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 friends life was endangered. For there were
men who had plotted to go to the missionarys 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,
There are things we believe to be within Gods 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.