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The Prayer of Faith

By Gordon Robertson
Vice President, The 700 Club and CBN WorldReach

CBN.comWelcome to the last installment of our series on prayer where we want to see you have the ability to get answers to your prayers. What are the biblical keys to prayer? What does the Bible say about prayer? How do we open the doors to these keys so that we can walk into that miracle power where we would have the confidence that God is answering our prayers?

One of the greatest lessons on faith, on the prayer of faith, comes from Mark 11.

Let me set the stage for you. Jesus has already come into Jerusalem. He has already had Palm Sunday, where palm branches were laid before Him and people said “Hosanna!” to Him. It was a tremendous welcome. Then, after that, there is an interesting story told in Mark where Jesus approaches a fig tree. The fig tree is in full bloom, and there are plenty of leaves on the tree. He comes up to it expecting to find fruit to eat, and He doesn’t find any. He says to the tree, “Let no one eat of you again.”

Then, the following day, Jesus and the disciples are walking along, and they come to the same tree. The disciples are amazed to find that the tree is withered from the root, that it has literally died overnight. They ask Him, “How did this happen?” What was the key to this happening?

The fig tree is symbolic of Israel at the time. Jesus is coming to Israel looking for fruit, and even though He has had Palm Sunday, He is well aware of what is getting ready to happen to Him in terms of Him being crucified for all the sins of all mankind for all time.

He didn’t find the fruit that He had anticipated in Israel, but that is not the point of what the disciples are asking. The disciples are asking, “How did You do that?” Jesus answers very specifically how to have the prayer of faith, how to be able to see things move tangibly in reality as a result of what you believe and what you request.

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Mark 11: 22-23

Let me underline something for you: Have faith in God. We want to have faith in a lot of different other things that have nothing to do with God. We want to have faith in our prayer. We want to have faith in our own self-righteousness. We want to have faith in how much Bible we have read or how much Greek we know or how much Hebrew we know. We want to have faith in what has occurred before in our lives. We want to have faith in particular ministers or particular churches or particular forms of prayer.

But Jesus says it very simply, “Have faith in God.” I know it sounds simple. It is simple because that is the only place to put your faith.

I remember the very first miracle service I ever had. It was in a tiny church in India. Before that time, I had been praying for people to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. I was seeing tremendous results from that prayer because I believed that, when I laid hands on people, they could receive the Baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

But I didn’t have the faith at that point and time to believe for miracle healing. In fact, I don’t think I even wanted to be a faith healer. I thought that that wasn’t something that fit my persona very well.

As I was getting ready to preach in front of this tiny church, that still, small Voice spoke to me and said, “I want to heal the sick today.” My immediate gut reaction was, “No You don’t.”

But I went ahead and preached, and I started preaching on faith. I broke out Hebrews 11 and preached all around faith, what it was and how tangible it was and how much evidence it was. I wasn’t preaching to them; I was preaching to myself about faith.

Then I broke out James 5 and said, “If there are any sick among you, let them come forward. The elders will lay hands on them and anoint them with oil and the prayer of faith will raise them up.” I forgot all about that prayer of faith. I was relying on the oil and I was relying on the elders and I was relying on other things other than God. When you start doing that, you miss the point.

When I didn’t see results from my prayer, I cried out to the Lord, saying, “You told me You wanted to heal the sick today.” And the answer – I will never forget it – it was an anguished answer, “When will you rely on Me?” Because at that point and time I was relying on oil and ritual and form. I wasn’t relying on God Almighty.

That’s why Jesus says it so specifically, “Have faith in God.” Don’t have faith in your form. Don’t have faith in your ritual. Have faith in the Living God. When you do, you then get the remainder of this verse:

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Mark 11:22-23, NKJV

And then the great promise,

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Mark 11:24, NKJV

The world wants to have us see and then believe; Jesus wants us to believe and then see the result. If you do that, if you believe without doubting in your heart, then you will have what you are asking for.

So, with that as an admonition, the next time you pray, believe, visualize that you have already received the answer to your prayer, and Jesus promises that you will have it.


Gordon Robertson became the Chief Executive Officer of CBN on November 30, 2007.  Prior to being named CEO, Gordon was the Executive Producer of The 700 Club for the past six years and a member of the board of directors for the past five years. He is also founder and president of CBN Asia, Inc. and founder and president of the Asian Center for Missions.

 

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