Matthew 21:22 – You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it. (NLT)
Mark 11:24 – I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. (NLT)
The word for prayer in both of these verses is proseuchē or its original form proseuchomai. Both mean to pray, to offer prayers.
What struck me is that these prayers are a means of worship. I’ve never thought of prayer as worship. I’ve basically considered it a way to communicate with God, talking about my needs and thanking Him for His provision, but then as I type, I think, isn’t that worship–the offering of thanksgiving?
Let’s go back to the verses …
“You can pray for anything …”
It’s a simple Greek word–pas. It means: anything, everything, all things, the whole. In Southern terms, the whole kit and caboodle.
But there’s a caveat.
You have to have faith. You have to BELIEVE.
The verse(s) prior to these two (in both books) is this:
Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. (Matt 21:21, NLT)
Now Matthew and Mark used different words for this part.
Matthew says, “if you have faith.” Faith is simply that. To have faith in, to entrust, to believe, commit, put trust in. Mark says, “if you believe.” Believe is to think to be true, to entrust a thing to one, or to be entrusted with a thing.
One last thing is receiving. It’s not a passive word, like basking in the sun’s rays. We don’t have to do anything to receive the sunlight. It’s all done for us.
But this word is active. You have to TAKE HOLD.
Christmas is not too distant in the past. When someone gave you a present, you didn’t let it stay in their hands. You TOOK HOLD of it. You received it, actively. It wasn’t truly yours until you grasped it.
That is what God expects of us when we pray. To believe and take hold of the thing we’re asking for.
And I realized I hadn’t been doing it. I’d prayed. I’d sort of believed. You know … I know God can do it, but will He?
Here’s my prayer. Feel free to pray it with me.
Help my unbelief. I pray for so many things but don’t really think they’re possible. And yet, You are the God of the impossible. Open my heart to truth. Open my mind to the moving of mountains. Open my hands to receive the answers to my prayers. Help me to believe Your Word.
And God, thanks. Amen.
I’ll be honest (and I try to be always, but hey, it’s a transition, so go with it.). I have two family members that are away from the Lord. One has never known Him. I’ve prayed for him for 35 years. I no longer have contact with him, his choice, but I still pray that one day … one day the right person will get in his face–that’s what it will take–and show him Truth. I’ve been praying for the other his whole life, but more so in the last twelve years.
Maybe that’s why my prayers lack the faith they need. I’ve grown weary. But God can take my weariness, my heart’s cry, and do the impossible. I know this. I BELIEVE.
And He’ll do the same for you … if you believe.
(All definitions found at BlueLetterBible.com)