In Matthew 21:23, Jesus continues to say, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

This is one of those verses people love to claim as their verse. I have heard this referenced when asking for a fancy new car, a new job, a new house, a new boyfriend/girlfriend, or even worse, a new husband/wife. We get so discouraged when we pray and feel like we receive nothing. This is why we should not verse hop through the Bible. Jesus didn’t say this to just anybody. He said it to His disciples. Those who followed after Him. We have to be a disciple to inherit this promise from God. Notice how the word disciple goes hand in hand with the word discipline. To be a disciple, Jesus tells us we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow after Him (Matthew 16:24). I guess a good question we should ask ourselves daily is, “Am I a disciple of Jesus Christ?” and “Am I behaving like a disciple of Jesus Christ?” We can clearly see these expressions of faith in Christ in the Acts of the Apostles, whether it is in Acts 3:6-7 when Peter and John tell the lame man to rise and walk and pull him up to his feet; or in Acts 9:40 when Peter tells Tabitha to rise; or in Acts 20:7-12 when Paul raises Eutychus who fell down three stories. It was all because they prayed, believing that God would do it. These acts were not self-centered but other-centered advancing the kingdom of God. As God has already promised us, if we seek His kingdom first with all of our hearts, He will provide us with everything that we need (Matthew 6:33).  It would seem if we don’t seek His kingdom first and try to provide ourselves with our needs, God will patiently wait until we realize that we must be completely dependent on Him.

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