20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “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. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:20-24, New International Version)
Theme: Rejoicing and Thanksgiving
Thanks for the very thoughtful comments about purpose yesterday! Today, the lesson from Tuesday of Passion Week relates to faith. Jesus uses the cursed fig tree as an object lesson about believing in God when we pray. Unfortunately, this passage has often been misinterpreted, leading to despair when supplicants don’t get what they believe they will receive.
Make no mistake, Jesus is making an emphatic statement about the importance of faith. However, He is not saying His Father is like a genie in a bottle. This may appear contradictory but consider the fact that Jesus taught us to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Prayer for Jesus is always within the context of His Father’s will.
It is mysterious and humbling to know that God has elected to perform elements of his will in concert with praying, believing Christians. It is also a source of rejoicing and thanksgiving.
Please study the passage above. If you have the time, you can reflect on the importance of faith by reading Hebrews chapter 11.
What personal lessons do you take from Jesus’ teaching on faith in God when we pray?
Please leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.
April 4, 2023 at 5:02 am
Faith is the substance of things hope for: faith and hope go together and the same things that are the object of my hope are the objects of my faith. It is a firm persuasion and expectation that God will perform what He promised to me, it brings me peace and because of this I can rejoice and give thanks.
April 4, 2023 at 6:44 am
I am constantly working on my faith. I totally believe in God, but there are times when I pray for something, and when my prayer is not answered to help me, I can’t always see how it is for “my good.” I tell myself God knows what He is doing, but I am still extremely saddened.
Jesus’s teaching on faith (God’s Word) is a reminder that God has a plan, and I should just be grateful and move on.
April 4, 2023 at 7:31 am
The personal lesson I learned from Jesus teaching on faith when i pray is more on being humble and not being swayed by my circumstances especially during very tough times. I learned not to give up, pray without ceasing and accept His answer to my prayer, be it the one I am expecting or not.
I also realized as I get older that when I pray , there are times I cannot say much words but I just stay still, asking God to calm me and give me peace. This way, helps me to really commune with Him , allowing my whole being to rest in Him. Opening my heart to Him and telling everything to the Lord be it mundane l or big issue in my life is important part of my prayer, When I pray, I’m grateful especially when the Lord helps me to realize my mistakes and gives me many chances to bounce back, and start all over again. Praying sincerely gives me courage and hope that only Jesus can provide. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
April 4, 2023 at 8:13 pm
The importance of having faith and praying. That it is God who does what is needed, not our strength or wisdom. We need to believe, to obey, to depend on God and to ask him.
April 4, 2023 at 8:16 pm
If we ask God for something doubting then we cannot expect to receive anything from God. Faith must be informed by an understanding of how God works – he sees the past, present and future – and HIS thoughts and ways are higher than our thoughts and ways. Unanswered prayer could mean God is arranging the circumstances and working on people’s hearts, but often we lose hope when we do not get our expectations met or does not intervene according to our timetable. I am learning to keep asking, keep praying even when I don’t get the answer because I have seen in my life, when I gave up hope because my prayers went answered and my worse fears did materialize despite praying and beseeching God, only to receive the deliverance I had hoped for years after I began petitioning God. So even with weak faith, God heard and answered me in HIS time. Jesus knew how hard this would be for us, because our perceptions are limited and is delighted to bless us even with our little faith, the book of Matthew illuminates “Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
April 4, 2023 at 10:50 pm
God wants us to have faith even if our prayers are not answered.
His Will,not Ours.
Be obedient to Him.
He is not magic.
Even though Jesus asked to be relieved of his cup he said –Your Will