(03)Did Jesus promise to give literally anything we ask for in faith?

1.In Mark 11:23-24 we read, [I tell you the truth, if anyone says

   to this mountain, [Go, throw yourself into the sea,]and does not

   doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it

   will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for

   in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours].

   On the face of it, this verse seems to be saying that God will grant

   literally any request we make of Him as long as we believe.

2.However, it is important to recognize that there are limitations

   on what God will give — which is indicated both by the context

   and by other texts, as well as by the laws of God’s own nature

   and the universe.

3.First of all, God cannot literally give us anything. Some things

   are actually impossible. For example, God cannot grant a request

   of a creature to be God. Neither can He answer a request to

   approve of our sin. God will not give us a stone if we ask for

   bread, nor will He give us a serpent if we ask for fish

   (see Matthew 7:910).

4.Second, all passages should be interpreted in harmony with

   other clear statements of Scripture. As an illustration, it is

   clear that God does not promise to heal everyone for whom

   we pray in faith. Paul wasn’t healed, though he prayed

   earnestly and faithfully (2 Corinthians 12:89).

5.Jesus taught that it was not the blind man’s lack of faith that

   hindered his being healed. Rather, he was born blind [that the

   works of God should be revealed in him](John 9:3).

6.Despite the apostle Paul’s divine ability to heal others

   (Acts 28:9), later he apparently could not heal either

   Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25) or Trophimus

   (2 Timothy 4:20).

7.It clearly was not unbelief that brought Job’s sickness

   on him (Job 1:1).

8.Finally, when the rest of Scripture is taken into consideration

   there are clear conditions placed on God’s promise to answer

   prayer in addition to faith. We must [abide in Him] and let His

   Word [abide in us](John 15:7). We cannot [ask amiss] out of

   our own selfishness (James 4:3). Furthermore, we must ask

   [according to His will](1 John 5:14).

9.Indeed, on all except God’s unconditional promises, this

   [if it be your will] must always be stated or implied. 

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