Receiving What We Want in Prayer

Matthew 21.22 promises, you can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it. image

This verse makes many Christians nervous because on the surface it appears God is promising us anything we ask for in prayer. This is what we want His words to mean for there are many things we wish we had but don’t have but if having them was only a matter of asking for them then that would be awesome.

Our experience however tells us this is not what He meant for we have all asked God for things in prayer and did not receive them. So what does this verse mean?

The promise God gave was the lesson to the experience His disciples encountered after God made a tree wither and die that held no fruit. In utter amazement at His power the disciples asked how He was able to do such things. Jesus’ point was the promise listed.

The lesson we miss and perhaps the disciples did too, was not that God has power to wither trees but that God has power to add to our faith to obtain the results we are both seeking.

This lesson begins with God in Man, Jesus, being hungry and seeking food. He approached a fig tree looking for fruit, presumably it was the season for figs so He expected to encounter some. When finding no fruit Jesus cursed the tree.

Jesus did not make food appear from nothing.

So while Jesus had power to wither a tree He did not use His power to turn stones into bread. Jesus had fed more than 9000 people previously on two separate occasions from small amounts of food given to Him which He then multiplied so that everyone could eat to their fill with plenty leftover.

This is the meaning of our promise today. When we bring to God the little we have to accomplish the will of God He multiplies that little into much thus giving us what we ask for from Him.

God doesn’t give us whatever we want from nothing. God gives us what we lack when we petition Him for what we need in order to do what He has asked us to accomplish. We are to come to God believing God will supply all of our needs to do all of His will using all of the resources we have.

We come to God knowing our resources are insufficient for doing His will but by prayer, we ask God to add His resources to ours in order to accomplish His will.

God looks for us to come to Him with what we have so He can multiply it;  He doesn’t give to us what we want from nothing at all particularly when we are standing around doing nothing with nothing in our hands for Him to use.

This barrenness God curses!

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