Day 140 – Pray and Believe

Today’s reading: Mk 11:15-33

In today’s reading, we see the events of the withered fig tree as Mark describes them.  In this version, Jesus curses the fig tree and when they pass by it the next day it is withered.  The Apostles seems surprised and Jesus remarks.

Have faith in God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.  Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you will receive it, and you will.

This passage is very similar to the “faith the size of a mustard seed” found in Matthew.  It’s always occurred to me, “why don’t we ever see mountains just getting up and throwing themselves into the sea?” Doesn’t anyone in the world have faith at least the size of a mustard seed?

Perhaps the answer is that someone with enough faith to get the mountain to move would never seek in their heart to test God and ask for such a thing.  Perhaps it is because although it will “come to pass”, we don’t know exactly when it will come to pass.  Perhaps it is because that sight would be so unbelievable that every person who might ask it has a least some doubt.

Whatever the reason, we can know this, if you ask God for something and truly believe that you will receive it then you will.  How much should you believe?  There’s a local priest here who says it’s OK to thank God in advance for answering your prayers.  In other words, don’t just say, “Lord, I’m sick please make me well” but say, “Lord, I’m sick please make me well and thank you for making me well.”  I’ve done it and what I notice is that it chases away any doubts.  We know because Christ told us, that if we ask correctly for something God can give he will grant these prayers.  Thus know that in thanking God ahead of time you still might not get the result you want but you will absolutely get the result you need.

Tomorrow: Mk 12:1-27

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