In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:20-25 NIV
Yesterday, we looked at what Jeremiah said about not praying for people when God said, “don’t pray.” Today, I want to provoke thought about the power of prayer in looking at how Jesus taught us by example–with things–and people.
First–there is the issue of having free-will choice–God not making us do anything. It is because of the free-will choice exercised by man since our beginning that has often led us astray–away from God–and then God allows something to cross our paths that turns us back to Him. Usually–the negative events that occur in our lives make us pay attention and for those who want to see change–we become frenetic in urging others to seek God in order to change our circumstances. What we should be doing is seeking God to change us and then our circumstances will change for the better when we are in compliance to living according to God’s Word.
That being said, if we look closely at the fig tree, the mountain and the people– the woman with the issue of blood, the lame man and others who were healed and those raised from the dead we see how faith or the absence of choice manifests itself.
- The fig tree had no faith when Jesus cursed it–no free-will choice in the matter and was therefore subject to the faith of Jesus.
- The mountain (as well as other “things” mentioned in the bible) were in the same boat–no faith and no free-will choice so they were subject to the will of “somebody.”
- The man sitting by the pool of Bethesda–was asked what he wanted–“Will you be made whole.”
- The blind man–chose to see
- The lepers–had a choice in the matter.
- The woman with the issue of blood–made a choice–exercising her faith, “If I could just touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole.”
- Those raised from the dead–since they had no free-will choice, the faith of the person speaking, raised them.
There are so many more examples that can be used to support what I’m going to say but for Believers–we know. For the unbelieving or not sure, I encourage get a good translation of the Bible, and seek understanding before you read so God can open His Word to you.
I believe in the power of prayer and understand that it is my faith that ignites that power in order for me to see the answer of the prayer manifested. In order to exercise faith that works–we cannot doubt–what we believe we’ll see as the answer as it pertains to things–with no free-will choice.
Regarding those who are praying for God to change someone’s heart–I submit you’re wasting your time, unless that person wants their heart to be changed. God will never force someone to do anything and He will always honor their choices--whatever that may be. Whenever I pray for people who are headed in the wrong direction, I pray that God will allow them to quickly come to the end of themselves so they’ll know, they need Him.
Looking at those who demonstrate some understanding of living according to God’s Word, I’m praying they will receive God’s Wisdom and allow it to overflow into everything they do. What happens after that–is totally up to them.
So, let’s understand the true power of prayer—resides in the faith of the one speaking and the absence of free-choice in things or those people who have made a choice to receive from God.