Conditions for asking

I’m reading Mark 11:24-25

From the tenses of the verbs, I am thinking the message is

  1. Make a decision to forgive, and keep on forgiving
  2. Make a choice to believe, and keep it up
  3. Continue to pray
  4. Receive later what praying for

I don’t want to complicate the simple
But is it really what we must do?
Does anyone have a testimony about it?

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Hi, Dean @manbooks! Thanks for raising this question; it’s a great question! Interesting that you zeroed in on these two verses. Before we get into talking about what these two verses are telling us what we must do, I think it’s important to look at them within the passage in which they are embedded. If I was looking at these verses and the entire passage in which we find them for the first time, my question would be how might the fig tree and what Jesus says about it relate to the events before and after? I have my ideas but am interested to hear what yours would be.

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@manbooks you have touched on here something that I have been struggling with lately, forgiveness. @CarsonWeitnauer shared the following sermon with me and it helped me greatly:
http://www.rainieravenuechurch.org/sermons/being-forgiven-and-forgiving-others/
I believe that the basics of Christianity such as love, forgiveness and the kind of faith mentioned in these verses are the highest levels of Christianity and the signs of a very mature believer. All the other stuff we argue about like denominations, homosexuality, women pastors, none of these Jesus worried about, but forgiveness, faith and love, he spoke about all the time.
On this occasion and again in Luke 6:15 Jesus lets us know that if we do not forgive others, we will not be forgiven. This to me is a serious command and as I said, something I am currently working through. Basically to answer your first question, yes, as believers we have to forgive and keep on forgiving. It is that simple. :grinning:
Questions 2-4 are as you said not complicated, but again, this it deep stuff. Ask for something, believe and receive it!
A testimony I can share from a couple of hours ago is the following. I was reading 2 Crointhians in my bible which I have had for 8 years now. Beside verse 10 in chapter 1 was written a date in 2012 and the word ‘‘stomach’’. I suffered from ulcerative colitis, ulcers and HP at the time. At the time I must have prayed this verse over my condition which is now gone. I have seen some immediate answers to prayers of faith, but to be honest most have been a process, as was the case with my stomach :grimacing:
When I saw this yesterday I praised God and have now added my back and hip with yesterday’s date :raised_hands: :pray:
Let’s see what happens.
1 Cor 1:10 ‘‘He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.’’

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  1. Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
  2. He checks out the temple
  3. Retires to Bethany
  4. He’s hungry, wants a fig, curses tree that had no fruit
  5. He cleans out the temple
  6. Religious leaders afraid of Him
  7. Cursed tree is withered up
  8. Peter is amazed
  9. Jesus tells him all is possible if he believes
  10. Then comes the verses I am studying.

I’d say that the cursed tree is likely symbolic of unbelieving Israel. Perhaps Jesus here is only speaking about dealing with the religious spirit. It’s not a carte blanche for anything we want.

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Well said, brother. We do seem to argue about the peripheral issues, but forget the heart of the matter. I believe that the reason unforgiveness is so serious a problem is that it indicates someone has not yet received the unconditional grace found at the cross for themselves. In another parable, some guy owes God like 10 billion dollars, an amount he could never repay. Yet he begs for more time. Instead, God just forgives him the debt. But I don’t think the dude ever really received that grace, for the first thing he does is goes out and tries to collect a hundred bucks from some guy who owes him. Why? He clearly had no concept of just how far God had to go to forgive him. If he did, it would be impossible for him to try to avenge himself against someone else. Unforgiving is the result of not having received forgiveness. Do you also think so?

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@manbooks I completely agree with you, in my case. When I was first saved (from a terrible lifestyle), it was so easy for me to forgive others because ‘‘he who has been forgiven much loves much’’, however as I became more complacent in my faith, I am having trouble forgiving. ‘‘Restore onto me the joy of my salvation, and take not your Spirit from me’’.
The basics are radical :raised_hands: I hope I can get back to them by His power.

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Right! That’s exactly what I got when I read it! Thank you for doing this exercise with me :slight_smile:. Love doing Bible study alone, but I love doing some good study with others even better! To check that interpretation, too, I would next look at other verses talking about prayer and faith and belief. The very first verse that came to my mind when I looked at these two verses without reading them in context was Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (NKJV). I’ve heard this one interpreted as, “If I love the Lord, He’ll give me anything I desire!” But interpreting verses like this in this way just creates a vision of God as a big genie in the sky that can be manipulated by our every desire if we love Him. In my thinking, that switches the God and creature status. That makes us the gods, because we could order things however we wanted, and we know that isn’t Scriptural. The big difference between our God and the “gods” of other people groups both in “Bible times” and ours is that their gods were subject to manipulation through gift and sacrifice. Our God is unique in that He works according to His good purposes and character and cannot be manipulated away from that. So if what we are asking for is not in line with His purposes, then we can believe as sincerely as we want that we are going to get what we are asking for, but that will not move God to do something that is not in line with His purposes. Going back to the verse from the Psalms, many people who misinterpret that do not recognize the full weight of the meaning of the first part: “Delight yourself also in the Lord…” If we delight ourselves in the Lord, we are reoriented away from self and towards God. If we are oriented towards God, how might that change the desires of our hearts? It aligns our hearts with God’s, meaning we seek first the kingdom :slight_smile:. So our desires are aligned with God’s desires, and therefore, when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will gives us the desire of our hearts :). When we stand in faith on the promises of God’s Word, asking for that which we know from God’s Word to be God’s heart and desire (God wills that none should perish, and so when we pray that when we share the gospel with others, hearts will be turned towards Him, we can know that the power of God will back that). And forgiveness is critical to this, because we know a lack of forgiveness on our part can impact our relationship with God, because we are no longer in step with His heart for people. There are quite a few other verses to look into, but I think I’ve explained my point well enough. If not, or if there is something you think I’m missing, please let me know! Thanks for the great question and the opportunity to study God’s Word with you! What a blessing!

@brianlalor, I think there are times we all become complacent in our faith and struggle. None of us have “arrived.” We get comfortable and can sometimes forget in our judgments on others the amazing mercy and grace we ourselves have received. but praise God that He does not give up on us! I will be praying for and with you in this.

Thank you @psalm151ls

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