Done: From Asking to Receiving

Daily Devotion | Day 293

“Therefore, I [Jesus] say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24, NKJV).

The goal of asking is to receive. Unfortunately, many people are stuck with the reality of asking. They can’t seem to move beyond asking and receive what they desire. They ask a lot, but they receive little, if at all. Why? The Bible gives us the answers, but we won’t attempt to tackle all the possible reasons here. From my experience, people focus too much on asking but they neglect everything else Jesus said about the subject of prayer. Yes, Jesus told us to ask (Matthew 7:7). But that’s just part of what He said.

Today, we want to look at two keys Jesus gave us for receiving what we desire. They are not the only keys, but they are critical, especially the second one. They are as follows:

1. Ask. This is obvious. If you want something, ask for it. Here, it’s important to know exactly what you want and make your request accordingly. But, as already noted, many Christians are stuck at this stage. They sincerely ask, but they sincerely don’t receive. And they keep asking, hoping that one of these days they’ll prevail. What they forget is that asking goes with other things. 

2. Believe you have received: Few ever make it to this point. Yet, this is the most crucial stage of the prayer request. Jesus says, “whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them.” This is huge. Jesus will not believe for you. His job is to supply; yours is to believe that you have received. Don’t stop at asking, Jesus says. Right after you’ve asked for something, believe that you’ve received it. If you skip this step, you’re likely not to receive what you wanted.

What does it mean to believe that you’ve received? It means when you pray for something, take it for granted that it’s done. From that point, let your thoughts, your words and your actions indicate that you believe it’s done. You need to start acting as though you already had what you asked. Consider the following example.

You remember what happened at the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11). Mary asked Jesus to ‘supply’ wine to save the wedding. At that point, Jesus wasn’t ready to perform a miracle, and He made that clear to Mary. Someone would have turned away. Mary, however, wasn’t shaken by Jesus’ response. She went ahead and told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do.

The point here is, Mary asked Jesus for something and she believed she had received it regardless of Jesus’ initial response. Mary had not seen wine with her naked eyes, yet she took it for granted that wine had been provided. Right after asking, she started acting as though her request had been granted. In the end, she got exactly what she believed.

This is the point Jesus is making in today’s passage. He says, if you believe you’ve received it, you will have it. Asking is good, but believing is better. Asking doesn’t produce results. Believing does.

It’s time to move past asking. Start receiving.

Blessing: May the Lord surround you with songs of deliverance. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Luke 18:35-42, John 2:1-11 and Romans 4:13-22

Receiving Blessings You Have Not Asked

Daily Devotional: Day 216 | By Stephen Bilson-Ogoe

“And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days” (1 Kings 3:13, NKJV).

A lot of Christians pray, but the question is: How many pray well? Praying isn’t always about what you ask. It’s also about what you don’t ask. Praying is more than going through a prayer list. God is not like a grocery store, where people go with a shopping list and check the list as they shop. God wants you to think of Him as your Father. When we get caught up in the ‘prayer list’ mentality, we feel we must mention every point on our list or every desire on our heart to get our prayers answered.

What we need to realize is that God’s love for us is bigger than our prayers. He knows what we need before we ask (cf. Matthew 6:8). When we pray, God is not limited by what we ask or forget to ask. It is His nature to do more than we can ask or imagine (cf. Ephesians 3:20). When this truth settles in your heart, your prayer life will blossom and develop into quality moments of worship, fellowship and intercession.

Today’s opening Scripture is about what God did for the young king Solomon. Shortly after Solomon succeeded David as king, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him to ask whatever He wanted. The king could have gone through a long list of things he wanted. But, Solomon asked for one thing only: wisdom. After granting Solomon’s request, note what God says next, “And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor.” Solomon received blessings he did not ask. It is God’s nature to give, not only what you ask, but also what you have not asked. Therefore, do not limit Him in your heart.

Out of his deep love for God, David planned to build a house (temple) for Him. Although impressed, the Lord wouldn’t let David do it. Instead, God surprised David by giving him an everlasting dynasty (royal house) which is founded upon Jesus Christ, the Son of David (cf. Luke 1:30-33; Matthew 22:41-45; Mark 10:46-52). David didn’t ask for a dynasty, but God gave it anyway; and David was overwhelmed by God’s kindness (cf. 2 Samuel 7:18-29). Abraham wanted a son; God gave him more than a son. He made him the father of all believers, Jews and Gentiles alike (cf. Romans 4:9-12). Abraham did not ask for this blessing, but he received it.

 Hannah wanted a child and even promised to dedicate him to God forever. God gave her more than a child. He gave her Samuel, easily one of the greatest judges and prophets in the history of God’s people. That was not all; God gave Hannah five more children: three sons and two daughters (cf. 1 Samuel 2:21).

 What you need is the kingdom of God spiritually alive in your heart through faith, and to walk faithfully with your God. You will receive blessings you have not asked. As we conclude today’s message, think about the following words of Jesus: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

God bless you. Amen. 

For further study: Luke 5:1-11