For today’s post I would like to take a look at a verse of Scripture that is often misused and misunderstood. Mark 11:23-24 are often used as ‘confession’ Scriptures. We figure out what we want from God and then we pray using these verses as the Scriptural basis for our request. But do we really understand what’s required here? In many cases, the answer is no. Let’s take a closer look.
Mark 11:23–24 (KJV 1900)
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
When I’m coaching people, I often hear them express frustration and disappointment in God because they didn’t receive what they were believing for. A closer inspection of the matter reveals the issue at hand, and it relates to what they really believe.
First, we need to note that Mark 11:23 explicitly states that the believer must not doubt in his heart. When I start asking my clients questions, nine times out of ten at least one of their responses will indicate that they don’t really believe they’ll receive from God. Most of the time, they’re just not sure it’s going to work. This immediately nullifies their request because doubt has entered in.
Many believers think that saying the right thing meets the requirements of these verses, but that’s simply not the case. Carrying around a list of Scriptural confessions and saying them out loud several times a day does you no good if what you believe in your heart is contrary to it. Now, I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t speak Scriptures over your life because I certainly do believe in that. And it can help you to change what you believe (see Romans 10:17). But saying one thing while believing another is what gets believers into trouble here. What you say, what you pray, and what you believe must be consistent for these verses to work for you.
If you’re having trouble receiving from God, take a moment to evaluate what you believe. Listen to yourself throughout the day. For example, let’s assume that you’ve prayed and asked God for a new job. You can’t then turn around and tell your friends, “I’m never going to find a job.” If you do that, you’ve nullified your prayer. And what you say is often the best indicator of what you truly believe. Let that guide you.