Jesus cursed the fig tree and it dried up

George Mueller was known for his powerful prayer life . Once while on his way to speak in Quebec for a engagement. he informed the captain that he needed to be in Quebec by Saturday afternoon. As the captain related the story, he said “’It is impossible,’ I said. … More

Prayer

Jesus and His disciples were staying in Bethany each night (v. 19). The next day the disciples noticed that the fig tree Jesus had cursed the day before was all dried up (vv. 20-21). As they called it to His attention He used it as an illustration to teach them these principles of prayer:

  1. It must involve faith (vv. 22-23) - The statement about removing mountains was a common Jewish phrase used in reference to removing difficulties. He was saying that if we have real faith, prayer is a power which can solve any problem and make us able to deal with any difficulty. First, it means that we should be willing to take our problems to God. That in itself is a very real test. Second, it means that we should be ready to accept God’s guidance when he gives it.
  2. It must involve expectation (v. 24) - For many people prayer is just a pious ritual when it should be a thing of burning expectation. It has been said that a patient who goes to the doctor and doesn’t have any confidence in his prescribed remedies has far less chance of recovery than the patient who is confident that the doctor can cure him. Our trouble is that what we want from God is our answer, and we don’t recognize his answer when it comes.
  3. It must involve forgiveness (v. 25-26) - In other words, if we expect our God to forgive us, we must forgive others. Bitterness in a person’s heart will cause a barrier between him and God. The prayer of a bitter man cannot penetrate the wall of his own bitterness.

Application

Is there anyone that I need to forgive? If so, what steps do I need to take to forgive that person?

Mark 11:19-26 (English Standard Version)

And when evening came they went out of the city. As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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