If You Believe

Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matt.21:19-22).

The story is told of a group of men who got together late one night at the request of one. It seemed that the one had been burdened with thoughts of a Christian brother serving as a missionary in a foreign land. He did not know why the missionary was so much on his mind, he just knew what he felt; and what he felt was that he needed to call a prayer meeting. So the men gathered at the church and prayed, trusting God to look after the missionary.
It was discovered that the prayer meeting had some, shall we say, quite miraculous effects. It seems that their missionary friend’s life was endangered. For there were men who had plotted to go to the missionary’s camp and to kill him. But, as the aggressors came upon the camp site, they chose to keep their distance as they saw several men at the camp site who appeared to be standing guard. It just so happens that the number of men guarding the site, was equal to the number of men who were praying for the missionary that very hour.

What is prayer to us, and how much stake do we place in it? For many of us, it is something sort of vague and mysterious. We make our requests to God, hold our breath and cross our fingers, and hope that He will answer it in some fashion we can understand. Not that we consider it to be like speaking magic words and adding power to those words by invoking them in Jesus name. But we say our prayers, kind of speaking the words into the air hoping to hit a target somewhere up there. And if things work out, great; but if they do not, then maybe something was wrong with the prayer or something like that.

Jesus said that when we pray that we should pray believing. Believing that God hears. Believing that God will do what He says He will. That He is trustworthy and faithful, and that He has our best interest at heart as it is within His will. Essentially, we need to pray in such a way that we believe that prayer is very, very real.

There are things we believe to be within God’s will always. For instance, we believe it is His will that none should perish, but that all might come to know His salvation. If then, there is someone we know is not saved, then we might pray for them. But more than that, we might pray with the power of believing. As we pray for a lost soul, we can say to ourselves, “this is something God wants, and in that case I can believe that my prayer is going to be answered.” Whenever we pray in accordance with the will of God, we know it is what God wants, so we can come away knowing that He will answer the prayer.

As you go to God in prayer today, go to Him with some things you know without a doubt are things He wants. You then take your trust out of your prayer and put it in the one to Whom you are praying. As you do this, you might notice something incredible--you come away from your prayer having a confidence that God is going to do a work according to your prayer. You may find that you become excited as you anticipate watching the Lord move in accordance with His will--if you believe.

Day by Day Devotionals: www.daybyday.org