Mark 11:24-25: "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins."
This past weekend, as we all peered into the new year of 2018, the Lord God illustrated both of these verses for John and me in very powerful ways. I know it's important that I share and bear witness to what He did and what He has taught me, so that others will receive these words of Yeshua and understand them in the context of our own daily lives.
On Saturday morning John's right leg was swollen and walking around was causing him great pain. Given his past heart attacks and known vascular issues, we both began suspecting a blood clot (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Knowing how serious this could be, I told him we needed to go to the Emergency Room. John refused and said, "No, let's pray." My husband's faith! It always emerges so strong in the face of adversity! I placed my hands upon the affected calf area and began to decree over the clot, that it was crushed, destroyed, loosed and demolished in the name of Yeshua! I spoke authority over it in His Name and commanded it to be destroyed by the power of His Blood. Then I spent the morning make tea for John, filled with tumeric, ginger and cayenne pepper, knowing that these good herbs open up the blood vessels. Within about two hours the swelling went down, pink color returned to feet and toes, and the pain completely left him! "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." John believed and John received. Yet, I was reading a commentary on this verse and I think his caution is important:
“We should not interpret verse 24 to mean, ‘If you pray hard enough and really believe, God is obligated to answer your prayer no matter what you ask.’ That kind of faith is not faith in God; rather it is nothing but faith in faith, or faith in feelings.” (Wiersbe)
He makes a good point. Faith in God means we trust God to give us what He knows is best for us. I am rejoicing that He answered John with complete healing and our part is to share the testimony!
The Holy Spirit has been illustrating Verse 25 to me over the past few days regarding the story of my son. I just shared in another blog about our conversation where he asked me not to speak of my faith again, and SO many of you responded with similar stories! It is amazing how many of us are struggling with prodigal sons and daughters. What a blessing it is for us to share our pain and pray for one another! But the Spirit is teaching me something vital from this verse: "And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins." Holy Spirit is speaking to me that this means we are never to place our "ministry" ahead of good relationships with people. As in Romans 12:18 "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." And so, in response to this counsel, I have been reaching back in to my son instead of withdrawing from him (which is probably what he expected me to do). I have made the promise that, weather permitting, we will drive out to Pennsylvania next month to spend some time with him and his family over President's Day holiday weekend. That means we will be there for our seventh wedding anniversary. Delighted, he promised that he and his 11-year-old son would cook us an Italian dinner! He and his wife both called last week and we had positive, joyful conversations. In the midst of writing this blog, just now, he texted me, "Happy New Year, Mom!"
It is all as if the Lord is showing me that sometimes we must forego preaching and our righteous airs and keep meeting people right where they are, with that love that Yeshua must have shown when he ate with the tax collectors. Maybe the tax collector's wife made him a nice Italian dinner and maybe He smiled with gratitude and showed such a love that they came to really KNOW Him.
This is not really new to me. I've reached out to this family for many, many years now. I spent an entire month there when my grandson was born, and did my best to fill the house with the fragrance of the Spirit and the deep love of the Lord. But I can't give up. You can't give up. When we stand praying, we must forgive them of their sins - and when we pray, we must believe that we have received it.