One day, I was praying in the sanctuary and reading the Bible. And there was something that newly drew my attention. In Mark 11, Jesus was passing by a town named Bethany and he became hungry. Seeing a fig tree in leaf from far way, he went to see if it had any figs on it. But he found no figs, only leaves, because it was not the right season for figs. So far I understood story. But the next verse looked odd to me when Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And Jesus’ disciples heard him say this. Sure enough, next morning as Jesus was passing by with his disciples, they saw the fig tree dry and dead, even to the roots. Peter remembered the tree and said to Jesus, “Teacher, look! The fig tree you cursed is dry and dead!” And I expected some possible answers Jesus could have replied like “Yeah…I was upset when I was hungry and saw it had no fruit on it. So I cursed and you know that I have power in my words” Still, it doesn’t make sense that our Lord said such a curse to a tree that doesn’t need to bear much fruit because it was the RIGHT SEASON for figs. Why did you that, Jesus?
But this is what Jesus said, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, fall into the sea.’ And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, God will do it for you. So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.”
Yes, Jesus was teaching his disciples how to pray by using a fig tree as an example. He is not eco-vandal. In Jesus’ teaching on prayer, there seems to be a prerequisite when it comes to prayer. We’ve got to believe first! Specifically there should be no doubts in our mind and believe what we ask for will surely happen. That’s the precedence. Then, Jesus said God will do it for us. I don’t know about you. But sometimes I found myself being unsure when I pray. I pray earnestly and desperately. But I wasn’t sure. It was like in my early fishing attitude which was timid and uncertain. One day in my early fishing days, I went for fishing, I only took my fishing pole, and didn’t bring a bucket. And Jay, my wife asked me, “Why do you not take your bucket?” “Well, I don’t know I am going to catch a fish today,” I said. Because I didn’t have any expectation that I might catch a fish, even before my first casting. Even And you can guess what I caught! Nothing.
Sometime, this is how I prayed to God. I wasn’t bold enough to imagine what my prayer will bring about. And this is how we pray to God for our church. We can’t draw a clear picture of what the prayer will be like once it is being answered. After this new insight, I changed the way I pray in that morning. Seeing the empty sanctuary, I began to imagine people sitting on the pews by pews to follow Christ and worship their God with all they are and all they do. I said aloud, “Let there will be a revival!”
Let us believe even before we ask that God can do anything in our lives and in our church. God wants us to be prepare to use the power of prayer. It's like having a miracle talk with God. When we believe and grow our faith strong, God gives us a vision and plan that we can boldly ask God to make it happen. And Jesus promised God will do it for us! For this prayer, I will continue to imagine and believe what I pray for. Will you join me?