Matthew 21:22 – ” If you believe, you will receive
whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Sadly, a lot of Christians mistakenly take this verse to mean, “If you have enough faith … if you believe strongly enough when you pray to God for whatever you desire you will surely, positively get it.”
I have witnessed Christians respond very negatively when a specific prayer request was not answered by God. Some Christians are:
- Stunned by God’s not giving them what they wanted or expected
- Bewildered and begin questioning the goodness of God
- Tempted to turn away from God completely because He must not really care about them if He won’t come through for them in the way they believe He SHOULD.
The oldest temptation from Satan is to get a believer to question the goodness and love of their heavenly Father. (Genesis 3 – The Fall of Man) Satan knows what you want. And he is counting on you to stumble in your faith when you pray and you sincerely believe that, “that if you have enough faith you will get exactly what you prayed.”
We know that Scripture is divinely inspired by God and that it is true. So, what does Matthew 21:22 mean? God is love and He loves His children enough to allow his sinless son die in their place for their sins. God is good, always good and can never be anything but good! (a Murphy-ism)
In light of the truth about God’s character, Matthew 21:22 must mean if you pray anything “according to God’s will,” you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
Practically, what does this look like. When you pray ask the Father in this way. “Father, I would really like ______, but I also am willing to submit to your sovereign will. I am your child and I can boldly come to your throne. So, you know what I desire, but however you answer my prayer I will receive Your answer and still believe you are good and you love me.