In the School of Prayer
“Believe that ye have received;”
Or, The Faith that Takes
“Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them,and ye shall have them.” —Mark 11:24.
What a promise! Our human hearts are too small to comprehend something so vast and divine, and this applies to every conceivable aspect. Instead of allowing it, in all of its enlivening power and energy, just as He gave it, to enter and to enlarge our hearts to the measure of what His love and power are ready to do for us, we try to confine it to what we believe to be safe or likely. The simple conviction that the words of God are true or the derivation of a conclusion from a set of premises does not constitute faith. Faith is much more than that. Because it is the ear that has heard God say what He will do and the eye that has seen Him doing it, it is impossible, but the answer must come in situations where there is genuine faith. If we only make sure that we do the one thing that He asks of us when we pray, which is to “believe that you have received,” then He will see that He fulfills what He has promised, which is “Ye shall have them!” The key phrase of Solomon’s prayer (2 Chronicles 6:4), which reads, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who hath with His hands fulfilled that which He spoke with His mouth to my father David,” is the key phrase of all genuine prayer. The prayer that is offered with joy to a God whose hand always ensures that what His mouth has spoken will eventually come to pass. In this frame of mind, let us listen to the promise that Jesus makes; each component of it contains its own divine message.
Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them–Jesus
“All things whatsoever!” As soon as we hear the first word of that phrase, our intellect begins to question whether or not it can possibly be true. And it is not as if this were the only time He spoke this way. He who also said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth;” “If ye have faith, nothing shall be impossible to you.” Faith is so wholly the work of God’s Spirit through His word in the prepared heart of the believing disciple that it is impossible that faith could come from any other source. Yes, “Human reason tends to interpose here, and with certain qualifying clauses, “if expedient,” “if according to God’s will,” to break the force of a statement which appears dangerous. Let us beware of dealing thus with the Master’s words. His promise is most literally true. He wants His oft-repeated “ALL THINGS” to enter into our hearts and reveal how mighty the power of faith is, how truly the Head can do ALL THINGS for those who believe in Him
“All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for” It is through prayer that these “all things” are to be brought to God, to be asked and received of Him. The faith that receives them is the fruit of the prayer. In one sense, there must be faith before there can be prayer; however, in another sense, faith is the result and the growth of prayer.
“Believe that you have received!” Now, while praying, the thing you ask for. It may only be later that you shall have it in personal experience that you shall see what you believe. Nevertheless, right now, without seeing, you are to believe that the Father in heaven has given it to you “If we know that He hears us, no matter what we ask, then we also know that the petitions we have asked of Him have been granted to us.
The gift that we initially receive in faith as being bestowed upon us in heaven will also become ours in personal experience as it is promised to us in the verse “And ye shall have them!” But once we are certain that our prayers have been heard and that we have been granted what we have asked for, will it still be necessary for us to pray for a longer period of time? There are some circumstances in which such prayers will not be necessary, in which the blessing is ready to break through immediately if we continue to believe and demonstrate our faith by praising for what we have received despite the fact that we do not yet have it in experience. These are the kinds of circumstances in which the blessing is ready to break through immediately. There are other circumstances in which the faith that has been received needs to be tested even further and strengthened through persistent supplication. Only God knows when everything within and around us is ready for the full manifestation of the blessing that is promised to those who have faith. Elijah was confident that it would rain because God had promised it, but he still had to pray seven times before it came. And that prayer was neither a performance nor a game; rather, it was an intense spiritual reality both in the heart of the one who lay there pleading and in the heavens above, where it was doing the work that it was intended to do. It is “through faith and patience that we inherit the promises,” and faith declares, “I have received it,” with the utmost confidence. The quality of patience allows one to continue praying until the blessing bestowed in heaven is realized on earth. “Believe that you have received, and you shall have” Between the have received in heaven and the shall have of earth, believe; believing praise and prayer is the link. “Believe that you have received, and you shall have”
And finally, keep this last point in mind. Jesus said this. As we see heaven opened to us and the Father on the throne offering to give us whatever we ask for in faith, our hearts feel full of shame that we have so little taken full advantage ourselves of our privilege and full of fear lest our feeble faith still fails to grasp what is so clearly placed within our reach. As we see heaven opened to us, the Father on the throne offers to give us whatever we ask for in faith. This causes our hearts to feel full of shame. There is one thing that we absolutely have to do in order to keep our strength and our hope. Jesus is the one who brought us this message that was given to him by the Father. When He was here on earth, He led a life marked by unwavering devotion to God and constant prayer. When the disciples expressed surprise at what He had done to the fig tree, Jesus responded by telling them that the same life that He led could be theirs, that they could command the fig tree and the mountain, and it would obey whatever they commanded it to do. And He is our very life. Everything that He was on earth is now present in us. Everything that is taught is also given by Him. He is the one who authored our faith, and He is also the one who perfected it. He bestows the spirit of faith upon his followers. We should not be concerned that such faith is not a part of God’s plan for us. It is meant for each and every one of the Father’s children. It is within the grasp of anyone who is willing to take on the attitude of a child, submitting himself to the will and love of the Father and placing their faith in the Word and Power of the Father. Dear brother or sister in Christ! Let the realization that this word comes to us through Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Brother, give us the fortitude to say, “Yes, Blessed Lord, we believe your Word,” and let that be our response. We are firm in our belief that reception occurs.
“Lord, teach us to prayer.”
You, Lord, are blessed because You came from the Father in order to show us all of His Love and all of the treasures of blessing that Love is waiting to bestow upon us. Lord! This day, you have once again flung the gates so wide open and given us such promises as to our privilege in prayer that we are forced to blush because our poor hearts have so little taken it in. It has been of a magnitude that defies our comprehension.
Lord! we now look to Thee to instruct us in how to take, keep, and make use of this precious word of Thine: “All things whatsoever ye ask, believe that ye have received.” Blessed Jesus, we thank Thee. If our faith is going to take root and flourish, it must be rooted in Thee, the only true God. Because of your work, we have been completely delivered from the dominion of sin, and you have given us access to the Father. The longing that thy love has for us to be brought into the full fellowship of thy glory and power is constant. Your Spirit is constantly pulling us upward into a life that is characterized by perfect faith and self-assurance. Through the instruction that you provide, we are certain that we will be able to pray the prayer of faith. You will teach us to pray in such a way that we will believe that what we ask for will be granted to us and that we already have it. Lord! Teach me to know and trust and love you in such a way, as well as to live and abide in you, so that all of my prayers can be lifted up and presented to God through you, and so that my soul can find comfort in the knowledge that I am beard in you. Amen.
Original by Andrew Murray
Revised and Updated by Nathan Zipfel