Do we really pray believing we will receive what we ask for? Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Yet, most Christians pray as if they are just going through the motions. Don’t beat yourself up. If you read Acts 12:1-17, you will find even those who walked with Jesus and saw Him perform hundreds of miracles doubted their prayers.
This story is about Peter being locked in prison by King Herod. He had hours left to live and the church was praying fervently for his safety. However, when the Lord answered their prayer, their first response was “You are out of your mind!” Not only did those gathered in the house praying have unbelief, so did Peter. He was actually experiencing the miracle. It had been done on his behalf and he didn’t even believe it to be true. He thought he was having a dream. So, what are we to do?
First, we are to regularly reflect back on all the Lord has done for us to keep us mindful of His mighty works in our lives and keep us in a posture of gratitude. Second, we should go to the only source- God Himself- who can produce faith in us when we are lacking. We are to ask Him to give us what we need.
There was a father who went to Jesus to beg for his son’s life. He said, “If you can…” and Jesus looked at him and said, “If?” This father’s next statement to Jesus should be ours in times of doubt, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” [Mark 9:14-24]
We must pray AND believe.