In Mark 11 is the story of when Jesus spoke to the fig tree and cursed it because it did not have any fruit on it for the disciples to eat. Then they went on their way and the next day the disciples marveled that the tree had withered up from the roots. It didn’t happen outwardly when Jesus commanded it to, but something was definitely set into motion and Jesus explains to them that this is how we pray by faith.
Mark 11:22-24 “Have faith in God (lit. Hebrew, have the faith of God or God kind of faith),Truly I say unto you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘be removed and cast into the sea’ and does NOT doubt in his heart (his spirit, not mind), but BELIEVES that what he says IS going to happen, it SHALL be granted him. Therefore I say to you, ALL things for which you pray and ask, believe that you HAVE RECEIVED them and they SHALL be granted you.” (The literal translation of have received is actually to take, to lay hold of, took-past tense)
So, we can see that the condition of receiving what we ask God for is to believe that He answers our prayers right when we pray and that we then shall have according to His promise. God is not asking us to believe the thing we are praying for is manifested, He’s asking us to believe that we laid hold of it with our faith and then His part is to make it manifest. It’s important to understand that there are a man-side and a God-side to everything we do with God. Kind of like a game of chess, God makes a move in our direction, then He won’t and can’t make another move until we move. He can only respond to faith! He loves us and has compassion for us, but His power can only be activated by faith. Study the Gospels or Hebrews 11 it constantly says by faith, by faith, your faith has made you whole. Faith is simply believing in your heart and saying with your mouth. If their faith made them whole, then our faith can make us whole, Amen?
Our part is to believe that we took it, by faith, God’s part is to bring it to pass. For example, say your child is sick and you want to believe God for their healing. First, you need to know that God’s will is ALWAYS healing for His children. If you’re not fully assured of that, then you will not be able to pray in faith and then when you don’t receive you may say, “Well, I guess it wasn’t God’s will for my child to be healed this time.” No, you didn’t pray accurately and you nullified your faith in the Word from the start. So, we must always base our faith on a finished work of Christ. Because our faith begins where the will of God is known. So, we always look to the life of Jesus and His example because He was God’s exact representation on the earth. In the Gospels, every single person that ever approached Him in faith for healing received their healing. It was only in His hometown where it said there He could do no mighty work, but heal a few who were sick, why, because of their unbelief. Their lack of faith held Jesus back from performing the same miracles there that He did everywhere else. But in 1 Peter 2:24 says that “Himself took our infirmities or sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live unto righteousness; and by His stripes, you were healed.” So if we were healed (past tense) then we can believe we are healed!
So, we see that after we’ve prayed the Prayer of Faith (Mark 11:23, 24) for our child to receive wholeness from their symptoms, we are to continue in thanksgiving until we see the manifestation. Not asking again for the same thing we asked for previously, but continuing in an attitude of thanksgiving, with all confidence that God is working and things in the spirit realm (the unseen realm) are moving and aligning whatever needs to be aligned in your child’s physical body. And not be dismayed by the symptoms remaining for a bit after we’ve prayed. But continuing to thank Him that you believed you have received and confessing that His power is working mightily in them right now! Likewise, if you were to take Advil for a headache, two minutes later you wouldn’t say, “Oh, it didn’t work, my head still hurts!” That would be foolish, right? Because we know that the pill must be broken down in our stomach and then flow into our bloodstream and we are confident that after a while we will have the relief we are believing for. It’s sad that we sometimes give more faith to a little pill, but not to God’s power! And many times we pull up that seed of faith we planted by saying “See, it didn’t work.” But that seed must be watered and we water it with our expression of thankfulness (Col.4:2).
In the same way, when you cut down a tree, the life still flows through it for a while, right? The leaves may appear to still be vibrant for a little bit. But something did take place the moment the ax struck it. You just can’t see it on the outside yet. Likewise, when we pray for something and believe that we received it right then, even though we don’t yet see it with our natural eye, we see it with our eye of faith, it may take some time to manifest in the natural but it belongs to you and it’s moving in your life. It may take time for those natural symptoms to subside, but this is where thanksgiving comes into play. Every time we are faced with those symptoms, that is a great reminder to thank God that His power is active and working on your behalf! Your victory is nigh!