Turn off your cell phone, TV, or radio. Listen to the silence that is around you. Listen for God to speak to you.
Mark 11:12-14, 20-24 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see whether perhaps he would find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
For most of my life I have struggled to understand the many scripture references that tell us when we ask something of God, believing, it will be given to us. When I was 14, my dad died from cancer. He was only 39. He left a wife and three children to manage without him. My dad was a leader in our church and the community. His death left many voids.
Countless people prayed for his healing, including me. There was a steady stream of people coming to visit, praying and assuring us that God would answer the prayers of God’s people. Well, God didn’t answer our prayers—at least not in the way we had asked. I was left wondering if I hadn’t believed strongly enough in God’s ability to heal him.
Despite my wonderings and doubts, I have continued to believe in the power of prayer. I often have to remind myself that God answers prayers in God’s time and that we may never know why our prayers were not answered as we had asked.
God, help us to believe, and forgive our unbelief. Amen.
Go with God!