I heard someone who was teaching time management techniques say “Plan your day as if it’s already happened to get the most of out of your day.” The conclusion Jesus gave after making a scene in the temple was similar. He concluded, “Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:24)
Jesus is saying “hold the thing you pray for in your hand, and you’ll have it.” Put out your hand to grasp it, take it, and receive it. There are times when this may be perceived as being impatient. Like a kid who is waiting for their cookie to be handed to them and reaches in grasping for it. In this passage, Jesus is giving us permission to reach in and take what we ask for. He declares we will have what we ask for before they’re “ready”. The things we ask for will be granted to us.
To have something granted means it is not worked for. It is freely given. There was a supply after an ask. We’ve heard of schools or local governments writing a request for a “grant” and later hearing they were in receipt of the grant. When we pray, God wants us to pray as though we already have what we ask for – as though the “grant” is in our hands.
There is no limit to our requests as Jesus used the words “all things”. Jesus says through this passage the only requirement is to pray, ask, and believe. A scripture in the book of James says that we don’t have because we don’t ask. Another reason the writer declares for not having is because we ask according to our own cravings that are not of God. (James 4) We need to be confident what we are asking for is according to God’s will and in line with His high honor and excellence.
Jesus said, “Therefore . . . .” because of some circumstances that had happened before. We’ll need to look at the verses prior to Mark 11:24 to understand this verse and our instruction. The conclusion of all that had happened before was – “Therefore, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them and they will be granted to you.”
Everything for which you want to glorify and honor God, ask for those things. Make conversation with God. Be confident and trust they are already in your possession, and they will be freely given to you.
What happened which caused Jesus to share this conclusion? We’ll pick up the story in Mark 11:13. Jesus and His disciples were hungry and saw a fig tree ahead with leaves. They decided they’d get some figs from it. However, when they got to the tree, they found no figs. Jesus declared, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”
The disciples and Jesus made their way to the temple. Jesus entered and drove out those buying and selling along with overturning the tables of money changes and tossing the chairs of those who sold doves. Jesus was pointing out the people in the temple were “charging” and “trading” in God’s house.
One important thing to note here is Jesus did not leave them without hope. He didn’t come in, upset everything, and leave in a huff. Oh No! Jesus didn’t do that. Instead, Jesus began to teach them and declare to them the real matter. He reminded them of passages in Isaiah and Jeremiah. He instructed them God’s house was to be known as a “House of Prayer”, but they had made it a “Den of Thieves”.
Those standing by were intrigued with his teaching. They were listening to him and learning from his teaching. The chief priests and rulers, however, were very angry and wanted to destroy Jesus. They did not receive what he was saying and teaching.
Out of town Jesus and the disciples went for the night. The next day, they arrived back in town and passed by the fig tree. Peter noticed the tree had withered from the root up. He commented about this to everyone. Jesus’ response was “have faith in God”. Jesus desired Peter and all the others to believe God would grant what was asked. They could be confident and assured of what was hoped for, asked for, expected would be received.
Jesus further taught “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 is going to happen it will be granted” Mark 11:23.
We’ll look at 4 words from this verse to understand them more fully:
Mountain – insurmountable, high, harsh, huge, in the way, treacherous
Cast – broken apart, thrown away, put far away, moved from one place to another
Doubt – hesitate, waver, sway back and forth, stagger
Believes – is confident, decisive, clearly holds fast to, fights for
Let’s summarize the parts of the story and look again at the conclusion of the matter:
Jesus prayed a tree would be cursed because it wasn’t producing fruit . . . and it happened. Then, Jesus showed the temple leaders they were trading and charging people for things God wanted to give freely. “My house shall be called (known) as a house of prayer (habitation of getting your needs met) for all nations.” He judged the leaders of making God’s house a dark place of thievery (trading & charging).
All this happened so Jesus could tell them they should believe in God. Trusting God should be their priority. Having confidence in God when they face any large, insurmountable obstacle. Jesus wanted his followers to know they could ask God to uproot the huge mountain and cast it into the sea. Then, they could stand back and watch God do it. They didn’t have to hesitate, to wonder if the obstacle was too big for God. He taught them, don’t doubt, but believe. Hold out your hand, grab it. It will be freely given to you, done for you. God has no trade, no charge.
THEREFORE — this is the conclusion, the summary, the bottom line. What things, all things you bring before me, present to me, bring to my attention, ask me to take action on, request I adjudicate on your behalf, any insurmountable obstacle you ask to be moved — BELIEVE you have exactly what you’ve asked for. Hold out your hand to receive it. Get your grasp ready because it’s coming your way. Don’t hesitate. Don’t sway. Don’t stagger. Believe and receive because it will be granted, given, provided you freely.
Today, what do you need God to grant to you? What is huge, high, and insurmountable to you? Request God to take that “blockage” before you and break it apart and move it far from you. Hold out your hand and grasp the answer. Believe you have it and it will be yours. He concluded, “Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:24)
Written By: Anne Gurley