you’re doing it.
- Shaun Hamilton