Let’s read Mark 11:20-24 from the New King James Version: “Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.’ So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

This “Lesson of the Fig Tree” is a simple albeit important one. It would be impossible to bring this fig tree back to life by natural means, so the Lord declares to His disciples “Have faith in God.” Faith can produce miracles. A “miracle” has been defined as a “supernatural intervention of God.” The lesson then is simple; if we have “faith in God” to do something, GOD WILL DO IT. In verse 24 the Lord emphasizes that the one who asks for a miracle and truly BELIEVES will RECEIVE what he asks for. I love what one has said on this verse, “Believing prayer taps God’s power to accomplish the humanly impossible.”

Now let’s be clear, the Lord is NOT teaching believers to go around asking for dead trees to come to life or to literally cast mountains into the sea; rather, He is using these as examples to illustrate that we can REMOVE BIG DIFFICULTIES that are hindering UNFRUITFULNESS in our lives. We also know that whatever we ask God to do must be ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.  We see this principle in 1st John 5:14-15, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Our prayers should also be FOR HIS GLORY and NOT FOR OUR GLORY, as we are taught in 1st Corinthians 10:31, “….whatever ever you do, do all TO THE GLORY OF GOD.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on verses 25-26 which say, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, FORGIVE HIM, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” The Lord is adding another REQUIREMENT for effective prayer: we must have a FORGIVING SPIRIT. If we refuse to “forgive others” we surely can’t expect God to “forgive us when we sin.” If that is the case, our fellowship with God will be broken, which means He won’t hear us when we pray and the miracles we ask for will go unanswered.  (446.5)  (DO)