Pastor Shane Ham : Whatever You Ask for in Prayer… it Will Be Yours

Strange Things Jesus Said · 54:03 · Recorded August 18, 2019

Mark 11:22-24 (NIV) "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

What a “prayer of faith” isn’t:

Conjuring incredible certainty.

Mark 9:21-24, 27 (NIV) Jesus asked the boy’s father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." "’If you can’?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Immediately the boy’s father ex-claimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"… But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

Matthew 17:20 (NIV) He replied… "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Going into command mode.

Denying reality.

Hebrews 11:32-40 (NIV) And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

What a “prayer of faith” is:

James 5:13-16 (ESV) Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

When you pray specifically.

When you pray responsibly.

When you pray spiritually.

John 15:5 (TLB) Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can’t do a thing.

Living a “life of faith”:

1. Avoid pat answers.

2. Embrace living without an answer.

Mark 4:35-41 (ESV) On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side." And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?" And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

3. Anticipate the ultimate answer!

Hebrews 11:13-16 (MSG) Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them.

  • Most of us can think of an example of praying a prayer of faith that “isn’t”, whether we’ve heard someone else or have done it our self. Think back to that time and restate that prayer framed through the example in section two. Do you see the difference in how you are approaching and communicating with God about your needs and desires?

  • Read the full story of the boy with an evil spirit in Mark 9:14-32.
    • When have you felt like the father in this story? How do prayer & faith relate for you at those times?
    • What would you call the father’s statement in v.24, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”? Contradictory? Honest? Encouraging? A cop out? Why?
    • Discuss with your group what possibilities and what abuses come to mind when you consider the fact that “everything is possible for him who believes.”
  • As you review the Hebrews 11 scripture, what great achievements were accomplished as a result of faith? What price was paid? How do these verses encourage you in light of your own suffering and the questions that suffering can bring?

  • Many of us experience times when we feel alone in our struggle and must fight to “keep the faith.” How do you react to Jesus when he seems to be asleep in your life? What is the worst personal “storm” you have faced? How did Jesus help? Share with your small group and remind each other of 1 Samuel 17:37.

  • Elementary Parents, today your children looked at four different stories in the life of Jesus in order to see how to have The Best Year Ever. Through these stories we learned that when we show kindness, are a friend, and serve and forgive others we are showing love to others in the same way Jesus did. Loving God and loving others is the key to living our best. Our bottom-line today is: Follow Jesus and love like He did.

  • Glorious Day

  • Reckless Love

  • Raise A Hallelujah

  • Peace Be Still

  • Won't Stop Now

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